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Why Are Biscuits Bad For Babies – Reasons To Avoid Them

Published on: 22 August , 2019 | Ekta

For millions all over the world, our day begins with a hot cup of tea/coffee dipped with our favorite biscuit. All of us have our favorites; I’m sure you have it too! Call them ‘biscuits’ in Europe or ‘cookies’ in the United States or crackers in UK, these delights are popular all over the world. There are kids who could survive only on them all day. There is nothing really wrong with these delicacies, until you really get to have an insight into the nutritional facts about them - and your take on tea and biscuits is surely going to take a U-turn! So, read on Why Are Biscuits Bad For Babies – Reasons To Avoid Them.

The word ‘biscuit’ is derived from two latin words bis – meaning ‘twice’ and coctus meaning ‘cooked’ – so put together it means double timed cooked or baked process of original biscuits. They are generally made from refined flours, sweetened with loads of sugar, high in calories (empty calories) and preservative content is really high.

Can we give biscuits to babies?

The commercial market is flooded with loads of options when it comes to biscuits. The general notion among mothers is that biscuits are easy to break, easy to feed, and hence a good option as a meal or snacks for babies. It is actually not. Biscuits can never replace the healthy meal options that we offer our babies. We aim to highlight the not-so-healthy aspects of the commercially bought cookies/biscuits. And some of the Nutritional facts are a real eye-opener; and some of them could come as a real shocker too.

Baby Biscuits

Why Are Biscuits Bad For Babies – Reasons To Avoid Them

  1. Refined wheat flour

The main ingredient which goes into the making of biscuits is refined wheat flour. Whole wheat is undoubtedly a healthier option; but the refined one is absolutely devoid of any nutritional aspects. Maida, as it is commonly called, is basically the discarded by-product of wheat as it undergoes the process of refinement and polishing, thereby wiping off all the health benefits of whole wheat, namely vitamins and fibre. Due to the lack of fibre it may also cause digestive issues like constipation and irregular bowel movement in babies as well as adults.  The reason behind this process of refinement is to make the biscuits tastier and increase their shelf life. Good for the store owners, and an absolute no-no for the consumers.

  • High in calories (empty calories)

It is believed that you could survive completely on biscuits, which is partly true. The ugly part being that you are bound to short-lived. Biscuits contain just enough calories to keep your body system functioning, but how that is the crucial question. Due to the refining process, the wheat flour converts into no-purpose flour. Thus, making this delicacy totally devoid of all good calories. They could fill up your stomach, but definitely not giving you any good calories, rest assured your nutritional benefits being almost nil.

  • High in Preservatives

Store bought biscuits and cookies contain Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Research says that they both are bad for human blood. Apart from this, biscuits also contain Sodium Benzoate, which is linked with certain types of DNA damage. The other disturbing aspect of the packaged biscuits is that they have baking soda as an ingredient which causes stomach problems like acid reflux in young toddlers and young babies. Finally, the flavoring agents which add the taste factor are known to cause brain damage, chest problems, tumours and so on. Thus, your baby is better off when kept away from all these food.

  • Allergic Reactions

Biscuits contain allergic substances like gluten and soya lecithin, which are the causes of allergic reactions in your baby in the form of:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin rashes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Trans fats

Also read Food & Skin Allergies During Pregnancy

The dough used to make biscuits has to be made firm and stable to maintain the consistency, shape and flavor for longer duration of time. Hence, trans fats, which are the additives are used for the same. The side-effects of the Trans fats are quite lethal – apart from being zero in nutrients, they cause a serious imbalance in the good cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels, vision problems in babies, nervous disorders, allergic conditions, diabetes in babies and obesity too. These are solid reason enough to completely cut off biscuits from your baby’s diet. There are brands which claim that there are no trans fats in their product, which is unlikely in most cases. The amount may vary, but every packaged food is sure to contain a certain amount of trans fat, the only thing which may vary is the concentration.

  • Constipation

Constipation in babies as well as adults could also be as a result of the consumption of maida, or all purpose flour. As this flour contains absolutely zero roughage and fibre, thus making it extremely difficult for the biscuits to pass through the gut. Thereby resulting in slow digestion and making it difficult for the babies to pass stools. Constipation could lead to various complications such as anal fissures, vomiting, fecal blood, stomach cramps, bloating and so on.

Also read How To Stop Diarrhea In Babies

  • Tendency to overeat

You just can’t stop at one. So very true when it comes to our favorite cookie/cracker/biscuit. What makes us go gaga over these seemingly attractive, yet a totally avoidable food? Research (Courtesy – A study published in 2014 at Connecticut College) has proved that human brain gets super hyper and activated after consuming biscuits due to the presence of cocaine and morphine in it. These very same ingredients that are present in coffee, chocolate and other caffeine-related items are known to give a certain kind of pleasure and a kick to the brain. That’s why we tend to overeat biscuits.

