Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

What do Japanese babies eat?


  • Please log in to reply
63 replies to this topic

#31 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 09 September 2006 - 09:38 PM

There is no such things as "traditional" baby's first foods.  My wife still complains how her father gave her food when she was a baby - He put some of his food in his mouth, chewed it, took it out, and put it in my wife's mouth.  She believes that this caused her to have tooth cavities and a bad teeth arrangement.
When raising our two kids, we sometimes relied on commercial baby foods (canned and dried) and usually just smashed and watered down our regular foods.

View Post


Your wife is right about the cavity thing. One of the dentists that we've seen for our kids gave us a phamplet saying that sharing utensils, straws, drinks, foods transfers the bacteria that cause cavities.
Cheryl

#32 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:38 PM

I asked my wife, she replied she started with juice (sold for baby consumption), follwed by rice porridge, squash soup, and so on. Any food will do, provided that it's not protein-rich.

#33 sk_ward

sk_ward
  • participating member
  • 84 posts
  • Location:Tokyo, Japan

Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:51 AM

I wondered the same thing about babies and Japanese food so I'm glad that this topic was brought up! I was also curious about when Japanese children are typically introduced to green tea. I only asked one person, but she said that she gave it to her kids occasionally while they were still using bottles. :blink: Is this customary practice? I was expecting to hear something more along the lines of elementary school! I suppose I thought that the caffeine wasn't something that you would want to give to a baby.

#34 torakris

torakris
  • manager
  • 11,008 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:37 PM

I have merged this thread with a previously existing one, so you might want to start at the top again. :biggrin:

As to the green tea question, remember the baby could have been on a bottle for a couple years, I have seen 3 year olds with bottles....
Many babies start off on non-caffeinated teas such as hoji-cha or mugi-cha before they are even 1.
Though I didn't give them green tea as infants, I honestly can't remember the first time they drank it, my oldest almost devoured my matcha ice cream cone when she was just 7 months old.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
Manager, Membership
kwagner@egstaff.org


#35 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 11 September 2006 - 04:01 PM

I wondered the same thing about babies and Japanese food so I'm glad that this topic was brought up!  I was also curious about when Japanese children are typically introduced to green tea.  I only asked one person, but she said that she gave it to her kids occasionally while they were still using bottles.  :blink:  Is this customary practice?  I was expecting to hear something more along the lines of elementary school!  I suppose I thought that the caffeine wasn't something that you would want to give to a baby.

View Post

As torakris clarified, hojicha and mugicha are teas of choice for babies. (Hojicha (roasted tea) contains less caffeine than regular green tea, while mugicha is caffeine-less.) And, don't forget to dilute it with a lot of water. :biggrin:

#36 Culinista

Culinista
  • participating member
  • 352 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 18 September 2006 - 10:19 AM

I remember hating mugicha as a kid. I like it now. My mom used to make us coffee-flavored milk with tons of sugar.

I just came back from Japan, and two of my cousins had newborns. I'll ask about their first meals when the time comes. The baby that loved raw Hokkaido shrimp is now 10 years old :blink: His parents and I had a fabulous sushi lunch at Kyubei in Ginza. Since he was in school, the parents could finally have all the shrimp to themselves!

#37 GlorifiedRice

GlorifiedRice
  • participating member
  • 1,376 posts
  • Location:Philly Burbs

Posted 31 October 2006 - 08:22 PM

13 years ago when I was pregnant with my son, I wanted to get lots of
ethnic baby food before he was born so I could create a diverse palate in him...

I spent lots of time on the phone attempting to get German, British, French baby food, without a computer, to no avail.
Dejected, I called foreign directory assistance for the last time and asked for Heinz corporation in Japan and I casually mentioned to the directory assistance operator what I wanted it for, and she told me I was a horrible bad mother and I was sick!

Seeing all these nice foods in this thread I just dont understand how feeding my child any of it is sick?
Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#38 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:34 PM

Here in the US, the doctors give you a hard time if your child gets a baby bottle much past 1 year old. Giving a very small child caffiene is discouraged here too.

My older boys don't much care for tea. My almost 4 year old daughter loves the stuff though... her favorite is jasmine tea. When we go out for Vietnamese food, she insists on having some, with a couple of ice cubes tossed in to cool it.

My youngest is 10 months old now and he'll eat anything that doesn't crawl off his high chair tray. (although he's not had soy products, egg or fish yet). He adores spicy food and cheese.
Cheryl

#39 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:38 PM

When do Japanese babies start eating sushi? We've been feeding our American baby things like kappa maki since pretty much when he started eating solid food, however we've shied away from raw fish. Would a Japanese baby typically be encouraged to eat raw fish at a year and a half?

