We love bananas at our house. Some days, our 4 year old can eat 4 in a row. Although we eat a varied array of fruits, some friends have cautioned that 2 bananas a day is one too many. Needless to say, I was worried about his excessive banana consumption possibly causing hyperkalemia.
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, 1 medium banana has 467.28mg of potassium. The recommended daily intakes of dietary potassium are (and equivalents in bananas, assuming other potassium rich foods are not consumed):
- Infants birth – 6 months: 500 mg or 13 mEq (around 1 banana)
- Infants 7 months – 12 months: 700 mg or 18 mEq (around 1 1/2 bananas)
- Children 1 year: 1,000 mg or 26 mEq (around 2 bananas)
- Children 2 – 5 years: 1,400 mg or 36 mEq (around 3 bananas)
- Children 6 – 9 years: 1,600 mg or 41 mEq (around 3 1/2 bananas)
- Children over 10 years and Adults, including pregnant and nursing women: 2,000 mg or 51 mEq (around 4 bananas)
However, research also suggests that doctors believe, like Dr. Jennifer Shu of CNN states here:
“A diet that is high in potassium may also be the cause [of hyperkalemia], although if a person’s kidneys are working properly, the extra potassium is usually removed from the body through the urine.”
So, we continue to enjoy our bananas heartily – but as they say, too much of anything isn’t good for you. We make sure we have many other fruits available and don’t eat excessive amounts of bananas everyday!
What do we do with our bananas?
Breakfast Puddings – to make them thick
Smoothies – to make them smooth
Wrappers – so they are not too brittle when we use them as sandwich wrappers
Ice Cream – to make them healthy
Lollipops (recipe above) – to give your kid something fun and still healthy to eat!
Popsicles – place smoothie mix in popsicle molds, freeze and voila! Yes, even the ones with greens work!
Fast Food Snacks – just peel and enjoy.