Baby, Recipe

mango banana sauce

We’ve covered applesauce, we’ve covered pears, carrots, peaches and even spinach which means I’m overdue to get to an early fruit sauce, one so good I might be burying the lede to have made you wait this long.

mango porcupines

Because the baby’s eyes rolled back in his head while he was eating it. He was making those gaspy excited noises we’d gotten used to by then from the peaches and all of a sudden the next spoonful landed in his mouth and he blinked twice and nearly fainted from joy. It might be the only moment of his childhood I failed to catch on film, but there were witnesses, it happened. Pinky swear.


And who can blame him? Mangoes and bananas are that good. I’d first decided on the combination early on — bananas are sweet, and also a little binding so although I knew the baby, being a monkey, would like them straight I wanted to cut them with something else. I always thought mangoes could go over well, and their acidity would be a nice contrast with the sweet, buttery banana while keeping with that tropical theme. Still, it took me a couple tries to get it right. The first time, I cooked the mango a bit but not the banana, rationalizing that since it was soft, it would puree fine uncooked. It didn’t, or at least not in my Vita-Mix-free kitchen. The second time, the mangoes hadn’t ripened enough; they were stringy and sour. The third time was the charm. I did strain this sauce — pressing it through a fine-mesh colander — an always nuisance-y kitchen task but mangoes have string fibers, bananas are surprisingly seedy and if this is a very early on purée for your baby, you might want to do the same. As they get into textures, definitely skip this step.

The end result is a surprisingly sweet sauce so a great thing to mix with cereal or yogurt. Or just let the baby enjoy it as a sweet, gasp-inducing treat, it’s natural, right?

Mango Banana Sauce

3 mangoes, ripe and sweet, about 1 pound each
3 bananas, very ripe
1 cup water
1 teaspoon lime juice, if you’re feeling fancy

Peel and chop your mangoes into 1/2-inch chunks. I like to cut down along each flat side of the pit, slicing the mango into almost-halves. I score each half without cutting through the skin and flip the mango side inside out. From there, it is easy to use a spoon or your fingertips to drop the chunks into your bowl or pot. As for what is left around the pit, you can try to cut it off with a knife or you can peel what is left and snack on it. I bet you can guess the method I choose.

Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch coins. Mix in medium/large saucepan with water and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until the banana is broken down the bits of mango can easily be flattened with a fork. Cool in cooking juices and add lime juice, if you’re using it. Purée in a food processor, blender or with a stick blender. If this is an early purée, then run the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the mango fibers and the banana seeds.

You can read more over here about how I process and store baby food.

62 comments on mango banana sauce

  1. Laurie

    O thank you, thank you!
    We have mango and ripe banana here and just this morning (I swear) we were talking about mixing the two. We were thinking of making a smoothie but will try this instead. I know Edgar will freak out!

  2. Looks yummy! This would be great as a fruit pop on a hot summer day.

    I was heartbroken when my little boy hated bananas, but now he has decided they’re okay after all.

  3. I’m a second-time-around mama, and my pediatrician told me I could start my 5 month old with pretty much anything I want- last night, I tried to give him lentils (my husband’s Indian, this just seemed right) and he spit them back at me…tonight I’m going to give this a try, and I have a strong suspicion this will go over a little better. Lucky boy- his momma came here for dinner inspiration for the family, and he’s gonna be the one I cook for tonight! (His 2 year old sister I’m sure won’t complain either!)

  4. KG

    I add mango to carrots steamed with a cinnamon stick. It’s a really nice flavor combination, especially since I find mango very sweet. As an added bonus, it’s not some strange color.

  5. LInsey

    I just tried it – so yummy! I’m sure my little guy will love it for breakfast (and I may have to have a bit on vanilla ice cream before bed…)

  6. not only are pits yummy for adult nibbling, but our wee one loves to chew/suck on them as a teether… be prepared for mango covered baby.

  7. karen

    looks like another recipe I’m going to have to keep away from the husband… have I mentioned he ate most of my son’s pear and apple sauces? at least he’s eating healthy things! :) thanks deb!

