What does baby food taste like

Adults Eating Baby Food - Baby Food Taste Tests - Puree, Formula, Pedialyte

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By Andy Kryza

Published on 11/20/2014 at 10:00 PM

Andy Kryza

I firmly believe that in order to be a proper caregiver, it's important to fully understand what your dependents are eating. When I got a puppy, I felt it was my duty to taste the snacks my best friend most enjoyed. Now, with my lovely wife expecting our firstborn, it became my mission to get a fatherly grasp on what would provide my progeny with nutrition.

Bravely, I made haste to the grocery store and grabbed a random sampling of common baby and toddler foods. Which is a more eloquent way of saying I got some standard purees and formulas, then looked for unappealing combinations of ground-up meats, veggies, and other mystery ingredients. I started with infant formula, then progressed through the smorgasbord based on the intended age of consumption. Here they are, rated on a scale of 1-10, 1 indicating that it tastes like something found in a diaper, 10 being something I'd totally eat again. There weren't any 10s.

Andy Kryza

Infant Formula

You know what this tastes like? A gross version of the almond milk my wife always tries to convince me is the same as real milk, which it's not. Do you ever dunk cookies in almond milk? It's like dunking them in water. Also, why does my mouth taste drier than it did before I put this liquid in my mouth? Is this why babies are always drinking?
Rating: 6

Andy Kryza


Fun fact: my sister told me she used to eat pureed plum baby food in high school (my brother says she still does). She says they're delicious. But she also really likes Dave Matthews, so it's dubious. These are perfection... if you enjoy the taste of pre-chewed raisins.
Rating: 5

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Andy Kryza

Other Fruits and Vegetables

Unsurprisingly, the other fruits and veggies taste like what they are. The carrots taste like carrots. The apples taste like applesauce. The snozberries taste like snozberries. You're not reading this to watch a grown man eat apple sauce. Moving on.
Rating: 7

Andy Kryza

Pureed Chicken

I'm pretty weirded out that the Chicken & Vegetable flavor looks like mustard, but hey, I like mustard. But this doesn't taste like mustard. It tastes like watered-down day-old gravy, and it's pretty damn gross.

I'm even more weirded out that the Chicken & Rice is a completely different color. It's brown. But even more alarming? It's all grainy. And it's sweet. It tastes like somebody took a can of Campbell's low-sodium chicken soup and, when it came time to put in the can of water, dumped in some apple juice instead. Hello, dry heaves! I was wondering when you were coming to the party.
Rating: 2

Andy Kryza

Mac & Cheese with Vegetables

First, unless the vegetable is bacon, vegetables don't belong in mac & cheese. Second, I'm pretty sure this is just Tostitos cheddar dip that somebody forgot to put the cheese flavoring in. Well, probably not, because it's for babies. Still, if this was the first taste of mac & cheese that my child got, I'm pretty sure I'd never forgive myself for being a failure as a father.
Rating: 1

Andy Kryza

Ham with Ham Gravy

When I popped this jar open, I got a heavy whiff that reminded me of Spam. Which is awesome, because I actually like Spam. So I put a huge scoop of this in my mouth and... MOTHER OF GOD! It's like somebody used hot ham water to make some sort of papier-mâché paste, then put it in a jar. And it's sticking to the roof of my mouth. Ye gods! The terrible taste of this ham goop and the glorious scent of Spam are jockeying for my sensory attention. I think I'm going to pass out. Time for a palate cleanser.
Rating: -37

Andy Kryza


That's more like it. Pedialyte tastes like a cross between Gatorade and Dimetapp, which leads me to believe that all electrolytes taste the same. It's thick and slightly sweet and it's making me feel a lot better about my life choices. Also, I hear it's great for hangovers. This is the stuff!
Rating: 8

