World baby foods

What Babies Eat Around The World

When it comes to making baby food, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut: peas and chicken tonight, avocado and tuna tomorrow, turkey meatballs the next day, repeat. While you don’t have to ditch those tried and true favorites, you can add a bit of variety by taking culinary inspiration from these popular baby food dishes served around the world.

Chinese Babies Eat Steamed Fish

Steamed, deboned fish is abundant in China, and this healthful protein-packed meat is often prepared in a dish called congee. Congee is the rice cereal of the Asian world; it’s a neutral comfort food that can be easily altered with any ingredients you have on hand. In China, congee is often made with bamboo shoots or tofu in addition to steamed fish. Rice doesn’t grow as well in the climate of Northern China, so families in northern cities substitute rice with other ancient grains like millet.

Korean Babies Eat Seaweed

…and moms eat it too! Miyeokguk, or seaweed soup, has been a postpartum tradition since the eighth century. Babies seem to love the taste and texture of seaweed, and it’s rich in nutrients like iron, iodine, and fiber. Nori seaweed can be purchased at almost any health food store, and it makes a great occasional snack for your little one. It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids (hello, brain power!), calcium, vitamin B12, and more. Plus, the texture is so fun! It starts out crunchy but dissolves in your baby’s mouth, so it isn’t a choking hazard.

Spanish Babies Eat Paella 

Paella features saffron, one of Spain’s favorite spices, and a host of other tasty and healthy delicacies. Recipes depend on what’s in season, but all are some combination of meat or seafood, rice, and vegetables. Paella is popular because it’s easy to make with whatever you’ve got in the fridge, and you only use one pan to cook it all. Want to make it truly authentic? Add snails!


Swedish Babies Eat Bologna

Okay, so it’s not exactly bologna. But falukorv is a classic Swedish comfort food, and it’s prepared a lot like your average bologna. Typically made of pork or beef mixed with potato starch and basic spices (salt, pepper, onion, etc.), falukorv comes precooked and ready for eating. It can be sliced like a deli meat, fried, or baked with a tasty cheesy topping every baby will love. Falukorv makes a great addition to mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, or as a bacon replacement at breakfast. Like most sausage, it’s high in fat and not exactly the healthiest choice, so save it for a treat or snack time.

Indian Babies Eat Mung Beans

What, exactly, is a mung bean? Like other beans, these legumes are high in protein and fiber. Stateside, mung beans are most commonly found in their sprouted form, especially as a salad topper. In India, mung beans are known as moong daland are staples in several recipes for both adults and babies. Mung beans have a flexible flavor and will take on the taste of whatever you choose to cook them with. Plus, they cook much faster than other beans, so they’re a wonderful last-minute vegetarian meal. Rachel Ray suggests a porridge of mung beans, coconut milk, and ginger. Sounds delish!

Mexican Babies Eat Achiote

Achiote is a spice blend of annatto seed, oregano, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vinegar. Sound intriguing? Your baby will think so, too! Achiote adds depth and interest to your daily staples. Try rubbing it on grilled chicken or stirring it into the water you use to cook rice. Achiote is like a superspice – it’s a blend of several antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory spices. Smoky but not spicy, this underused flavor will punch up your meal and impress your baby’s palate.

Japanese Babies Eat Octopus

Octopus isn’t something most adultswould consider eating, but it’s a common dish for people of all ages in Japan. This delicacy is frequently served in dumpling form as either takoyakior akashiyaki. These little balls of yummy are fluffy and light – akashiyakiis typically made with egg, while takoyaki is made with flour. Either makes a great finger food for your toddler!

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

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Baby Food Around the World

Baby's Most Common "First Food" by Country


Did you know that baby food looks, feels and tastes different all around the world? 

It’s true: in America, certain things probably come to mind when we think of “baby food” (boxes of rice cereal, baby food jars, peas, carrots…), butfeeding babies is a cultural script. Much like so many other parenting norms and trends, what’s “normal” in one place may be bizarre in another, and vice versa. 

Around the world, it’s more common that baby’s first foods actually reflect any given culture’s native cuisine. In fact, the very concept of separate “baby foods” or “kid foods” doesn’t really exist in many other cultures, and children — including babies — are raised to eat what their families eat. stands in stark contrast to norms in the U.S., where we typically introduce babies first to, well, foods no one actually (wants to) eat (have youtried rice cereal and jarred peas???). And while most of our first foods for babies are bland and lacking in flavor, texture and nutrients, many first foods around the world expose babies right away to the flavors and tastes that are central to their ways of eating.

For example, recommendations in Germany suggest starting out with a meat-veggie-potato puree; in Japan, parents offer their babies rice, fish, and pickled vegetables; in France, diverse vegetables are at the center of babies’ plates; in Kenya, where vitamin A deficiency is a common problem, sweet potatoes (packed with vitamin A) are a classic first food.

This is all cute and fun (really, it is — check out the chart below for a little tour!), but it also speaks to a broader predicament: the first months and years of eating solid foods are crucial for establishing healthy eating habits and flavor/taste preferences. Other cultures have figured this out, andthey feed their children how they want them to eat right from the get-go (and their children, generally speaking, grow up to prefer and enjoy traditional dishes and more healthful eating practices). In comparison, the traditional American approach to starting solids is laying the foundation forless healthy, diverse and flavorful preferences. 

It’s not ideal… 

A point: babies don’t need to eat “special foods” — and they can benefit SO greatly from early and frequent exposure to a wide variety of fresh, flavorful foods. Ideally, they’re eating the same healthy foods we parents are eating ourselves. (For more on how parents influence baby’s eating, read here.)

The distinctly American approach toward starting solids stems from many factors (not least of which include formal medical recommendations from the AAP and decades of cultural conventions favoring processed foods), but thankfully we’re starting to see some newfound appreciation for the importance of these first experiences with eating — because the early years offer a window of opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy eating.  

We at Amara know all this and are dedicated to bringing families first foods that prep babies for flavorful, healthful eating right away. Our babies and children all deserve to eat the same nutritious, delicious and diverse foods we hope they’ll love to eat as they grow up; and all of our organic baby food blends are made to deliver just that. Amara baby food offers the same bright flavors, varying textures, and full nutrient profile of traditional homemade foods without sacrificing convenience or breaking the bank. It’sreal food for babies — not “baby food” — and it’s changing our children’s palates one plate at a time. Simply add water or breast milk, mix and serve! Click to learn more. 😊


Check out these traditional first dishes for babies from around the world: 

Country/ Region

Most Common First Food for Babies


Xifan, a rice porridge, paired with mashed fruits, soft vegetables, tofu, seaweed, eggs or fish


Rice cereal and radish; miso soup; rice porridge served with veggies and dried fish 


Cracked wheat porridge followed by khichdi, a mushy rice-lentil-vegetable dish often spiced with cumin, coriander, cinnamon or mint

Middle East

Hummus and baba ganoush


Rice, beans, and soups — sometimes topped with seasonings such as lime or chili powder; fresh fruits like papaya and avocado

South Africa

Corn porridge and fish


Khao tom (rice soup)


Pureed potatoes, vegetables, and/or meats

United Kingdom

Rice cereal, pureed vegetables, fruit


Brothy soups and fibrous porridges prepared with fish, meat, or vegetables


Vegetables(!) like leeks, spinach, endive, or beets, as well as soups and fine cheeses 


https://theconversation. com/parenting-practices-around-the-world-are-diverse-and-not-all-about-attachment-111281

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