Happy National Baby Day! The baby Food Story Around the World

Happy National Baby Day! Did you know, today May 2nd is the day to honor all the little ones around the world!


Since Tanooki Homemade Cafe is a food blog, today’s topic is baby food. 

Do you remember what was the first food you had? I don’t remember it at all but probably my very first “food” was either breast milk or some formula. As my first food after I grew up enough to digest food, again I don’t remember it at all, but probably it was some rice porridge just like other Japanese babies. 


Rice porridge cooked in 1(rice):10(water) ratio is quite popular in Japan so I believe 9 out of 10 babies eat it as their first food. But here in the US, rice porridge seems not so popular because it was in the not-recommended food section in the handout from my hospital. I looked it up online and the reason why they don’t recommend it is because of the risk of arsenic exposure. But, I’ve never heard about it until I read the handout. I thought rice porridge would be my miss little smiley’s first food just like me(maybe), so now I got to start planning…I’m glad I still have 5+ months until the food introduction begins for her.  


So far, I’ve seen/heard applesauce, mashed avocados/potatoes/bananas, hummus, cornmeal and oatmeal are the typical foods that babies try for the first time around the world. Considering that the introduction of food needs to be slow, I’d choose applesauce from this list…after I gave her a bite, the rest will be my snacky-snack…I feel like something sweet now:P


Here is another story. I checked my neighbor’s baby food aisle the other day and I had a big pleasant surprise: there was a huge selection of baby food!! In Japan we really don’t have ready to feed, specially made baby food in a wide variety, so I was surprised and relieved to find them. What I found was the puree version of a variety of fruits mixed in and some pureed vegetables with broth of meat in tiny glass bottles or in pouches, and I almost bought some for myself. I’m jealous of American babies…I’m sure they’d grow up to be foodies! 


As I think about babies and food, there is an interesting tradition in Japan so let me share. I wonder if you guys have a similar one in your culture too. 


<100th Day Ceremony: Okuizome “お食い初め”>

Okuizome literally means “start eating.” The ceremony takes place when the baby is around 100 days after the debuting to the world. The purpose of the ceremony is to pray for the baby to receive enough food in their life. 


What is served during Okuizome

Dishes in Japanese traditional food serving style (called Ichiju-Sansai “一汁三菜” literally meaning 1 soup and 3 dishes) 


The typical menu includes:


Notice there are actually a total of 5 dishes instead of 4?  We don’t count rice since we think a meal is the way to eat up rice, so rice is too obvious to count in the menu. But since this is a ceremony, they upgrade rice to red bean rice, a symbol of a celebration. 


Sounds like a feast, right? But do babies really get a chance to eat them? Unfortunately no! I wish they could, but even though they hit the 100th day milestone, they’re still too young to digest all the food. Therefore in this ceremony, parents pretend they give the food to babies, and become leftover cleaners AKA their feast time!!


That’s it for today! Do you remember what you had as your first baby food, or may I ask parents here, what food did you introduce to your baby for the first time? Let’s enjoy National Baby Day together!


PS: as many people say, baby arrival is such a miracle. Looking back at what kind of pregnancy I had, I can truly agree with it now. It’s been almost 2 months since I could finally hold her in my arms, and since then I thank my baby for her safe arrival every single day. 


Thank you my miss little smiley for making me a mom. 


<The Recipes introduced in Today’s Post>

Miso soup

miso soup

Simmered Root Vegetables

simmered root veggies


celery wasabi pickles

Redbean Rice

azuki red bean rice

Enjoy home cooking and your own creation of homemade food:)

13 Comments Add yours

  1. My Mom kept a calendar journal of my first ten months and did log the foods I was introduced to but what I remember most was an entry that said I “rolled off the bed again.” I can understand that the first time was a surprise but why weren’t corrective measures immediately implemented?” I may have to work that long forgotten episode into one of my posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Wow your mom did such a great job to keep journal!!!👀✨ Before my baby was born, I was planning to do the exactly same as your mom(feed time, nap time duration, diaper change etc) but I realized I cannot do it within a week because I didn’t remember when the date changed😂

      It must be fun to read all those journal kept by her. I bet you can relate to a lot of journal entry being parent (& as grandparent too?)👍✨

      And yes, please do so! Can’t wait to read interesting story🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BERNADETTE says:

    Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you Bernadette❤️


  3. Laura says:

    What a fun post, as it’s interesting to learn how Japanese children start out their lives. My son’s first food was Gerber rice cereal. After the first few weeks he began to lose interest in it because it was so bland, so I bought jars of vanilla custard and banana and would mix it in to give his cereal flavor, he loved it. As he advanced to other foods, I mixed them to make it more flavorful. When his teeth started coming in, I added toddler foods with chunks and texture, plus I added scrambled eggs and other soft food that he liked the taste of. I kind of spoiled my son, as he grew into regular food I always cooked his meals separately, making only dishes that he liked. I

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience, dear Laura!❤️
      I’ve seen a lot of people talked about Gerber rice cereal, so it’s such a relieve for me to assure that rice is definitely safe!👍✨🍚🌾

      and as I predicted, rice porridge/rice cereal is boring for babies too😂 But ok, vanilla custard and banana👀✨ In Japanese culture we don’t usually make rice sweet so sounds very interesting!🤩

      Haha, sure he was! I totally understand what he was like in terms of feeding time😂 Remember I told you that you always make me drool? He knew you’d give yummiest food in the world!🙌💕✨


  4. elvira797mx says:

    Happy Baby Food Day! Have a wonderful week, Tanooki.
    Enjoy your beautiful baby. Thank’s for share. Keep well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you Elvira, hope you’re having a wonderful week too😘💕✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. elvira797mx says:

        Thank’s Tanooki.
        Yes it’s being wonderful, hope yours too. Keep well. 🙏😘💕✨

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Livia says:

    Interestingly, almost all babies in Germany, where my son spent his first 4 years, seem to start with carrot purée after lactation. 🤔 Unfortunately, my son’s digestion didn’t like that at all, so we switched to pumpkin purée with rice which he liked very much. 😉
    As for fruits, he’s always loved mashed banana with a splash of orange juice, from the moment I first fed it to him until today. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tanooki says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Livia!
      I’m glad to know banana is popular among baby who got introduced to food💕✨ With a splash of orange juice made me want to eat it now even though it’s for babies🤣

      It made me surprised that carrot puree made your son’s digestion not so good😫 I should be aware of that, and it made me think the introduction to food needs to be extra baby step🤔 At that time we’d be like scientists working in a lab🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Livia says:

        Oh, yes, that’s how we felt sometimes with our son, too. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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