Font Size

Fruit Bites for Kids: Banana

girl holding bananaThere seems to be something funny about bananas.

People in cartoons often slip on banana peels. Or you can "go bananas" -- that means you're silly or bonkers. Turn a banana on its side, what do you see? The smile in a smiley face.

But no one laughs at the nutrition in this fruit. She's rich in vitamins B6 and C and in potassium and fiber. Eating bananas does good things for your body.

  • Bananas help your heart.
  • Bananas help your muscles move well.
  • Bananas help your stomach feel better when it's sick.

Q: Haven't I seen you green sometimes?

Banana: Yes, I'm green but only when I'm not ripe yet. And if eaten green I must be cooked. Please don't confuse me with my cousin the plantain, which looks like a bigger, green version of me. Plantains aren't sweet like me and need to be cooked. They taste more like a white potato.

Q: We pretty much see you only in the produce section of the supermarket. Does that mean we should always eat you plain?

Banana: Oh, no, no, no! Just because you can't get me frozen or canned doesn't mean that I don't like to mix it up.

Blend me into a smoothie. Slice me and put me in a fruit salad or on top of cereal, waffles, or pancakes. Eat me with one or two spoons of peanut butter, or put us together for a sandwich. Mash me and put me in batter for muffins or bread to make them taste more delicious and be more nutritious!

Heating me up makes me super-sweet. Next time you grill out, ask your parents to slice a green banana and heat for a short time. Lay me on a graham cracker for a great new campfire dessert!

Q: Kids sometimes have trouble spelling your name. It is sort of strange, isn't it?

Banana: It's exotic. My name comes from the Arabic word for "finger," banan, and the bunches that bananas grow in on trees are called "hands." I won't be insulted if you add or leave out a "-na." Just eat me up so you benefit from how good I am for your body. Next time you want a snack, choose me!

Ready for another bite? Try Apples, Oranges, Peaches, or Watermelon

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD, FAAP on December 28, 2013