Farleys Rusks, not just a childhood addiction! Originally made in my hometown of Plymouth, I could easily have been forgiven for despising the sight, the thought or the taste of them. The aroma used to waft over the whole of the city Instead it fuelled my passion for these oversize delicious biscuits, which incidentally are designed for weaning small babies, and as a finger food for older babies and toddlers. Sold in boxes of 9 or 18, they can cost around £1. For 9 rusks. They are especially suitable for invalids and the elderly, as they appear to be very easy to digest. Available in various flavours there are both savoury and sweet, I still prefer the original. Although they do contain a lot of sugar, dental hygiene is a real must. I am told that my addiction started at an early age, with relatives working there and able to buy the broken biscuits, large bags of Farley’s were the norm in our house. As far as I am aware the recipes for the original rusks are still used, they certainly don’t taste any different that they did years ago. They can be eaten as biscuits or be mashed with water or milk. The ingredients are non-dairy, which makes them also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Made mainly from Wheat flour, they are fortified with minerals and vitamins. I got the box down to look at the ingredients and already we have eaten 2….. And a half. And the kids are in bed ;-). There really are not any disadvantages apart from the price and the fact that they don’t come in super large economy packs that last more than 3 days in a hungry household.
My daughter is seven months and it has be said that she is a little bit of a pig when it comes to eating. He really hates it when every one else is eating and she isnt (cant think where she gets that from!). I was giving her rusks but she was forever dropping them and the less said about how much sugar they have got in them the better. I found these breadsticks in my local supermarket and the baby loves them. They havent got any added salt or sugar and they are made for little fingers to hold. She eats them easily and even though she hasnt got any teeth, she makes short work of them. They come in boxes of 32 which consists of eight individual packs of fourand are very reasonably priced at 99p.
When I started to wean my daughter I tried her on various things, such as Farleys Rusks. I thought that these should be great as they are designed especially for babies. They do claim that rusks are "an ideal weaning food". Then I watched Watchdog one evening I was very angry to find out that there is as much sugar in one rusk as there is in a sugar doughnut!! Apparently the reduced sugar ones are not much better either. So since then I haven't bought Farley's Rusks and have looked for better alternatives such as rice cakes. I think the reduced sugar Rich Tea finger biscuits are much better and cheaper, and have a lot less sugar than rusks. Even the baby juices are filled with sugar and other rubbish. How can the manufacturers claim that their product is great for babies, when they are in fact encouraging a sweet tooth? The later a child is introduced to sugary things, the better.
I have my cupboard stocked with these packets of food. Its mainly the breakfasts that Jack loves more than anything. He loves the oats and apple cereal. It does work out more expensive and i'm afraid that the sugar content is very high but he does love them even so. The packets in my case don't last very long as Jack has about 5-6 tablespoons per breakfast, so I wish that they made the packets bigger and little cheaper too, as I pay about £2.05 from Boots. We have tried other cereals and he is not so keen and does not like weetabix or readybrek, yet, but will do soon. When I was in the stages of weaning Jack I gave him some of the puddings and he did quite like them but mine always had lumps in them, perhaps I was doing something wrong. They are well worth getting for emergencies and I will always have them in my cupboard.
I would like to recommend Farley's dried food packets which have been a real god-send when time is short. In particular, the baby porridge is lovely and has a smooth, creamy texture that my baby really enjoys. They also have a good variety of desserts including strawberry yogurt and rice pudding with fruits. I haven't tried their savoury range yet since I prefer to make my own meals for him, but if the breakfasts and desserts are anything to go by, I'm sure they are tasty as well. The thing that I really like is the fact that you just have to add previously boiled water to the contents, stir well and away you go. I have always found the meals mix well with no powdery residue. A great time-saver when going out for the day when all you need is a flask of warm water! You are also able to mix each meal to your baby's preferred consistency. My son has always preferred a thicker texture and turns his nose up at anything remotely runny, which solves this little problem. When you see the price, you may think it works out expensive, but each packet lasts quite a while.