Andy Kryza

Apple Raisin Quinoa Squeeze Pack

It's like Go-Gurt, except grainier from the quinoa. At least I think it's the quinoa. I'm still not entirely sure what quinoa really is, to be honest. I think all this food is making me dumber. Maybe this tastes like a non-dairy yogurt substitute. I'm not sure about that either. It's been a while since I've had any yogurt that didn't have a pound of gummy worms and peanut butter cups inside.
Rating: 6

Andy Kryza

Rice Rusks

Now we're getting to the good stuff: teething foods! Holler at a rice rusk! These ones are called Baby Mum-Mum, because babies like stupid noises, I think. And they're banana-flavored. They taste like rice cakes, which makes me feel like I'm being healthy. I could gum the sh*t out of these things for days. But... maybe not these ones, because I just noticed the brand is Hot Kid, and the logo is a little cartoon kid with no shirt on. This disturbs me to the point that I can't stomach any more Mum-Mum. Well, maybe one more...
Rating: 7

Andy Kryza

Lil' Crunchies

First of all, I've been listening to Lil' Crunchies since way before he signed to Roc Nation. Also, these are basically Cheetos! For babies! And they're baby-sized! Hell yes. They're pretty light on the flavor front, because nobody wants to jack baby's sodium level up too high. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't eat the whole goddamned package, and then chase them with more Pedialyte. Because nothing goes with Cheetos quite like an infusion of electrolytes.
Rating: 9

Andy Kryza

Pasta Stars with Chicken & Vegetables

Now we're in toddler territory, and everybody knows that toddlers like... um, dog food? Because that's what this smells like. But look at all those chunks of chicken and veggies! And who doesn't like gravy and stars? Actually... surprisingly, this tastes better than it smells. Add some salt and pepper, and baby you've got a stew going. Dinty Moore stew, more specifically, and that's a good thing! (Did I just have an epiphany about my love of Hormel?!)
Rating: 5

Andy Kryza

Chicken Sticks

It's like somebody took a bunch of ground chicken, dried it out, rolled it in sand, and put it in a casing. Even weirder, they come in a little jar full of preserving liquid that looks like one of those jars you see in sci-fi flicks with heads floating in them. Unlike the Pasta Stars, these actually smell AND look like dog food. I wonder if the dog would eat it...
Rating: 3

Andy Kryza

... yup. He's into it. He ate four, and then laid down for an hour. To be fair, he also likes the cat box. I'm not sure whether babies enjoy cat boxes, but I'm starting to see a pattern here.
Bonus dog rating: 10, putting it on par with litter and whatever is in the garbage when I leave the house, which today includes these baby hot dogs. Nicely done, Kuma.

Andy Kryza


It pains me to say it, but... babies are stupid. They can't talk. They can't drive. And they have terrible taste. They'll eat anything we give them. No wonder they require so many diapers. But for reals, I'm going to go get more of those Cheetos.

Andy Kryza is a senior editor on Thrillist's National Food and Drink team. He plans to feed his baby nothing but Beef 'n Cheddars tossed in a Vitamix. Follow him to surprise visits from Child Services via @apkryza.

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      What Does Baby Formula Taste Like?

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      Have you ever been tempted to try your baby’s milk? Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, it is only natural to feel curious and want to know what the milk you are feeding your baby actually tastes like.

      Babies can not talk so we can’t hear straight from the little one’s mouth what breast milk or baby formula tastes like. Some parents resort to trying their baby’s milk themselves to find out firsthand what it tastes like and whether they are feeding their baby something that tastes good or not. 

      If you are bottle feeding and are curious to know what baby formula tastes like and want to know if there is a formula that tastes like breast milk or if all formulas taste the same, you will find all of the answers in this article.  

