Is my toddler eating too many bananas? (x-posted in toddlers) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 07-21-2008, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 22 month old eats about 3 or 4 bananas a day, and they make up the bulk of his diet. It's the only food he'll eat a large quantity of. In a typical day, he'll eat: 3 or 4 bananas, 1 scrambled egg, 1 piece of buttered toast, 1 yogurt, 1 jar of pureed vegetable, 1 jar of pureed fruit, and a little bit of whatever we're having for dinner (usually chicken of some sort).

Do you think this diet is balanced enough? Are too many bananas bad for you?

ETA: He also nurses once a day, if that makes a difference.

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#2 of 14 Old 07-21-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Too many bananas can be constipating. Also, to much potassium can be VERY bad for you.

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#3 of 14 Old 07-21-2008, 10:13 PM
 
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Aside from the bananas he eats all that stuff? I'm lucky if I can get my lo to eat anything during the day. I offer him lots, he nibbles and snacks but I honestly don't know how much he is eating.
For little ones balanced nutrition can be looked at over the course of a week, rather than just one day. They go in spurts of eating this or that in large quantities and then they switch. Personally I think he's fine, I guess I would investigate what constitutes "too much" potassium though.

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#4 of 14 Old 07-21-2008, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by elmh23 View Post
Too many bananas can be constipating. Also, to much potassium can be VERY bad for you.
Well he's been eating this many bananas for months and has never been constipated (which I was surprised at actually). Looks like 1 medium banana has 422mg or 12% daily value of potassium, so that doesn't sound too bad, right?

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#5 of 14 Old 07-21-2008, 10:33 PM
 
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I have heard that cantelope has way more potassium than bananas. and that it's really hard to overdo it with food, as opposed to supplements.

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#6 of 14 Old 07-22-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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i know you said that your LO hasn't has trouble with constipation, but too many bananas are not good for you anyway. they are very filling and are probably taking up room that could go for something different. my kids are limited to 1 a day (see my side note!). i offer an assortment of fruits and veggies that they can pick from (canned, if fresh are not available) and they just have to deal with the fact that they only get one "ba'na".

side note, maybe a bit TMI: my 2nd son woke up one night with a pain in his tummy. he has autism, and he tends to shut down when he's in pain or sick, so he was totally unresponsive. off to the er we went, since i had no idea how bad, etc. we got there, he barfed, they did tummy x-rays, and the dr walks in holding the x-rays and the first thing he asks me is, "so, how many bananas does he eat a day?" i said "2, 3, maybe 4, why?" and he pointed to the x-ray and showed me how my son was so constipated he was unable to digest anything else because it had no where to go! several doeses of laxative and 24 hours later, he was all better. but! only one banana per day, per kid!

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#7 of 14 Old 07-22-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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Variety is a key factor in being healthy so I'd definitely recommend changing his diet a bit and giving him some bananaless days.
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#8 of 14 Old 07-22-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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I disagree. It's really sometimes hard to get a toddler to eat anything at all, and bananas are a good whole food with lots of nutrition in them. I would allow the child to eat bananas. Food binges are common with little ones; if you let them satisfy the urge, it passes. And it sounds like he's eating other foods, too. I don't think there are many almost-two-year-olds out there who eat what any of us would call a genuinely balanced diet, and yet they seem to be growing and thriving. I would say that you can gently encourage him to branch out and try other things, but I wouldn't ban bananas either. If he insists, let him eat them. I think you do more harm than good by trying to control a toddler's food choices too much, as long as the foods are whole nutritious foods.

Obviously if the child becomes constipated, you have to make changes-- peaches, prunes, grapes, raspberries, whole grains, and beans seem to help my LOs when that happens. Lots of water, too.

