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Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana (Perfect for Babies + Toddlers!)


These Spinach Muffins with Banana are a super healthy toddler breakfast or snack. (Or yummy for any age, really!) Each bite is packed with nutrients from greens and fruit—and the interior is so moist that even babies can enjoy these easy blender muffins!

Oh, these spinach muffins are one of our very favorite toddler muffins. And they’re one of the most popular recipes on my entire site! I know I’ve written about how we actually don’t need to pack kale and spinach into every bite our kids eat, but I love making nutritious versions of foods our kids already like. Like muffins.

I also know that the color green can be a huge red flag to many kids, so I like to try to use the color to my advantage in fun foods—like these spinach muffins, which are fun (because, muffins!) and they taste like a favorite banana bread muffin.

You can call these Hulk Muffins, Monster Muffins, Green Smoothie Muffins, or any fun name you come up with!

Made with nutritious ingredients, these muffins for kids are naturally sweet from banana and have a dose of Vitamin A and C from spinach or kale. They also have fiber from whole grains and protein, so they’re a nice meal component that will provide long lasting energy for your busy kids.

They’re great for toddler breakfast paired with a toddler smoothie or milk, as a snack, or packed in a kids lunch box. They’re similar to my Spinach Banana Pancakes—super nutritious and super yummy!

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Ingredients You Need

To make these spinach muffins you’ll need to have the following ingredients on hand and ready to go.

ingredients for spinach muffins on countertop.
  • Ripe banana: Bananas with brown spots will add lots of sweet flavor to this recipe.
  • Spinach: You can use fresh baby spinach or fresh regular spinach. Or you can freeze spinach and use that, too.
  • Milk: You can use whole milk, low-fat, or any nondairy milk that you prefer to bake with.
  • Honey: Swap in maple syrup if desired (and for kids under age 1).
  • Eggs: I use large eggs in my cooking and baking, so that’s the size that I use here. (See below for the egg-free option.)
  • Rolled oats: I like to add oatmeal to the recipe for additional nutrition. It blends into the mixture nicely, too. (You can also use oat flour.)
  • Baking soda: Be sure to use fresh, active baking soda in this recipe to ensure that the muffins bake through completely and they rise nicely. (Baking soda works best in this recipe, not baking powder.)
  • Whole-wheat flour: I like to use whole-wheat flour here since it adds whole grains and works well with the moisture content in the rest of the spinach muffin batter.
  • Mini chocolate chips: These are optional to add on the top or to mix into the batter to add extra sweetness. Or try a few blueberries or raisins.

Ingredient Swaps

Egg-free: Omit the eggs. Increase banana to 1.5 cups.

Gluten-free: Try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend instead of the regular flour.

Dairy-free: Opt for your favorite unsweetened nondairy milk.

To make with frozen spinach, thaw the spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup.

Banana-free: If you can’t do banana, do apple butter, a thick applesauce, or sweet potato baby food puree instead.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this spinach muffin recipe for kids so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the full recipe, including the amounts and the timing.

spinach muffin batter blended in blender.

Step 1. Place all ingredients into a blender except the flour and chocolate chips, if using. Blend very smooth.

adding flour to spinach muffin batter in blender.

Step 2. Add the flour and pulse to combine to create a thick, but uniform spinach muffin batter.

spinach muffin batter in muffin pan ready to bake.

Step 3. Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if using.

spinach muffins on wire rack.

Step 4. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges. Let cool fully on a wire rack.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make spinach muffins without a blender?

In order to get the spinach smooth and incorporated into the batter—which is really the key to getting the kids to eat these, because a muffin with chunks of spinach would be no good!—you need a blender. It’s basically the same principal as making a green smoothie!

You can try this with a food processor, though be sure to run it on high for 30-60 seconds to get the spinach as blended up as possible.

Can a baby have spinach muffins?

These muffins are incredibly moist and they don’t dry out very easily, so they are a perfect early finger food for babies. Cut them up into small cubes so baby can easily pick up bite-size pieces. You may want to warm them slightly to make them even moister and/or top with applesauce or apple butter.

Use maple syrup or omit the sweetener and use 2 tablespoons additional milk to make these for a baby or to serve as a baby-led weaning recipe.

How do you add spinach to muffins?

The key to making spinach muffins is to blend the spinach into the wet ingredients very smoothly to make a uniform mixture. Then you can mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

sliced spinach banana muffin on kids plate.

Serving Suggestions

These muffins for kids (which I happily eat myself, too!) are delicious warm out of the oven or chilled, so see what you and the kids like. The ripe banana adds natural sweetness to these spinach banana muffins, And though there’s a load of fresh spinach in these, they taste like a treat.

They aren’t super sweet like most bakery muffins are, but they are always a big hit with my kids…especially with a few mini chocolate chips on top.

Pair with a Yogurt Drink, Homemade Fruit Cup, or even some Vanilla Yogurt. You can also serve topped with peanut butter, butter, or a little jam.

How to Store

You can store the spinach muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and eat cold or slightly warmed. Or store in a zip top bag with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • To make for a baby, as an early finger food, or as a baby muffin, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.
  • Dairy-free: Use unsweetened nondairy milk and a neutral oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: Try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend.
  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and use 1½ cups sliced banana.
  • To make as mini muffins, use a 24-cup mini muffin pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these with kale, I prefer using kale that’s been frozen since it tastes less green. Simply wash, dry, and store it in a zip-top bag in the freezer. Crush gently in the bag and measure with a measuring spoon. (I use it in smoothies this way, too!) Baby spinach usually has a milder flavor when used fresh.
  • You can stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference. You can also just omit them.
  • If you have more spinach to use, try Spinach Pasta Sauce or Spinach Grilled Cheese.

Please comment and rate the recipe below if you make it—I’d love to know what you and your kids think!

spinach banana muffins on pink plate

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a standard-size muffin tin well with nonstick spray.

  • Place all ingredients into a blender except the flour and chocolate chips, if using.

  • Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You want the greens to be very finely blended in so the batter is green, as if you were making a smoothie.

  • Pulse in the flour just to combine, or stir it in gently.

  • Pour batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ cup full. Sprinkle with chocolate chips if using.

  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm to the touch and lightly browned around the edges. (You can also check to see if a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.)

  • Remove from the oven and use a paring knife, if needed, to transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • Serve slightly warm, at room temp, or chilled.

  • You can store the muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and eat cold or slightly warmed. Or store in a zip-top bag with as much air removed as possible in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best natural sweetness.
  • To make for a baby, omit the honey and use an additional 2 tablespoons milk. Omit the chocolate chips.
  • Dairy-free: Use unsweetened nondairy milk and a neutral oil instead of butter.
  • Gluten-free: Try King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend.
  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and use 1½ cups sliced banana.
  • To make with frozen spinach, thaw spinach, squeeze very dry, and measure out ¼ cup. Proceed with the recipe.
  • To make as mini muffins, use a 24-cup mini muffin pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these with kale, I prefer using kale that’s been frozen since it tastes less green. Simply wash, dry, and store it in a zip top bag in the freezer. Crush gently in the bag and measure with a measuring spoon. (I use it in smoothies this way too!) Baby spinach usually has a milder flavor when used fresh.
  • You can stir ⅓ cup chocolate chips into the batter before baking, or sprinkle some on top depending on your preference. You can also omit them.
  • These are not crazy sweet without the chocolate chips (though my kids like them just fine!), so if you think your kids will prefer a sweeter muffin, add ¼ cup granulated sugar to the batter.

Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 154mg, Potassium: 168mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 600IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg

This post was first published March 2018.

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