Baby Food Around the World: What Baby's First Foods are Around the World

Baby Food Around the World
Baby's Most Common "First Food" by Country

Did you know that baby food looks, feels and tastes different in different parts of the world? Why? Parents tend to make conscious, well-thought out decisions based off of what they grew up with and the current trends in the wellness industry.

The Research Institute on Child Nutrition at the University of Dortmund in Germany recommends the following food choices for children in their first year:

  • Between the 4th and the 6th month: vegetable-potato-meat puree;
  • From the 6th month: milk-cereal based foods;
  • From the 7th month: cereal-fruit based foods;
  • From the 10th month: introduction of family meals.

In the U.S., we often choose foods based off of what our doctors may recommend and breastfeed for, on average, 6 months. The American Pediatrics Association recommends a longer duration -- 12 months. When you start solids, you have the choice between homemade baby food or buying baby food in grocery stores. Some choose to purchase their child's first solid foods while other seek to prepare solids from scratch. The choice of our baby’s first solids foods is based on ingredient as well as the “soft” effect the food has on your baby’s gastrointestinal system. This may include potatoes, avocados, squash and peas.

In different countries, many babies experience the food of their native cultures first hand. For example, in Japan, many parents prepare foods they enjoy such as rice, small amounts of fish and pickled vegetables.

In China, breast milk is often disregarded after 4 months. By that time, parents begin feeding their children milk-based foods, including rice.

France has a vegetable based diet, as explained by By: Anita Mirchandani, M.S, R.D, C.D.N:

“Most of the moms in France follow recommendations from the FSP (Societé Francaise de Pédiatrie) and the main focus is the introduction of vegetables with a variety of diversification. Often a new vegetable is introduced every 3-4 days between 4-6 months of age. Moms usually start with potato and soon after the suggested vegetables include carrots, green beans, spinach, zucchini (peeled and seeds removed), leeks (whites only), baby endive or baby chard, green peas. With many of these vegetables, a little cream cheese has been mixed into the purees. Vegetables higher in fiber are recommended to introduce after 9 months of age and fruits are not recommended to introduce until later on in age.”


Country/ Region

Most common Baby First Food?

China

Xifan, a rice porridge, followed by mashed fruits, soft vegetables, tofu, and fish

Japan

Rice cereal and radish

India

Cracked wheat “daliya” followed by Khichdi, a mushy rice-and-lentil-based dish

Middle East

Hummus and baba ganoush

Mexico

Soft tortillas, rice

South Africa

Corn porridge and fish

Thailand

Khao tom (rice soup)

Germany

Pureed potatoes and vegetables

United Kingdom

Rice cereal, pureed vegetables, fruit

United States

Pureed foods such as sweet potatoes, peas and avocados

 

So, depending on where you are born, the first foods that your baby eats may vary greatly. It’s always best to check with your pediatrician but it’s fun to see what tiny humans around the world are eating. Here at Amara, we bring you the taste, texture and nutrition of homemade in half the time. For a great introduction to solids, try Amara's Introduction to Solids variety pack. Babies all around the world are sure to enjoy it ;)

By Isabelle Marsh