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#9 of 14 Old 07-22-2008, 10:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by damona View Post
i know you said that your LO hasn't has trouble with constipation, but too many bananas are not good for you anyway. they are very filling and are probably taking up room that could go for something different. my kids are limited to 1 a day (see my side note!). i offer an assortment of fruits and veggies that they can pick from (canned, if fresh are not available) and they just have to deal with the fact that they only get one "ba'na".

side note, maybe a bit TMI: my 2nd son woke up one night with a pain in his tummy. he has autism, and he tends to shut down when he's in pain or sick, so he was totally unresponsive. off to the er we went, since i had no idea how bad, etc. we got there, he barfed, they did tummy x-rays, and the dr walks in holding the x-rays and the first thing he asks me is, "so, how many bananas does he eat a day?" i said "2, 3, maybe 4, why?" and he pointed to the x-ray and showed me how my son was so constipated he was unable to digest anything else because it had no where to go! several doeses of laxative and 24 hours later, he was all better. but! only one banana per day, per kid!
I'm so sorry that happened to your son! But really, ds has no trouble at all, he poops like 2 or 3 times a day and it's soft.

I do offer other fruits and veggies, but he only plays with them. It's not like he'll eat them if I don't give him a banana, he'll just not eat and get cranky. I don't think it's worth the fight anyway, bananas are pretty healthy.

Anyway, thanks for the advice everyone, I'm not too worried, but I'm going to try to cut down to 2 bananas a day, I'd be comfortable with that.

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#10 of 14 Old 07-22-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post
I'm so sorry that happened to your son! But really, ds has no trouble at all, he poops like 2 or 3 times a day and it's soft.

I do offer other fruits and veggies, but he only plays with them. It's not like he'll eat them if I don't give him a banana, he'll just not eat and get cranky. I don't think it's worth the fight anyway, bananas are pretty healthy.

Anyway, thanks for the advice everyone, I'm not too worried, but I'm going to try to cut down to 2 bananas a day, I'd be comfortable with that.
My now-three year old went through a phase of living on canned peaches and vanilla flavored yogurt, which are a heck of a lot less healthy than whole bananas, and she's fine. Toddlers are just like that. She eats broccoli and strawberries and spinach and carrots and sweet potatoes and all kinds of great stuff now. They grow out of it. I agree with you-- just let it be.

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#11 of 14 Old 07-23-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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I so agree Llyra-my Dd has gone through phases where she ate like 3 bananas a day for a week or two, and I thought she'd be constipated, but no. The kid was a poop machine. She has also gone through phases of only eating grapes, then peanut butter toast, yogurt and milk. Toddlers are particular, and I think that they do know what their little bodies need.

The key is you are offering him other healthy things to eat, and he's choosing not to eat those things, I think it's fine. I also am just probably too relaxed and don't force the issue with my DD, if she's eating something healthful and only wants that for a few days or a week then I'm all for her eating that, be it bananas or grapes or whatever the food is that week.

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#12 of 14 Old 07-23-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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What if you cut up bananas and some other fresh fruit - would he just pick out the banana?

DD (also 22 mo) usually has one banana a day, though she'd eat them all day every day if I let her - but they are constipating to her. I once gave her a banana in the morning and later DH gave her one, and she didn't poop for 3 days. So we limit it to one a day.

It does sound like he's eating quite a bit of other foods, which is good.
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#13 of 14 Old 07-23-2008, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
My now-three year old went through a phase of living on canned peaches and vanilla flavored yogurt, which are a heck of a lot less healthy than whole bananas, and she's fine. Toddlers are just like that. She eats broccoli and strawberries and spinach and carrots and sweet potatoes and all kinds of great stuff now. They grow out of it. I agree with you-- just let it be.
I TOTALLY agree with all you've said here. I think it's very important if a toddler is eating anything healthy to encourage eating. If you start trying to stress about what they eat, they become stressed and won't eat. I worry about everyone getting fed at that age more than variety or what some may think of as an optimum diet. We are all extremely healthy and both mine have gone through funny eating phases.

Right now my little over 2 year old will eat sourdough bread and tzatziki 4 or 5 times a day
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#14 of 14 Old 07-23-2008, 02:30 AM
 
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When mine was 2, she did a phase of nothing but frozen blueberries and plain whole milk yogurt for more than a month. Thank heavens for TJ's. She still eats blueberries almost every day.
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