Also read Are The Well Marketed Foods Making You Fitter Or Fatter

  • High in sodium content

Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), a UK-based institute is working to reach a consensus with the food industry and Government over the harmful effects of a high salt diet supported by 25 scientific experts. Their research has proved that average sweet biscuits contain 0.4 gm of salt per 25 gms of ordinary sweetened biscuits. As we all know excess intake of sodium can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. The other common ill-effects being water retention which results in bloating, puffiness and weight gain.

  • High sugar content

Biscuits contain refined sugar; the amount varies from brand to brand though, which makes them artificially sweet and tasty. A particular type of sugar known as invert sugar is one of the main ingredients. This sugar is sweeter than glucose and is known to cause mild addictions such as sugar rushes, making your baby crave for more and more. Another quality of this sugar is that the sugar crystals are small in size and hence can be easily mixed in the dough. In addition to this, it can also hold moisture quite well preventing the biscuits from drying up when in contact with air, thus increasing the shelf life of the product. Consumption of high amounts of sugar results in diabetes, cancer, heart disease and so on.

Alternatives For Baby Biscuits For 4 months:

The above mentioned side effects of consuming store bought biscuits are an eye opener for most of us. For the most of us, biscuits have become a part of our routine, therefore difficult to totally avoid them. Similarly, for babies too biscuits are an easy option for in between snacks, or for on-the-go snacks. The best option would be to alternate these packaged ones with the following options:

  • Fresh, home-made biscuits: As you would have the liberty to choose the ingredients – be it the flour, fillings and the oil/butter to be used. Be it oats, millets, ragi, wheat flour, quinoa, nuts, dried fruits, all of this could make for one of the healthiest options of food for babies. There are many recipes available online for the same. However, care should be taken to add any raising agents/preservatives while baking. As it would defeat the very purpose of healthy and safe baking.
  • Organic biscuits: these biscuits come without any artificial colours or additives/preservatives and they are quite safe for your babies.

Popular Baby Biscuits Brands - Nutritional facts

Name                    FatsCarbohydratesProteins
Britannia Marie Gold   250.58 g 4.16 g0.5g
Sunfeast Marie Lite220.6 g3.81 g 0.42 g 
Britannia Nutri Choice813.5 g 11g   1.5g
Hide n Seek301.1g  4.5g          0.4g  
Bourbon673.1g 9.2g      0.7g
Wheat Rusk431g8 g   1.0 g
Glucose Parle – G220.6g      3.6g 1.25 g

Threptin Biscuits For Infants

Threptin Biscuits are far better than normal biscuits because it has a higher protein content, especially those who are lactose intolerant & cannot consume milk & dairy products. While you can give 1-2 diskettes of Threptin, best to limit the usage to times when your child is being picky about food or you are travelling.

Marie Biscuit For Baby

Which biscuits are good for babies?

Can we give Marie Biscuits to babies?

Best baby biscuit brands in India?

Are digestive biscuits good for babies?

These are common questions every mom has. Biscuits of any kind or bakery products is not good for babies as they contain refined wheat flour, added preservatives, emulsifiers and a lot of sugar. They can cause severe constipation. While Marie biscuits may contain lower amount of sugar compared to a Bourbon, Oreo or a Good Day, it is still advisable to avoid giving biscuits to kids, as they can be addictive.

Arrowroot Biscuit For Babies

Arrowroot biscuit is generally given to babies since it contains powdered starch that is derived from Tapioca, Kudzu & Cassava. Arrowroot is also used in custards & jellies. It is a good pain reliever during teething issues and diarrhea. If consumed in large quantities it can lead to constipation.   

Best Biscuits For Babies

If you are looking for the “Best Biscuits For Babies”, the answer is the that there are no brands commercially producing biscuits safe for babies. You can replace them with nuts, dried fruits and fruits.

Organic Homemade Baby Biscuits

Many recipes for healthy biscuits for babies are easily available on the internet. You can incorporate ingredients like ragi, oats, millets, cashews, almonds, walnuts, raisins and whole wheat flour. However, ensure you avoid raising agents, additives & emulsifiers while baking.

Effect Of Sugar On Toddlers

Withdrawal symptoms of sugar addiction can include mood changes & irritability, changes in activity level, either overactive or lethargic than usual. Common harms of too much sugar include obesity, malnutrition and irreversible tooth decay.

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A doting mom to an angel, Social Media Specialist & Professional Blogger. She loves to share her thoughts with other parents in the same turbulent boat. She absolutely loves & adores her family & is learning to strike a good work-life balance. When she is not writing, cooking or busy taking care of her toddler, she probably is dancing to some good desi music!

Ramya Ravindra Barithaya 2021-01-09 14:38:40

Well said... 👌

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pranita 2019-12-14 11:41:56

Very nice, I didn't like even smell of biscuits , it's really harmful to eat in more proportion.

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pranita 2019-12-14 11:41:56

Absolutely Pranita... I agree!

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Thank you for the comment!