what babies in other countries eat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 08-13-2008, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it just struck my curiosity as I feed my almost 8-month-olds their solids (in addition to breastmilk, they get 95%+ intake mommy's milk ) what other babies eat. Say in Japan, what do those babies mostly eat? I'm assuming tofu and rice. My kidlets HATE rice cereal. I basically food process and puree up whatever I'm eating and they love it. They even love thai curry! (not too spicy but still). I'm getting flack from some "concerned" peeps why I'm not traditionally wanting to just give them rice cereal and the packaged stuff. I just think it's so bland and boring, and they really LOVE what I'm eating (Indian, Thai, Italian, all kinds of exotic vegan foods). Tell me if any of y'all have seen a website that explains other cultures and what they feed their kids cause I'm thinking my girls are some ethnic-lovin' eaters!

Melanie, vegan mommy to twin girls born Dec. 2007, and another little girl born Sept. 25th, 2009!
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#2 of 24 Old 08-13-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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Here's a PDF from WHO on the subject. Very fascinating!

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2000/WHO_NHD_00.1.pdf
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#3 of 24 Old 08-15-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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My DS (15m) LOVES Indian food! :

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#4 of 24 Old 08-18-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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In Zimbabwe where I was living, the babies bf almost exclusively for about a year. They then start to eat corn porridge (sadza) with a bit of gravy, smashed pumpkin, and boiled root veggies. They don't eat greens for about another 6mos, until they have teeth to 'chew' properly.

In Europe, they eat pretty much everything, including tea, biscuits, pasta, etc. from a very young age. Also they are given bones to gnaw on, which is kinda cool for teethers, but totally grosses me out. The baby food industry has a small but loyal following in Europe, where most moms are working full time to be able to afford to live there lol! Very few moms pump, but only get 2 - 6 mos mat leave. So many many babies are in kindercare, and need to eat both formula/bm, and solid foods - usually starting around 6 mos.

I think in asia, there is a lot of prechewing, ie: mom or dad chews the food then offers it to the baby. It begins the digestive process, as well as making the food soft and manageable for the babe. It takes a while for a baby to begin to produce digestive enzymes in their saliva.

My kids did NOT like rice cereal, but ate smashed sweet potatoes with relish once a day for months, as well as blended foods like peas with bm or rice milk. Intuition will be your best guide, but you can look up stuff on Dr. Sears' site, as well as kellymom.com

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#5 of 24 Old 08-19-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamabeca View Post
My kids did NOT like rice cereal, but ate smashed sweet potatoes with relish once a day for months,
When I first read this I thought it meant the lime green pickle relish for some weird reason. : mmm.
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#6 of 24 Old 08-19-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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"I think in asia, there is a lot of prechewing, ie: mom or dad chews the food then offers it to the baby. It begins the digestive process, as well as making the food soft and manageable for the babe. It takes a while for a baby to begin to produce digestive enzymes in their saliva."

I never saw this in Singapore nor do I think this is common there. Some Asians might, but I think maybe you heard about a specific culture or person instead of all of Asia. Dh says rice porridge is quite common. Also, MIL gave ds lots of fruit (papaya, mango, star fruit, bananas).
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#7 of 24 Old 08-19-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s View Post
Dh says rice porridge is quite common.
Yes, in SE Asia congee (rice porridge) is generally baby's first food, at least in China and Hong Kong, I would also presume among Singaporeans and Malaysians of Chinese ancestry.

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#8 of 24 Old 08-20-2008, 12:19 AM
 
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The babies in Argentina are encouraged to BF for the first six months, then start with soft fruits and root vege. Then they move onto pastas and rice and soups and stuff. Pretty typical. You cna find rice cereal and I guess some babies like it, but I try not to give my kid food that I wouldn't eat myself...I like food with spice and pizazz, and so does he.

In my experience in South Korea (part of Asia, BTW ) they didn't pre-chew food, they just fed babies rice based soups and porridge (but actual rice, not rice powder) and root veges and fruit and stuff.

I think kids who see their parents eat spicey and/or adventurous foods are more likely to have kids who do the same, but don't be surprised or broken hearted if they go through a phase later on of turning their nose up at everything they used to love. I am facing this phase now and it is ever annoying, but at least he still scarfs down his tofu kao-bao and patacones con frijoles. mmmm frijoles.

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#9 of 24 Old 09-01-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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I was wondering the same thing recently. I know there is a lot of variation between different European countries ( I live in the UK but have family and friends in Poland and Switzerland) so wanted to find out what babies eat in other cultures. I was especially interested in Japan because they're meant to be the healthiest nation in the world. I actually wrote an article about baby food in Japan: http://www.rootsbaby.co.uk/2013/08/what-do-japanese-babies-eat.html

I will now be looking to introduce tofu to my baby's diet as a result of my research. 