  8. Jess in MD

    Looks like something Riley will love! She had bananas & pumpkin with her oatmeal this morning. Another combination she loves is corn & zucchini. The corn is a bit time intensive due to straining, but she goes crazy over it.

  9. Jacob’s face is priceless. He knows the good stuff when he tastes it.

    Of course, my first reaction was that with a little bit of added sugar that it would freeze into a luscious sorbet. Yum!

  10. Anna

    Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sugar still isn’t good for young babies.

    1. deb

      Anna — Nobody is adding sugar to baby food (well, nobody that makes it at home; the packaged stuff, however…). The only sweetness in this sauce is that which comes with mango and banana. It’s not exactly something I get worked up over.

      Of course, and I’m sure folks have probably tapped into this about me already, I don’t get worked up over a whole lot in the name of nutrition. If it’s a plant and it was grown cleanly, as far as I’m concerned, it’s good for me and good for my baby.

      I save my dietary disdain for, well, a whole host of things but packaged “organic” cookies, puffs and jelly beans marketed to kids and promising nutrition within are high on that list. Not that anyone asked. :)

  11. missmolly

    As part of a diet of a variety of new foods, the natural sugar in fruit is perfectly healthy for babies (unless they have a specific allergy to it, which is extremely rare). Adding sugar, of course, is a different story (although I’m pretty sure Seanna wanted the sorbet for herself, nom!). If all babies got the quality and variety on snacks it looks like young Jacob is getting, we would have a baby super-race with awesome skin and bones from all the great vitamins and nutrients, fantastic immune systems from being so well-nourished, and less allergies coz we’re not too inappropriately phobic of dirt, dairy, wheat and yes, sugar!
    And yes, I am a paediatrician :)

  12. i can not tell you how excited and grateful i am that you are doing this. you are my go to recipe girl for when i want to feed my partner and i. and now i can tap into your genius when i feed our little one too!!! thanks!

  13. Terry

    Deb this looks fantastic and Jacob looks like he tasted a little piece of heaven!! I am in the early process of giving one ingredient purees to my little one (he’s 4 1/2months old ) and so far he has loved your recipe for first apples. I would like to make this puree in the future and I want to know if this freezes well. (Although I’m not sure if enough of would make it to the freezer to find out;-) Thanks for all of your great recipes!!! They are a god send for a new mommy like myself who otherwise would have no idea where to start.

  14. ann

    OMG. I’ve been in love with your regular blog for a couple of years and I only just noticed your baby food blog. Now I am so happy, I do the dance of joy!! I’m looking forward to starting my five-month-old on solids soon, and I am SO excited to have some great Smitten recipes for her.

  15. may

    I love mangoes! And I ate so much of it while pregnant, I’m sure my baby is predisposed to love it too! Thanks for the recipe. I really cannot wait to try it out!

  16. Laurie

    Love this one! It tastes great, the texture is lovely, and the colour is even kinda nice. Another hit!

  17. @missmolly Definitely sorbet for myself. Bananas are one of the wonder fruits for sorbets, because they usually come out creamy and not too hard without needing to resort to much, if any, added sugar.

  18. Vicki B

    A favorite Gujarati treat is something I called “mango soup” and wish to heck I knew how to make it. Strained mango with cardamom turned into a thin sauce eaten with puries. I’m going to make your version with a pinch of cardamom for grandbaby and me.

  19. JanetP

    Mmm, that sounds awesome! And what a picture of Jacob. Unparalleled excitement and delight. Good work!

  20. MamaN

    Don’t lose confidence and keep on posting. Our babies are exactly the same age it seems and it is always a help to have something inspirational and tasty to whip up for him. Anyways, the newest research finds that blande food makes for picky eaters and if you have been breastfeeding, the babe is already accustomed to a wide range of flavors and tastes. I kind of like his pure phase right now but as soon we we go through the list of fruits and vegies, I am definitely ready to spice things up a bit.

  21. Alyson

    How,how did I JUST find this?? I’m so excited! Keep those recipes coming. We’re still in the toss a sweet potato in the oven, peel, puree stage – but you’re giving me great ideas!

