Vegetable purees and carrot sticks are the go-to baby foods when we’re weaning our babies off breastmilk, but is this the same as other cultures and countries around the world? We take a look at some of the common first solid meals babies enjoy around the globe, from India to Peru.
Most parents start their babies on baby rice porridge known as okayu, graduating onto carrot or pumpkin puree as the weeks pass. Japanese babies are no stranger to nutritious miso soup either, which they commonly begin enjoying from their first birthday.
Like many other Latin American countries, Mexicans wean their babies off breastmilk with soups, tortillas, avocado, beans and fruits like papaya. Mexican mums are also known to add sprinklings of chilli powder and a splash of lime onto fruit as a tasty snack.
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The first solid food given to babies in Vietnam is usually pureed rice porridge, cooked with either water or chicken broth until the rice has disintegrated, with veggies like carrots added as a second stage. When children reach 18 months to two years, more complex soups and stir-fries are given.
From around the age of six months, välling becomes the cornerstone of the Swedish baby's diet. A processed wheat-based cereal, similar to oatmeal, it is thicker than formula and fed to babies in bottles.
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As with a number of other South American countries, the first tastes of solid food a baby gets in Peru is granadilla (the pulp without the seeds), a type of sweet passion fruit that’s a good source of fibre and essential minerals, including phosphorus, iron and calcium.
Khichdi or dal khichdi is a nutritious Indian dish prepared with lentils, rice, ghee a sprinkling of turmeric – ideal for babies of six months and over. For Hindu babies, their first taste of solid food is taken during the Annaprashan ceremony, when the baby is dressed in ceremonial clothes, blessed by a priest, and fed his first bite of rice pudding.
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Poi, the fermented paste of the taro root plant, is the baby food staple in exotic Hawaii. An easily digestible ancient food from the islands, it is known for its hypoallergenic qualities and is naturally gluten free.
A rice porridge called ‘Lugaw’ is often the first semi-solid food given to babies, which can also be cooked with chicken broth, ginger and garlic. It’s simple on the stomach and is often a popular broth for Philippinos when they’re feeling under the weather.
Italians make their veggie purees and broths (usually carrot and courgette) a tad more interesting with a swig of olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan, introducing meats like chicken from six months onwards.