Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Parents, especially new ones, often appear to struggle with determining what to feed their infants. Bread for babies can be considered as the first food as it contains a variety of nutrients such as carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and micronutrients. It is made from wheat flour and is a common food for many people worldwide. However, because wheat is a common allergen, take measures while feeding wheat bread to babies for the first time (1).

This post discusses the nutritional content of bread, when you should start feeding your baby wheat bread, and what precautions you should take when feeding it to babies.

Is It Safe To Give Bread To Babies?

Yes, bread is safe for babies. Experts recommend feeding 100% whole-wheat bread as it can provide considerable amounts of carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, and essential micronutrients, like iron, zinc, and thiamin (2). However, while adding it to your baby’s weaning diet, check for possible sensitivity or allergic reactions, especially if you or anyone in your family has a history of allergies.

Babies with a confirmed wheat allergy should avoid all wheat products, including baby cereals, bread, pasta, and crackers. Most infants outgrow wheat allergy within early childhood (3) (4).

Look for breads that do not contain any additives and preservatives such as BHA, BHT, wheat gluten. Choose the breads that have ingredients such as whole sprouted grains and seeds with minimal or no added oil.

Related: Pasta For Babies: When To Eat And Easy Recipes To Try

When Can You Give Bread To Babies?

According to the UK National Health Service, you can introduce bread to babies from the age of six months (5). Bread can be among the first foods when a six-month-old begins eating solids. Pick fresh, 100% whole-wheat bread without any seeds or nuts (6). Serve lightly-toasted bread, cut in small pieces that are easy to swallow for a baby without the risk of choking.

Nutritive Value Of Bread

Below is the proximate composition comparison of one medium-sized slice of refined bread, whole wheat bread, and enriched bread (7) (8) (9). Whole-wheat bread is made from whole-wheat flour that contains all the nutritious parts of the wheat grain, namely bran, germ, and endosperm, while refined wheat flour only contains the endosperm. Enriched bread is made from enriched flour, which is refined flour fortified with nutrients that were lost during the milling process.

NameWhole-wheat breadRefined breadEnriched breadEnergy (Kcal)90.774.569.9Protein (g)4.482.482Carbohydrate, by difference (g)15.413.813Fiber, total dietary (g)2.160.7560Calcium, Ca (mg)5840.325Magnesium, Mg (mg)276.440Phosphorus, P (mg)76.327.40Potassium, K (mg)91.435.320Sodium, Na (mg)164137120Thiamin (mg)0.1420.1490Riboflavin (mg)0.060.0680.1Niacin (mg)1.61.341.1Folate, total (µg)15.131.125*Choline, total (mg)9.794.090

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Related: Wheat For Babies: Right Age To Introduce And Precautions To Take

How Much Bread Should You Give To Your Infant?

Whole-wheat bread in moderation can be an important part of a well-balanced diet. Below is the daily suggested intake for grains, including bread, for babies (10) (11).

Age (months)Suggested daily serving 6 to 81 to 2 ounces (28-56 grams) of iron-fortified infant cereals, bread, and small pieces of crackers and half slice of whole-wheat bread per day8 to 122 to 4 ounces (56-113 grams) of iron-fortified cereals, other grains, bread, crackers, noodles, tortilla pieces, etc and one large, one medium, and one small slice of whole-wheat bread per day

Source: NCBI and South Dakota WIC Program

Precautions To Take While Giving Bread To Babies

Here are some simple precautions to ensure the safe intake of bread for babies and toddlers.