  22. Sadie

    Deb, I just saw this link from your “grown up” site and I am thrilled! I did the make the baby food thing for my daughter and learned a bunch and now we are expecting again and in the “this is what the family is having for dinner” stage with a toddler… needless to say I am excited to see how you move past puree (all in good time!) It all looks fabulous! Keep up the good work!

  23. We love and use this combination all the time, though I haven’t tried the lime juice yet. My little guy was born last September, and it’s fun following what you’re feeding your guy since they’re kind of close in age.

    I tried the spinach and yam combo today, and he gobbled it up. Thanks so much for the suggestion. I did puree it with a bit of homemade chicken broth, which added an entirely different dimension to the sweet potatoes.

    I know there aren’t too many Trader Joe’s in Manhattan (we’re on the West Coast), but I love the frozen, chopped mango for baby food. It’s also good stirred in and pureed a bit with some cottage cheese or yogurt (think lassies for babies :)).

  24. Caren

    I am a first time writer and mom of an 8 month old. It’s time to give him protein and I’m uninspired by the recipes I have found so far for chicken and beef. A veggie diet is looking appealing at this stage…. Any ideas on protein?

  25. Made this the other day for my 8 month old and he loves loves loves the combo. Mixed in some quinoa for some added protien. Now I have dreams of making a mango banana cream pie… maybe for your other blog. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more great flavor combos.

  26. We tried mango-banana shake and it was yummy. Thanks for this recipe of Mango Banana Sauce. I will try it this weekend.

  27. Amanda -_-*

    I love all the ideas on here! Unfortunately, food allergies run among my children, and I’ve learned the hard way that, for us, we NEED to only introduce one food at a time. Be that as it may, all of these combinations look incredible, and I can’t wait to (possibly, maybe, hopefully) try some of them later this year. Our third little guy is five months now, and hasn’t started solids yet (except for a couple miniscule pieces of banana he mostly spit outl, and a piece of flatbread he managed to get hold of tonight and stuffed in his mouth when no one was looking).

    Caren, if you don’t mind someone else’s advice… I’ve held off giving my guys meat until they had enough teeth to chew it, then just gave them what we were having for dinner, cut reeeeeallly tiny. I do give my babies scrambled eggs most days after they’ve gained the ability to eat them. Quinoa also has a lot of protein in it, for all that it’s a grain, and it’s so tiny it doesn’t have to be chewed. I mix cooked quinoa 50/50 with applesauce or another already-introduced fruit or veggie puree, and they love it!

  28. Margot

    Unrelated to this delicious sounding recipe:I just wanted to say that the recipe for summer squash soup was a hit with my daughter (12 months)–I made it for a dinner with my parents and on a whim I fed it to the baby and she loved it.

  29. Tara

    Thanks for a great idea, Deb. I’ve combined bananas with lots of other fruits and mangoes with some others, but for some reason never put the two together. I have twin 12-month old sons who were temporarily past the puree stage, but because we’re currently going through a VERY frustrating “chew it up and spit it out” phase with solids, I’ve returned to purees to serve alongside solids so that I can be sure they’re getting some nutrients. I have to tell you that one of my son’s eyes about popped out of his head when he got a taste of this combo (he’s particularly partial to mango)…so thanks for re-inspiring me during a tough feeding-baby(ies) time! I just wish my guys were behind your cutie in age so that I could have been inspired by you from the beginning. Ah, well…now at least I know I have a great place to turn next time around!

  30. Caren

    Thanks Amanda – makes sense to me! My little one will chew any non-food material that he can, but won’t put a cheerio or piece of soft fruit in his mouth yet.
    Will try the quinoa….

  31. Vanessa

    Thank you for the great idea to combine mangoes and bananas. This is by far my favorite fruit combo I’ve made so far and my 12month old son LOVES it. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Megan

    I made this this weekend and Eva loves it! For those seeking protein, black beans, pinto beans, chicken pureed with carrots or sweet potatoes, salmon is a big hit in my house and can be pureed with veggies and brown rice.

