Homemade baby breadsticks recipe

 

When it comes to feeding, my little baby daughter has never been a natural. And when I recently started to introduce solids, she steadfastly refused to be given anything from a spoon or my finger. No tasty purée could tempt her. She did however take the spoon if it was put in front of her on her tray and into her mouth it went. I started giving her chunky finger foods such as broccoli florets which she could hold herself and after a few weeks I decided it was time to introduce some baby breadsticks for more a baby-led weaning approach.

Looking into baby’s nutritional requirements, The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook advises: “Under-fives are littler power-houses of development and growth. They need lots of energy, so starchy, calorie-dense foods are important – plenty of bread, pasta, rice and cereals. For adults, consuming starches in a high-fibre, wholegrain form is highly recommended. For little children, that’s not the case. Too much fibre can be over-filling and stop them eating other, nutrient-rich foods. Very high-fibre foods, such as bran cereals, can be hard for them to digest and may stop them absorbing nutrients. You don’t have to ban all wholegrain foods, but try to combine white and wholemeal bread, pasta and rice, gradually shifting more to wholegrain foods as your child matures.”

Based on my research, these are the foundations of my baby breadstick recipe:
  • Using mainly white flour (a mix of white wheat and spelt flours)
  • Adding a little bit of wholewheat flour (20% of all the flour in the recipe)
  • No salt
  • Adding yoghurt for some dairy and including a few tablespoons of rapeseed oil to add some fat/oil (both dairy as well as fat/oil are important pillars of baby’s nutritional needs)
  • Optional addition of ground herbs or spices into the breadstick dough to introduce baby to new flavours
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Homemade baby breadsticks recipe

Pieces of toast and firm bread make good finer food and can be dipped into purees and sauces. Many baby rusks on the market contain as much sugar as a sweet biscuit. Opt to make your own sugar-free bread sticks instead. It's super easy and you can make a big batch, freeze them and defrost as needed. You can add some herbs or spices into the breadstick dough if you want to mix it up for your baby. I sometimes divide the dough into three parts, leaving one part plain (with no added herbs or spices) and adding different herbs such as finely chopped rosemary or spices such as garam masala to the other two parts.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 200 g strong white wheat flour
  • 100 g white spelt flour
  • 75 g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 150 g yoghurt plain, full fat
  • 100 g water
  • 4 g dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Optional: 1 tbsp finely ground herbs e.g. rosemary, thyme... or spices (e.g. garam masala, mild curry powder...)

Instructions

How to make baby breadsticks

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl to form a dough
  2. Knead for 10 minutes on a work surface until you have  a smooth, even dough
  3. Place back into the bowl and cover
  4. Keep to proof at room temperature for an hour or so until the dough has visibly increased in volume
  5. Knock back the dough and split off walnut-sized pieces
  6. Roll each piece into a 10 cm rod
  7. Place on two lightly greased baking trays
  8. Leave to rise for about 20 minutes
  9. Bake at 200°C for 10 mins
  10. Leave to cool on a wire rack
Cut the breadsticks into halves (lengthwise) and toast them before giving them to your baby. This helps to avoid them softening too quickly. Always watch your baby carefully when offering them breadsticks and break off any big soggy bits before they disappear into the baby’s mouth to avoid choking. Dip both sides of the bread stick into your baby’s food 🙂
For those worried about food allergies, Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner states: “There is no need to worry unduly about food allergies unless you have a family history of allergy or atopic disease. The incidence of food allergy in babies with no family history of allergy is very small (approximately 6%). (…) Don’t remove key foods such as milk or wheat from your child’s diet before consulting a doctor.