      Table of Contents

      • 1 Does Formula Taste The Same As Breast Milk?
      • 2 What Does Baby Formula Taste Like?
      • 3 Why Does Baby formula Taste Metallic and fishy?
      • 4 Does All Formula Taste The Same?
      • 5 Which Baby Formula Tastes Closest To Breastmilk?
        • 5.1 Gerber Good Start Infant Formula
        • 5.2 Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula
        • 5.3 Similac Isomil Infant Formula
      • 6 FAQs
        • 6.1 Does baby formula taste different?
        • 6.2 What formula do breastfed babies prefer?
        • 6.3 What is the best formula for a newborn?
      • 7 The Final Thought

      Does Formula Taste The Same As Breast Milk?

      Baby formula and breast milk are two completely different substances and while formula companies have tried, no formula can mimic the taste of breast milk exactly.

      Breast milk is made completely naturally in a mom’s body and is constantly changing to support her baby’s specific needs.

      The taste of breast milk can vary from feed to feed and it is an impossible task to create formula milk that can replicate the unique taste of breast milk.

      Breast milk is often described as being very sweet and like a watery version of skimmed cow’s milk or sweetened almond or soya milk. Each mother’s breastmilk will taste slightly different and the taste can be impacted by certain foods that a mom consumes. 

      To answer the question simply: no, formula does not taste the same as breast milk. 

      What Does Baby Formula Taste Like?

      So, if it doesn’t taste like breastmilk, what does baby formula taste like?

      In order to provide your baby with sufficient nutrition, baby formula companies must try their best to include as many vitamins, minerals, and fats as breastmilk. Unfortunately for babies, this combination of ingredients doesn’t always taste good. 

      Baby formula has been described as tasting bitter, fishy and metallic. However, often companies will add sweeteners to their formula to make the taste more palatable for babies.

      Due to these added sweeteners, some formulas can taste too sweet, where other brands haven’t managed to get the balance right either and the formula milk tastes bitter and unpleasant.  

      Why Does Baby formula Taste Metallic and fishy?

      What exact ingredients in the formula make it taste fishy and metallic?

      Many companies will fortify their formula with added iron, this can make the milk taste a bit metallic. When omega-3 is added to formula milk it can cause the milk to have a bit of a fishy after taste.

      Some formula milk tastes sour, others are sweet and some have a not very nice metallic and fishy taste. When you know that formula milk can taste so bad, it makes it easier to understand why some babies refuse to drink it.

      Related Reading: 5 Uses for Expired Baby Formula

      Does All Formula Taste The Same?

      As we explained above, not all formula milk tastes exactly the same. The taste of a particular brand of formula will depend on what ingredients have been used to make it.

      For example, Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula has been created to taste similar to breastmilk and only uses lactose for sweetness as this is the only sweetener found in breastmilk.

      Whereas, Parent’s Choice Infant Formula is a gluten-free soy-based baby formula milk and is not as sweet as other soy and cow milk-based formula.

      Which Baby Formula Tastes Closest To Breastmilk?

      If you have a baby refusing to drink formula because they think their formula milk tastes bad, you may be despairing after reading this article. Don’t worry, there is formula milk that has been created to taste as close to breastmilk as possible.

      It is impossible to mimic the taste and composition of breastmilk exactly but many formula companies have done a pretty good job of making formula that tastes more like breastmilk so fussy babies will be more willing to drink it.

      The taste of breast milk may not have a consistent taste but more often than not it is sweet. Babies tend to be more accepting of formula milk that has a sweet taste as it is closer to the milk taste they are used to from nursing.

      Many brands claim that their milk is the best-tasting baby formula but not all of them taste similar to breast milk.  

      Here is a list of the top 3 baby formula milk that tastes most like breast milk:

      Gerber Good Start Infant Formula

      This formula is said to taste similar to breast milk and includes proteins that are easily digested by your baby. Gerber Good Start Infant Formula uses corn maltodextrin and lactose as sweeteners and it is suitable for lactose intolerant babies.

      This is a baby formula that tastes like breast milk and has no strong odor, meaning it is likely to be accepted by more babies. 

      Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula

      The Enfamil Enspire is one of few baby formula milks that tastes closest to breast milk. The only sweetener used in Enfamil Enspire is lactose, making the taste as similar as possible to breast milk.