  33. I have made mangoes for my son for quite some time, but I never made it quite like this. It’s soooo good that I’m eating some of the extra as dessert with yogurt!

  34. beep

    I also would love to know what (if any) first meats Mr. Adorable Smitten Baby has been enjoying. My seven month old liked a mixture of sweet potato and white beans cooked in beef broth, but the ground-up meat I tried on him had a nasty texture after blending. I did not blame him for making a face and spitting it right back out.

  35. Erin

    I used to read your blog all the time a few years back when I was in grad school (waiting for stuff to finish in the lab). I stopped by today randomly, and I LOVE this addition to your blog! My husband and I hope to have a little one in the near future, and I had already thought about making my own baby food. I will definitely be back for ideas when the time comes :)

  36. jennifer

    Hi Deb, Just wanted to write in to give you some inspiration to keep up with this blog. . . Today, I made the warm butternut squash and chickpea salad (January 2009) for a potluck. I had some leftover squash so was about to puree it for my 7-month-old, when I realized that she could easily eat all of the ingredients in this salad (and had in fact eaten all of them separately on other occasion). So everything except the red onions went into the blender. And she loved it! I am dying to know what Jacob is eating these days. . .

  37. mek

    Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes! We recently introduced fruits. I have mangoes and bananas I plan on cooking up tonite. Any thoughts on papaya? avocado? My son seemed to love avocado but I can’t imagine eating it without salt..but he loved it!

  38. ruth

    JUST DISCOVERED this baby area! So wonderful! I wish I had seen it sooner, my (now) 10 month old is nearly past purees. Please update it as you can, I am desperate for baby dinner ideas. Love your blogs!

  39. Erica

    LOVE THIS!! Do you think i could freeze this? I’m guessing the mango would be ok by itself, however i’m not sure about the both of them. What do you all think?

  40. Erin

    Erica – I freeze this and it works out perfectly! Greta actually had it for breakfast today :)

    Deb – I hope you do continue this part of your blog as we all love reading how your little guy tries new things!!!

  41. Dolores

    What yummy combinations for baby food! I thought I would try this because I seem to have the only baby on the planet who does not like bananas, I record her eating it because the faces she makes are priceless. BUT…she absolutely loves this!!!! I just mashed it with a potato masher so it was nice and chunky. I am so happy she can get the health benefits of bananas and enjoy it too. I plan to make the vanilla pears too! Thanks so much for your delicious ideas!

  42. CM

    After seeing the mango-banana picture of Jacob, I had to go look at your other baby pictures on your flickr stream. I think the mango one is the cutest — he has this great look of anticipation!

  43. Angela

    We are well passed the pureed foods stage, but this looks to good to pass up. I’ve commented before that our boys are only a few days apart…I wonder how I missed these goo blogs.

  44. Sarah

    Speaking of mangos and kids…(and this has NOTHING to do with this delicious recipe), we had a terrible experience with a MANGO RASH with my young daughter, a regular fruit monkey. After eating a juicy mango, in its entirety, this past summer, with her hands, she broke out in a big icky rash all over her face. The dermatologist took one look at her and asked, “have you eaten a mango recently?” Turns out, the SAP on the outside of the mango contains some of the same chemical compounds as poison ivy. We’d eaten millions of mangos and never had a problem, but SOME mangos are still sappy…who knew? Enjoy mangos was his advice, but take care in washing and cutting them.

  45. Leslie

    I just discovered this area too, and am so glad I did, as my son is 6 months purees are still great for him. I’m going to the store today with plans to make several of your purees. I’m glad someone said this freezes ok, as a purer cookbook I have says bananas and anything mixed with them aren’t suitable for freezing, but doesn’t say why..perhaps just because they turn brown, but baby doesn’t care what color stuff is!

  46. Vanesa

    Thanks Deb for teaching me how to cut a mango!!!! I always did such a mess. Also, I did this recepie today and my 7 month old baby love it!!! First course was spinach and carrots so it was a real treat when he tried the mango-banana sauce. Thanks, I love your blogg!!!!!

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