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Cooking with Kids: Banana Ice Cream

Sweet Pea is 5 years old.

From: I first saw this cool (ha!) and extremely healthy snack idea at The Kitchn.


  • Very ripe bananas.
  • Cutting Board.
  • Table knife.
  • Small ziplock baggie.
  • Milk (optional).
  • A food processor, blender, magic bullet, etc.
  • Toppings & Mix-Ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 TBS chocolate chips, 1 TBS cocoa powder, etc.  (Optional).


  • Peel the banana.
  • Sit near your tot and use the table knife to demonstrate how to carefully cut the banana into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Let your tot cut up the rest of the banana.
  • Have your tot put the slices of banana in a single layer inside a ziplock baggie.
  • Place the baggie  in the freezer and allow the banana slices to freeze for at least 2 hours.

  • After the bananas are frozen, place them in the bowl of the food processor, blender, etc.
  • If you are using a food processor or high quality blender, you may be able to blend the bananas by themselves.   However, if you are using something with a little less power (ie. A Magic Bullet), you will also need to add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk.

  • Blend the bananas until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

  • Spoon the mixture into a bowl and let your tot enjoy!


Observations: To say that Sweet Pea is crazy about banana ice cream is an understatement.   She likes cutting up the banana, but especially eating the ice cream as an afternoon snack.

The first time I made this, it was just to use up some over-ripe bananas.   They were starting to look a little black, and I remembered this recipe.  I had Sweet Pea cut them up the bananas and stuck the pieces in the freezer.  Now that Sweet Pea is addicted to banana ice cream, I never have over-ripe bananas anymore.  If she sees a banana in the fruit basket, she asks to cut it up so she can have “ice cream” later.

Notes from the Trenches:   Is it the texture of ice cream? Yes.  Does it taste like ice cream? Almost, but it is clearly not the real deal.  We do not eat a lot of junk food around here.  I think a child who was more used to regular ice cream might not be quite so enamored with banana “ice cream”.  At Sweet Pea’s request, I made a batch of this for her and a little neighbor friend one afternoon.  Sweet Pea’s friend took one bite and looked up at me with a knowing expression and placed her spoon back down on the table.  Unlike Sweet Pea, the neighbor friend did not finish eating her bowl of “ice cream”.

Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Frugal)

Carnivals:  This post is linked up to It’s Playtime at Hands on As We Grow.


5 comments to Cooking with Kids: Banana Ice Cream

  • Jen

    I have made this before just the way you described, but I have always had trouble getting the bananas to blend without getting stuck and having to dig them out of the blades several times. Tonight I tried it with mashed bananas that I had put in the freezer for about an hour and then into my ice cream maker and it was magic… came out perfect in no time at all! Just another fun option to try because I know my 3-year-old loves mashing things up (and I trust him with my potato masher a lot more than a knife!)

    • Shannon (admin)

      I had the same problem that you did with the bananas, which is why I recommended putting in milk. The blade in my Magic Bullet was totally stuck and I had to add the milk to make it run. Thanks for the suggestion. I will let her mash them up and see if that works, but I bet that my Magic Bullet won’t be able to do even that without the milk.

  • crissie

    Love this idea! I can’t wait to try it w my kiddos tomorrow. I wonder what would happen if I added hazelnut spread or strawberries? Will be fun to try…

  • crissie

    And by the way Sweet Pea Is adorable! Tell her Mrs. H is going to try HER ice cream.

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