  1. Prefer whole-wheat bread to refined or enriched bread. Look for “100% Whole-Wheat” labels on the bread packaging.
  2. Not every “brown bread” is 100% whole-wheat bread. Check the ingredients for the mention of 100% whole-wheat flour. Also, check for the percentage of whole-wheat. Use bread made from 100% whole-wheat flour.
  3. Avoid multi-grain whole-wheat bread since it may contain seeds and nuts. Only pick single grain (whole-wheat) bread to avoid possible allergic reactions.
  4. Go for low sodium and no-added sweetener varieties. Also, check for the presence of any other additives, such as food color.
  5. Check the manufacturing date and “best before” or “use by” date. Prefer fresh bread.
  6. Follow a “three to five-day wait” while introducing bread to rule out sensitivities or allergies towards wheat. Add no new food while you are feeding bread to your baby.
  7. General symptoms of wheat allergy are hives, wheezing, stomach ache, and diarrhea, occurring immediately after the baby eats food made with wheat (1) (3). Babies that experience bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache but no wheezing or hives are likely to have wheat sensitivity or celiac disease (12) (13). It can be hard to distinguish symptoms of wheat allergy or sensitivity from those of celiac disease (14). Therefore, stop feeding wheat products to the baby and consult a doctor for the precise diagnosis.

Related: Hives On Baby: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention

  1. Babies with wheat allergy or wheat sensitivity can have bread made from flours of almonds, legumes, and tubers. Take your pediatrician’s opinion before introducing these alternative options. Ancient grains such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and teff make nutritious breads.
  2. If wheat suits the baby, then feed whole-wheat bread in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet. Overconsumption may fill up the baby’s tummy and leave no space for breast milk and other foods.
  3. Toast the bread and cut it into small pieces that are easy to swallow. If the baby does not like the bread, wait for a few days and try again. You can also introduce bread in combination with other foods, such as vegetable and fruit purees.
  4. Babies above eight months of age can consume small, bite-sized lightly toasted bread, breadsticks, bread crusts, and pitta bread as finger foods (15).
  5. For toddlers who eat a wide variety of solids, you can consider trying other types of bread, such as whole-grain cornbread, whole-grain or sprouted rye bread, whole-grain multi-grain bread, sourdough bread, and flax bread, after consulting a pediatrician.

Tasty Bread Recipes For Babies

You can feed bread to your baby as a simple toast or by soaking it in a small quantity of warm milk. Alternatively, you may use the following recipes.

1. Jammy bread fingers

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock 

The easy-to-prepare finger food recipe can be a part of your baby’s breakfast meal.

You will need:
  • 1 whole-wheat bread slice
  • 1tsp blueberry jam (or any jam of choice)
How to:
  1. Slice the whole-wheat bread into thin fingers.
  2. Apply jam to these slices of bread and serve immediately.
  3. You can slightly toast the bread before slicing.

2. Buttery banana bread slices

Can babies eat seeds in bread?
Can babies eat seeds in bread?
Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Image: Shutterstock

A perfect finger food recipe made with nutritious ingredients, like fresh fruits and peanut butter. This is suitable for toddlers.

You will need:
  • 1 banana bread slice
  • 1tsp plain peanut butter (without peanut chunks)
  • 1tbsp tiny mixed fruit pieces (mango and strawberry)
How to:
  1. Spread the peanut butter on the banana bread slice and decorate with tiny mixed fruit pieces.
  2. Serve immediately with a cup of warm milk or fresh homemade veggie juice.
  3. You can add toasted sesame seeds and flaxseeds to this recipe.

Related: Banana For Babies: Benefits, Precautions, & 6 Recipes To Try

3. Multi-grain French toast

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Image: Shutterstock

French toast is a delicious traditional treat for babies above 12 months of age.

You will need:
  • Multi-grain bread slice
  • ¼tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1tsp brown sugar
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • ⅛ cup whole milk
  • 1tsp maple syrup


How to:
  1. Add cinnamon, sugar, egg, and milk in a small bowl, whisk well and set aside.
  2. Keep a skillet over medium heat and put butter onto it to melt.
  3. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and then place it on the skillet to fry.
  4. Fry the slice until it turns golden brown from both the sides.
  5. Drizzle some maple syrup and serve the French toast while still warm.

4. Cheesy mini sandwiches

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Image: Shutterstock

Mini sandwiches are a healthy snack option for babies and toddlers.

