Low Sugar Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, v2

More bunches of bananas quickly ripening means more opportunities to tweak the banana bread recipe! Last time, we decided it didn’t taste enough of banana, and tasted a little too much of sugar, so we cut more.

It was the first foray into baking after a brief hiatus wherein Belle went on daily walks with Papa and Buddy screamed as four teeth showed up simultaneously. Buddy is still not happy, but the bananas needed using. So we didn’t target any specific skill with this recipe, just general bonding over baked goods.

Bunch of bananas

Belle started by peeling bananas while I assembled the rest of our ingredients within easy reach. (I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s important to have the tools and ingredients ready so you can swap tasks without delay.) Belle was given four bananas and the instruction to peel three of them, so we worked a bit of counting in, as well as some impulse control (to not peel the fourth banana).

Separating bananas

Although it wasn’t planned, pulling banana bunches apart when the stems have dried a bit is good for gross motor/arm strength.

Whisking butter and sugar

See above “mine-a purple whis’!” – we add colors in as adjectives for our tools because it’s the easiest way for me to demonstrate word order of “[possessive][adjective][noun].” Belle is really good at colors, but inconsistent with prepositions, so I need to up my game and model more prepositional phrases: “your purple whisk in the bowl,” “the scoop next to the mixer,” “put the onion onto the microwave,” “look under the table.”

Scraping yogurt

Yogurt is a really tricky ingredient for Belle to measure and add to the mixing bowl. Like peanut butter, it sticks to the measuring cup and needs to be scraped out. I want to get her to the point where she can do this independently, but this time, I held the cup measure stable while she did the twist and pull movements necessary to get about 3/4 of the yogurt out. Next time, I’ll try to hold her hand onto the cup’s handle and help her keep one half her body still while the other half makes large movements.

Mixing banana bread

Note the puddle of melted butter on the counter…it sloshed out of the bowl as we poured it into the mixing bowl. We do forgiving recipes here.

Belle surprised me by reaching out to turn off the stand mixer at an appropriate time. I was happy to see that her hands stayed well away from the mixer’s moving parts before and after she turned it off. Kitchen safety win!

Scooping flour

Although Belle does the scooping from flour jars, I set the chocolate chips up differently to try to force her to build an assessment into her process. I want her to scoop, pour, then check if it’s enough. So for the chocolate chips, I held the measuring cup up, put her finger on the line, and poured about 5 chips at a time into the measuring cup. “More or all done?” (I need 2-3 more hands to do this properly and photograph it, but we made do.)

Child adds chocolate chips to batter

Belle added the chocolate chips by hand, with some taste testing of both chocolate and batter. She was amused by the chips sticking to the beater, and I liked her experimenting.

Child licking batter
Too busy to assist in pouring the batter into the loaf pan.

Nice brown color (whole wheat flour and brown sugar help), visible chunks of banana, good crumb, but the crack is kinda weird and I think the top crust could be crisper.

Banana bread in pan

Skills worked on:

  • following directions
  • sequencing
  • kitchen safety
  • asking for help
  • fine motor (scooping, pouring, peeling)
  • counting
  • gross motor (strength, coordination)
  • food prep!


  • mixer (stand or hand)
  • mixing bowl
  • several small bowls (for eggs, dry ingredients)
  • loaf pan
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • spatula
Banana bread out of pan
For what it’s worth, we didn’t let it cool completely because who can resist warm banana bread?

Our taste test (“mmm”) determined that it’s delicious, but I think the sugars might be overcomplicated. This may also be perfect for a no-chocolate banana bread, but could be even less sweet when it has chocolate chips added. We’ll continue tinkering!

Recipe (35-40 min prep, 50 min bake, yield 1 loaf):

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c. 2% vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a loaf pan.
    2. Melt one stick (1/2 c.) of butter in separate bowl.
    3. Whisk together melted butter, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, and 2 tbsp brown sugar. It won’t look like normal creamed butter and sugar, more like thick melted butter.
    4. Use mixer to mash 3 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 c.) in main mixing bowl. Let there be chunks. Add butter/sugar mixture, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 c. Greek yogurt to bananas. Mix well.
    5. Combine 1 1/3 c. whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Fold into wet mixture. Then fold in 1/2 c. chocolate chips.
    6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread it even. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top (optional).
    7. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
    8. Let cool completely before removing from pan. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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