      Lactose gives breast milk its natural sweetness. This baby formula includes several probiotics, making it easier for babies to digest. Enfamil tastes like breast milk and can be easily digested in a similar way to breast milk, maybe this could be the formula for your fussy baby? 

      Similac Isomil Infant Formula

      This is a soy-based baby formula made from high-quality soy protein. Soy-based formula milk tends to be less sweet than cow’s milk formulas.

      To make the taste more palatable, formula companies add extra sugar to soy-based baby formula, encouraging more babies to enjoy its sweet taste. Similac is said to taste much better than other soy-based formula milk and its sweetness makes it taste similar to breast milk. 


      Does baby formula taste different?

      The taste is usually one of the biggest differences between formulas. But remember that each baby is different and not all will like the same formula. Considering that breastmilk changes taste depending on what the mom eats, the flavor is not considered a huge factor for most formula-fed babies.

      What formula do breastfed babies prefer?

      For those babies that are full-term and who are at least breastfed part of the time, the AAP recommends a cow’s milk-based formula that is iron-fortified.

      What is the best formula for a newborn?

      There is a huge range of formulas available that are perfect for newborns such as; Similac, Enfamil, Gerber, Earth’s Organic Dairy Infant Formula, or Happy Baby Organics. But be prepared that you may have to swap and change formulas to find the one that best suits your little one.

      The Final Thought

      As parents, we want to know what our babies are eating and many of us are curious to know what our baby’s milk really tastes like. As you have read in this article, all formula milk tastes slightly different, the taste isn’t consistent and often formula doesn’t taste anything like breast milk.

      Formula can sometimes taste gross and some babies hate it. Other formulas have been sweetened or include lactose and these formulas tend to be accepted by babies more often as they taste more like breast milk.

      There is no one best-tasting formula but there are many formula milks that have been created to taste better and mimic the taste of breastmilk. 

      If you would like to compare some of these brands then check out our other articles such as Enfamil vs Gerber or Parent’s Choice vs Enfamil.

      Emma Davies

      Hi, I'm Emma and I'm a mother to 5 beautiful children aged from 1 to 21 years old- life is hectic! I have learned so much along the way, not only from my own children but also through my professional life. In my positions as a Childminder and Teaching Assistant, I have studied Child Development and The Early Years Developing Practice. I wish to share all of this knowledge and help you with your own parenting journey!

      Is it possible for adults to eat baby food: benefits and harms

      Natalia Kurzova / Adobe Stock

      Now we will talk about the benefits and harms of products made specifically for children. These include fruit and vegetable purees, juices and nectars, yoghurts and curds, cereals and various snacks for the little ones.

      Pluses of baby food

      No harmful ingredients

      It is clear that baby food is made specifically for babies. Therefore, they do not add harmful additives, dyes, flavors, a lot of sugar and salt. Not a single ingredient in the composition should cause an allergy or any disorder in a baby - which means that such food is safe for an adult. Moreover, manufacturers are strictly looked after - all children's products undergo a thorough check, and only then they get on the shelves in stores.

      Tasty and convenient

      Children's curds, cereals and purees with a sweet fruity taste can easily replace high-calorie cakes and other "adult" desserts. Some may also like cookies in cute little packages.

      Speaking of packaging. Kids are not physically able to eat a lot, so for them everything is laid out in small portions. And these jars and packaging are very convenient to take with you for a walk, to school or university.

      Low Calorie

      Children's fruit and vegetable purees, and in such tiny portions, are very, very few calories! Some stars even specifically switch to only baby food in order to lose weight. So, for example, did Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

      Ready to follow suit? Well, slow down. Now let's talk about why you shouldn't do this.

      Disadvantages of baby food

      Few essential nutrients

      Yes, these tasty purees contain only useful things and nothing harmful. But do not forget that this is still baby food. That is, it is made specifically for babies - taking into account the peculiarities of digestion of young children. And the body of an adult, you know, is very different. An adult needs a lot more fiber and dietary fiber - otherwise problems with the intestines will begin.

