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Baby’s 1st Crackers

Posted Feb 06 2011 7:43pm
You may be thinking why on earth would I make my own crackers? Well… when you start reading labels on cracker boxes you will quickly realize the ingredients are not so pure the majority of crackers are full of sugar (you need to be careful when label reading because sugar can be disguised as different names I will post on this at a later date but one of the killers is “organic liquid cane juice” well that sounds ok doesn’t it? Think again that is “liquid sugar”).  The 2 purest crackers that I have came across and the only 2 in our house (for back-up when we run out of home made ones) are triscuits and ryvita (Julia has tried both problem is they are a bit thin and hard for a 1st cracker creating a wee bit of a choking hazard).

 I must also mention there are a variety of infant “teething biscuits” as well… where to start for starters our daughter doesn’t eat rice (as it worsens constipation) so she has never had the famous baby mum mum everyone talks about.  Let’s think about this it is basically like “stale air” no nutritional value, contains both sugar and salt… yet everyone feeds them to their baby... well not us, babies consume such small amounts of food wouldn’t you want them to have something “nutritious” sure for the first year of life “solid” food is merely for practice and their main source of nutrition is breastmilk or formula but still why not have them get a taste for something that has some nutritional value… sure there is also the “wheat” debate no wheat before 1 year of age – so when Julia was 7ish months and I thought she would like a teething biscuit I made these crackers with her cereal and powerhouse quinoa (one of the only grains that is a complete protein, no worries I will be doing and entire post on grains and what is what there are so many different ones' and eating variety is so important for adults and children).

Baby's 1st Crackers
2 cup flour * (1 cup dark rye and 1 cup whole wheat) – (see note below may also use infant cereal) + additional flour for counter and rolling out dough
¼ cup of olive oil
½ cup of warm water + a few table spoons if needed


1)      Preheat oven to 425
2)      Put flour in a mixing bowl, pour in oil, add in warm water and stir it takes a little bit of stirring to get it all mixed up you can use your hands if you wish, the dough will be very thick, let dough sit about 5 min (it seems to roll out better if it sits for a few min)

3)      Lightly flour your surface, place ball of dough on counter and begin rolling for baby’s 1st crackers keep about 1/8-1/4” thickness (if you go too thin they will break off in pieces creating a choking hazard), once dough is rolled out cut into 1 ½” x 2 ½” rectangles (or other desired shape I just find this shape is easiest for baby to hold and eat) 1 batch will usually fit on 1 cookie sheet as you can place them close together (they don’t “grow” in the oven) 





4)      For any combinations with wheat poke with a fork making holes or they will bubble up cook time 10 min, flip at 5 min (for softer cracker cook less (8min) for crunchier cracker cook more (12min) 5)      Store in an air tight Tupperware for up to a week – **see note below re: freezing6)      Variations – for adult crackers you may add 1tsp kosher salt or sprinkle with salt, 1 ½ tsp rosemary (as shown in these photos) you can even roll dough our thinner for more of a flatbread affair the possibilities are endless really, you can mix it up add flax or your favourite seed (you may have to adjust the water or cut the flour) – as I continue to experiment I will post more combinations

*I have used a variety of different flours (such as dark rye, spelt, whole wheat, barley, quinoa and I have even made with infant cereal as this not only fortifies the cracker but gives them a familiar taste as they “learn” how to eat a cracker) mixed them up ½ and ½ have fun and experiment.  You may have to add little bits of extra water depending on the flour you want dough thick not sticky.

**Also I know I don’t have time to be making crackers all the time so I make bigger batches and freeze them whole wheat freezes best, we found that when we froze rye crackers they lost their crunch (they were still good just different)

 Julia loving her cracker... gotta love the facial expression!!

It is probably becoming clear by now that I am not able to “just” post a recipe I want to educate you about why I have made the choice I have as well as some of the interesting facts about different foods for example do you know what the worlds 2nd healthiest food is? Swiss chard I made it into a pesto last night which used as a base on our pizza (that recipe to come including hubby's famous herb-infused pizza crust, as well as more about why eat swiss chard).  So if that is #2 what is #1…? Any thoughts?

Here is a picture of the pesto recipe to come:






So this morning my husband gets up and wants to know "what's for breakfast?" (as we let daddy have a nice little sleep in today) so I said oatmeal pancakes of course this was funny because we never eat pancakes but I have been wanting to make them for Julia so with a little direction we had "Daddy's 1st Vegan Oatmeal Pancakes" Julia had already ate but we gave her some to try with a little maple syrup and she wasn't to sure... but that is normal of course as it can take 5-10 (or 20 - every reference is different) tries before a baby really likes something... and that raspberry jam on her pancake we made this summer along with strawberry jam and we also canned peaches what a lot of fun that was... all that to come in a future post, we wanted to can tomatoes but as you can imagine with a baby our time is always limited, next year we plan on adding them to our annual canning affair.



 
Now that I have given a few more previews of upcoming recipes I hope everyone is enjoying the superbowl (it's just one of those things we don't really get into, hence why I am blogging right now)... my next post is going to be for all you new mom's and experienced mom's as everyone can use a little "boost" of energy sometimes... now I will leave you with a few questions...


What are your favourite crackers? Do you know what is in them? Do you read the labels? Have you ever made crackers?
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