You will need:
  • 2  whole-wheat bread slices
  • 1tsp mint sauce
  • 1tsp tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup cucumber (grated)
  • 1tbsp cream cheese
How to:
  1. Take a small mixing bowl and mix mint sauce, tomato sauce, and cream cheese in it.
  2. Spread a thick layer of the mixture to one slice, top with grated cucumber, and cover with another slice.
  3. Press the sandwich gently and cut it into four small squares.
  4. Serve immediately with fresh vegetable juice or a cup of warm milk.
  5. You can also add cooked cottage cheese to this recipe to intensify its nutritional value.

Related: Cheese For Babies: When To Introduce, Benefits And Recipes

5. Bread upma

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Can babies eat seeds in bread?

Image: Shutterstock

A healthy and delicious recipe suitable for babies above ten months of age.

You will need:
  • 1 cup crumbled whole-wheat bread
  • 2tbsp peanuts
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 small tomato (diced)
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 4-5 curry leaves
How to:
  1. Put oil in a thick bottom pan, add peanuts, and fry them for ten seconds.
  2. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and onion and fry until onions turn golden brown.
  3. Now, add tomato, turmeric, and salt, and cook for five minutes.
  4. Add crumbled bread to the mix and give a nice toss. Cook for five minutes with the lid closed.
  5. Transfer the cooked bread upma to a serving plate, add lemon juice, and serve.

Alternatives Of Bread For Babies

Some food items that can be alternatives to bread for babies are:

  • Whole-wheat pancakes
  • Oats pancakes
  • Millet pancakes
  • Whole-wheat chapatis
  • Corn tortillas

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I feed white bread to my baby?

White bread is softer in texture than whole wheat or millet bread. Thus, several parents prefer to feed white bread to babies. However, it is essential to note that the content of fiber, protein, and several other nutrients, such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium is relatively less in white bread (7) (8) (9). Hence, it is good to feed whole wheat bread to babies. However, you can also feed them enriched white bread occasionally.

2. When can my baby eat bread and butter?

Babies can eat bread and butter from six months of age. You can use unsalted butter and apply it on lightly toasted bread slices that babies can eat as finger foods and practice self-feeding. Alternatively, you can add small amounts of butter to purees, mashed foods, and porridge to enhance the food’s flavor (16). However, keep the use of butter minimal as excessive butter intake isn’t good for long-term health.

Bread for babies can be a great first food because of its nutrient-rich components. It is prepared from wheat flour and contains carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and minerals. While several types of bread are available, 100% whole-wheat bread and bread made with diverse grains, legumes, and seeds are preferred. However, since wheat is a common allergen in babies, follow a “wait rule” when introducing bread to babies to watch out for any adverse reactions. You should also search for bread that is free of additives and preservatives.

Infographic: Nutritious Bread Recipes For Baby-led Weaning

Baby-led weaning enables the baby to self-feed using their fingers. Since holding the food with fingers can be tricky for babies, we bring you delectable yet healthy baby-led weaning bread recipes that a baby can hold and eat comfortably. Go through these recipes and turn the plain bread into a nutritious delight that your baby will love to relish. Pin these recipes and share them with fellow parents.

Can a baby eat bread with seeds?

It's best not to offer babies bread which contains large seeds (or even lots of scratchy seeds on the outside), especially when they are young and new to weaning. Hard seeds in foods such as bread COULD pose a choking risk for babies.

What age can babies have seeded bread?

The Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives the go-ahead for starting a variety of solid foods from around 6 months old — and bread can be included from this age.

Can babies eat multigrain bread?

Yes—as long as a child does not have wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease. Gluten is simply a type of protein in wheat and other grains such as barley, rye, and some oats.

Can babies eat seeds?

For instance, we say that seeds are just fine for babies even as young as 6-9 months old as long as they're finely ground. Chia, sesame, and hemp seeds are generally OK left whole and mixed into recipes. When in doubt, we always recommend grinding seeds into a dry powder and mixing them into other foods for babies.