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#10 of 24 Old 09-01-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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I was wondering the same thing recently. I know there is a lot of variation between different European countries ( I live in the UK but have family and friends in Poland and Switzerland) so wanted to find out what babies eat in other cultures. I was especially interested in Japan because they're meant to be the healthiest nation in the world. I actually wrote an article about baby food in Japan: http://www.rootsbaby.co.uk/2013/08/what-do-japanese-babies-eat.html
I will now be looking to introduce tofu to my baby's diet as a result of my research. 

My 3yo loves tofu. She calls it to-food.

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#11 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 01:08 AM
 
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Hahahah that's so cute! I'm just looking for some recipes for baby food with tofu, how do you serve it?

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#12 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 03:07 AM
 
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Hahahah that's so cute! I'm just looking for some recipes for baby food with tofu, how do you serve it?

Just in cubes. Usually marinated and fried. Sometimes fished out of Daddy's green Thai curry takeaway :-)

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#13 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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"In Europe, they eat pretty much everything, including tea, biscuits, pasta, etc. from a very young age. Also they are given bones to gnaw on, which is kinda cool for teethers, but totally grosses me out.". 

 

Uh-where in Europe? I'm in the UK, the world tea drinking capital, and we don't give our babies tea OR biscuits. Well we might give them rice cakes, but not sugary biscuits! Babies used to have rusks when they were teething but I haven't heard of that in a long time. Pasta maybe.

 

Also, chewing on bones? No, that's dogs, not babies. I honestly cannot think of anywhere in Europe that I know of where the kids are chewing on bones :rotflmao.

 

We generally wean according to the WHO guidelines, around 6 months. My understanding is that Europeans tend to wean on the late side compared to Americans but who knows? 

 

My kids loved tofu as small babies. Will they eat it now? No way. But as babies, they loved it.


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#14 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 11:53 AM
 
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Here in Germany, babies are often given chamomile tea from a very early age. I found this out when I was completing a nutritional questionnaire at my DS's 6 mo well baby visit and was asked how often I gave my child tea. Seems like an odd practice to me, but I suppose it's better than kool aid or other sugary drinks some moms give their babies.

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#15 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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Fillyjonk, did she mean British "biscuits" that Americans call "cookies" or American "biscuits" which are more similar to plain scones, but just as often used for savory dishes as piled with jam?


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#16 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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oh wow I have just googled american biscuits and there's a new world there. Seriously I never knew you guys called what we call scones, biscuits! I do like these little linguistic differences so much.

 

er,but no,I wouldn't say that scones/biscuits were a significant part of a British babies diet. They are not a huge thing here, unless you are a tourist. Biscuits are much much bigger. But we don't give them to babies, or if we do, we know we shouldn't.

 

Baby led weaning is quite big in the UK,so I suppose if the parents were scone fiends its possible...but we don't really eat scones that much.

 

It is quite funny this.

 

I'm desperately trying to think of which other European country it might be that is giving its babies bones to chew on.

 

I've come across Germans giving babies chamomile, I think for colic and teething primarily rather than as a drink. Most Germans I know breastfeed and are very clued up but I might have an unrepresentative sample.


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#17 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm desperately trying to think of which other European country it might be that is giving its babies bones to chew on.

 

Well, considering the forum, I don't think folks are that interested in that particular, ahem, tidbit, but just for some clarity (or possibly more confusion) my American sister was stationed in Germany in British housing, and that's where she picked up the chicken-bone-for-baby thing


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#18 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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lol ok we're in the vegetarian forum, didn't notice. 

 

I've got quite a few German friends and I have never seen them giving bones to their kids. How strange! British people really don't, I think old ladies would hit you with handbags if you tried something on those lines.


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#19 of 24 Old 09-02-2013, 04:22 PM
 
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Oh and <sigh> don't want to split hairs or get up on my high horse but this is just utterly wrong " The baby food industry has a small but loyal following in Europe, where most moms are working full time to be able to afford to live there lol! Very few moms pump, but only get 2 - 6 mos mat leave. So many many babies are in kindercare, and need to eat both formula/bm, and solid foods - usually starting around 6 mos.".