      Sometimes it's not so tasty

      Taste is both a plus and a minus of baby food. Sweet foods really look like a delicious dessert, but mashed vegetables and meat? We are used to cooking with all sorts of spices, which will definitely not be in the composition of dishes from a jar. In general, "adult" and "children's" food is very different in taste. You can, of course, get used to eating baby food all the time ... But why?

      Is it useful or not?

      There is nothing wrong with snacking on baby food occasionally. It can be quite healthy, tasty and without extra calories. But you definitely can’t replace all breakfasts, lunches and dinners with them - in this way you will deprive yourself of important components and harm your health.

      Ekaterina Migacheva, Elena Bugay


      • food
      • healthy food

      Harm of baby food in jars

      Jars with ready-made puree surprise not only with high demand, but also with high demand. Fruit, berry, vegetable, with meat, cereals, cream - under each brand there are dozens of items. In a previous publication, we talked in detail about 5 reasons for the popularity of baby puree in jars, and today we will consider the likely harm that such food can cause to a child's body.

      Nutritionists, pediatricians and parents disagree on this issue. There are three strong arguments against portioned canned food.

      Taste different from homemade food.

      Difficulty in weaning a child from a homogeneous consistency.

      Unpredictable quality.

      How does baby food taste in jars?

      Even if a characteristic pop is heard when opening the container, parents are still obliged to taste the food that they offer their child. Many are surprised at how strange the content is. It is clear that most purees do not contain salt, sugar, flavoring additives. But they often turn out to be not just bland, but unnatural, too different from those that mothers cook on their own.

      The reason for this is the merciless grinding and intense heat treatment that precedes vacuum packaging. However, it is very difficult to transfer a child from such refined food to a common family table. What will be the taste specificity of food in the first months of complementary foods will determine future preferences and the ability to organize healthy baby food at school age.

      The child is too lazy to chew

      Baby purees under different brands also differ in consistency. For example, it is convenient to scoop up meat and fish with a spoon, but some even at room temperature remain monolithic, as if fastened with starch. It is not easy to mix such a substance with potatoes or green vegetables. You just have to cut it into pieces with a spoon. But in any case, the food in jars is crushed as much as possible and is a homogeneous mass.

      It is good when feeding a baby up to one year old. But later, when enough teeth have erupted, the food should become coarser. Reasonable exercise is very important for the health of the gums and teeth. Ready-made vegetable puree in jars is easier for everyone: parents save time on cooking, and children save energy on chewing. As a result, it turns out that upon reaching the age of two, some kids refuse salads, normal soups, vegetable stews. They still demand to puree dishes, recognizing only the usual consistency.

      Adults have many problems. There is not enough time and energy for endless persuasion, you won’t leave your beloved child hungry either, no tricks (decorating dishes, disguise) help. Whims at the table are dangerous. Even if the baby gives in under parental pressure, he has a great chance of choking, swallowing tears along with food.

      Another difficulty is that a "homogeneous" diet will be limited. If you pass buckwheat with meat or baked potatoes with chicken through a blender, at the output we get a very viscous, thick mass - completely unappetizing. The habit of normal food sometimes comes only with admission to kindergarten.

      You can switch from canned puree to homemade puree from 8-9 months. At first, mix, say, a “canned” zucchini with boiled, grated on a fine grater. Then increase your portion by decreasing the canned portion. This will take about a week. Then, according to the same principle, we grind part of the product on a medium-sized grater, closer to a year - on a large one, or simply knead it with a fork.

      Are baby canned foods subject to high quality control?

      They say that buckwheat is the only crop that has not yet been disfigured by genetic modification. Vegetables abound in various additives for rapid growth and disease resistance, and livestock that will become meat are laced with antibiotics and hormones.

      Learn more