I love muffins as a portable snack for kids, but many recipes that I found online had tons of added sugar, which immediately makes them not baby friendly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no added sugar until age 2. This particular muffin is great for getting in repeated exposures to several of the top 9 allergens: milk, peanut/tree nut (depending on the nut butter you use), egg, and wheat.
I love baking and getting my kids involved in the kitchen. Check out this handout for some ideas to get your kids involved. I wanted to find a recipe that my little one could enjoy. I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I modified a few different recipes I found and made some fruit substitutions in place of the sugar.
This baby friendly muffin recipe is pretty forgiving and can be fun to make with your kids. It uses applesauce as a sweetener instead of sugar. Muffins are easy to grab making them perfect for finger foods (which your baby should be on by around 9 months no matter if you start with baby led weaning or purees). If you’re looking for other baby friendly recipes to try, check out my no added sugar chia jam and no added sugar cranberry sauce.
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Making Muffins Baby Friendly: Tips for Sweetening with Fruits
- The end product will probably not be as sweet as if you used sugar. That’s ok! Babies are still developing their palate and it’s important to not get them used to hyper-sweet foods.
- Pureeing a fruit (like applesauce or making a date puree) can be an easy swap out for sugar.
- Look for very ripe bananas as they will be sweeter than green bananas.
- Some fruits go better with some recipes than others, you may need to play around a little bit.
- You will need to adjust the liquid a little bit. Most fruits will provide some extra fluids, but others may need a little fluid added.
- The bake time may need to be adjusted as well.
Baby Friendly Banana Oat Muffin
- 2 whole bananas (mashed)
- 4 tbsp butter (softened)
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup nut butter (can substitute sunflower butter, but it will turn the muffins green)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 whole egg
- 1/8 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup oats
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine bananas, butter, yogurt, nut butter, egg, vanilla, and applesauce in a large bowl and mix well.2 whole bananas, 4 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup nut butter, 1 whole egg, 1/8 cup applesauce, 1 tsp vanilla
- Add dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup oats
- Scoop into muffin liners/greased muffin pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. I use a silicone muffin pan and just spray it with cooking spray and skip the liners.
Krystyn Parks is a Registered Dietitian and Lactation Consultant who specializes in feeding children. She has a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Long Beach. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and has been registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2013.