 

Okay. Europe. Big place. Lots of different countries-50, actually. Split them into states and you'd run into the hundreds. Lots of different people. Lots of different languages. Our maternity leave runs to 3 years-entirely paid in some countries. ONE country has 2 months-Liechenstein. The other 49 countries have mainly considerably more. The cost of living is NOT universally so high that two incomes are needed! Some places yes you do. Its hard to live in London on a single income. Move 200 miles from London as we did and its fine. Plenty of people use pumps, you can get them through the NCT which is a charity similar but less extreme than the LLL. Baby food-yeah people buy it. Or make their own. Its no big deal. You can buy it in supermarkets. I'd say most people use both in cities. But that's a generalisation. I don't know what the exact state of the baby food market is in rural Denmark, or Corfu, for example. I do know that you can buy it in Prague, Paris, Geneva, Berlin, Brussels...I won' t go on, but those are some of the cities I've been to with young babies.

 

And kindercare? that's incredibly country specific. Bear in mind some European countries have three years paid leave. Generally, our leave is a lot better-longer, at full pay-than in the USA. And we tend to have stronger state safety nets, though that is being eroded. 

 

This is kind of like me saying, "you know, in America they all wear chullos and live in favellas and drive everywhere and eat moose. Its about as legitimate as generalising about the Americas, from Chile, Brazil, through Guatemala, Mexico and obviously all the Islands and Haiti, Cuba, Hawaii, up through the USA (quite fast because actually its not that big) and then Canada, ending up with the Queen Elizabeth Islands. 

 

Not trying to have a go but yk, this is my country. I've lived in Britain all my life, in all three of its capitals, and I've travelled a lot in Europe. I wouldn't want to generalise about Europe.  Its a complex place with a lot of different food customs. I would say that breastfeeding is the norm and that people try to prioritise good food preferably bought the same day but that is a huge generalisation.

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#20 of 24 Old 11-11-2013, 09:42 PM
 
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I know you posted it many years ago but I LOOOVE that pdf you posted @NatureMama3! Thanks for sharing that!


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#21 of 24 Old 02-12-2014, 03:00 PM
 
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I have 3 kids, all older teens now, but I fed them real whole food from my table, as in, I ground it up so they would not choke, and gave it to them.  My kids ate feta, Indian food, all veggies and fruits, ground up oatmeal with cinnamon.. all flavors and when they could handle it, textures.  They loved this, and it was easy.  I bought jarred stuff sometimes for convenience, but mostly I made it myself out of a roasted veggie or steamed fruit, etc.  

 

They do have preferences, but they will eat the way you teach them to.  It's fun!

 

"Mommy Made and Daddy Too!" is a good old parent cookbook about feeding your kiddos.  I still have it on my shelf :)

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#22 of 24 Old 05-19-2014, 06:53 PM
 
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Here's a PDF from WHO on the subject. Very fascinating!

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2000/WHO_NHD_00.1.pdf

Thank you for sharing this fascinating document! I must admit that my toddler loves watery foods. She will eat foods she might otherwise reject if they are floating in broth or in almond or soy drink. Porridges are either thin or they are rejected. For us, I am afraid it has become a non-ideal necessity.

There is a book called How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm that discusses foods served to babies worldwide. The examples chosen in the book are heavy on meat.
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#23 of 24 Old 05-19-2014, 09:21 PM
 
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I'm also veg and never fed my baby rice cereal and took some slack for it. I started ds on some fruits at about 5 months then slowly started giving him more of what I ate as it felt right. He just turned two and is think he's a great eater for a toddler. Sadly he stopped breastfeeding (self weaned) at 16 months when I was 3 months pregnant. I plan to feed dd the same way I did ds - intuitively!
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#24 of 24 Old 07-03-2014, 11:13 AM
 
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I don't know the national average of weaning in the US....but I know most of the devoted nursers nurse until a year.....some like myself let the baby self wean....which could go past a year.

I don't like that most baby foods are fortified and filled with preservatives.....so I made most of mine or bought some of the hard to find non-fortified and non- preservative filled foods. I made my own rice cereal by grinding up puffed rice (Alfs natural nutrition). My son never liked it by itself, but we used it to thicken other purees. He didn't start even wanting baby food until he was over a year old! He was solely nursed for the most of his first year. We tried solids, but most of the time he wouldn't eat them. He is now a little over two and has pretty much self weaned and eats normal food since he has a mouth full of teeth (but he didn't start getting teeth until about 7-8 months ago). He still doesn't like the texture of most fruits and veg, and to get him to eat those, I have to have them pureed. Thankfully I found a nice organic preservative free baby food, so I don't have to make homemade as much.

I haven't traveled abroad much, outside of Mexico and the Bahamas....so I cant really say what babies ate at either location....especially since I didn't have my kids with me any time I went. We are planning to take the family to MX this fall, so it will be interesting the options I find for my 2 yo. My kids are wimps when it comes to spices, so this could be interesting! lol
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