A scene from dinner this evening:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#40 Luckylies

Luckylies
  • participating member
  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:29 PM

as a child I choked on nori. I guess I wasn't ready for it?
Do Japanese kids choke on nori? stupidest question ever?
does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

#41 Luckylies

Luckylies
  • participating member
  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:30 PM

as a child I choked on nori. I guess I wasn't ready for it?
Do Japanese kids choke on nori? stupidest question ever?

ps. cute kid, really cute.
does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

#42 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:45 PM

When do Japanese babies start eating sushi? We've been feeding our American baby things like kappa maki since pretty much when he started eating solid food, however we've shied away from raw fish. Would a Japanese baby typically be encouraged to eat raw fish at a year and a half?

View Post

Thank you for posting photos of your adorable baby. :biggrin:
I had to google because I really can't remember when my wife and I started to feed my children raw fish, and I found contradictory views on this subject.
One pediatrician suggests three years or older because children's digestive sytem is not developed enough to digest raw fish before that age. Someone else says that her pediatrician said that children can start eating raw fish at the age of one because raw fish is easily digestable. So, to be on the safe side, I think you should start feeding a baby raw fish at the age of three or older.

#43 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:47 PM

as a child I choked on nori. I guess I wasn't ready for it?
Do Japanese kids choke on nori? stupidest question ever?

View Post

I have never heard of a child choked on nori... Anyone can choke on a piece of rice cake (mochi), though.

#44 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 02 May 2007 - 07:54 PM

How old is your little guy, Fat Guy?

When we went out to dinner with my in-laws on Sunday, my 16 month old son took a piece of sushi and went to town on it. It was just a maki roll with unagi and cucumber in it, but he seemed to enjoy the rice portion of it.
Cheryl

#45 torakris

torakris
  • manager
  • 11,008 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:17 PM

I have choked on nori as an adult (I really need to learn to chew properly) and my son has also, though he tried to eat an entire sheet of nori at once...

In the small amount used in a roll I don't think choking is too much of a problem as long as the child has teeth.
As to the actual sushi all 3 of my kids were eating maguro (tuna) and ikura (salmon roe) by age 2. These seem to be the 2 most popular in the "raw" department for kids. If you take a look at the kid's sushi plate in any restaurant it will almost always include tuna, omelet and (cooked) shrimp. Depending on the restaurant you are also likely to find one or more of the following: ikura, squid, inari (rice pocket), some kind of hosomaki (thin roll).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
Manager, Membership
kwagner@egstaff.org


#46 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:19 PM

He's about 20 months now. My concern isn't so much with digestibility -- he seems to be able to digest anything from duck to small toys. I was thinking parasites. At least here in the USA, we're constantly told not to let various vulnerable people (elderly, pregnant/nursing, babies) eat raw fish. I'm sure it's mostly nonsense, especially since so much of the fish used in sushi-making has been flash-frozen at some point, but I was wondering whether in Japan anybody worries about the safety of giving raw fish to babies.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#47 Fat Guy

Fat Guy
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 29,303 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:22 PM

P.S., regarding choking, I was pretty alarmed when he took a whole piece and shoved it in his mouth. I had disassembled a piece and was figuring he'd pick it apart further and eat it in bits -- that's what he has done in the past. Instead he grabbed a whole piece, inspected it, and chowed down on it. He seemed fine with it, so I photographed him on the next piece.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)


#48 torakris

torakris
  • manager
  • 11,008 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:32 PM

I did a little searching on google Japan and it seems to be split pretty evenly on 18 months and up or over 3 years... The sites that say 3 and over say it it because raw fish can be hard to digest for small children.
It does seem perfectly fine though to give your kids ikura and uni (sea urchin) from 18 mos though, I know my kids weren't eating that well that young. :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
Manager, Membership
kwagner@egstaff.org


#49 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 03 May 2007 - 12:36 AM

He's about 20 months now. My concern isn't so much with digestibility -- he seems to be able to digest anything from duck to small toys. I was thinking parasites. At least here in the USA, we're constantly told not to let various vulnerable people (elderly, pregnant/nursing, babies) eat raw fish. I'm sure it's mostly nonsense, especially since so much of the fish used in sushi-making has been flash-frozen at some point, but I was wondering whether in Japan anybody worries about the safety of giving raw fish to babies.

View Post

While the risks associated with parasites are miminal, we are advised not to feed babies raw fish. The same goes for raw eggs, I think. (The Japanese like to eat eggs raw.)

#50 Shaya

Shaya
  • participating member
  • 859 posts
  • Location:Halifax, NS

Posted 03 May 2007 - 04:48 AM

My kids are 6 and newly-minted-4.

My oldest has been eating raw fish (maki, nigiri, sashimi) regularly since he was 4. My youngest started with uni at a very young age (maybe 18 months) and about six months ago he started to be tempted to eat tuna nigiri and the odd salmon or tuna roll. His standby is still vegatarian, though.

I must admit that I was a very careful mother when they were very little, following all the rules regarding peanuts, strawberries, honey, ... but I've been more or less following their lead when it comes to sushi. I imagined that somewhere in Japan there had to be other small kids eating raw sushi. I must admit I am somewhat relieved to see the age-3 limit for raw fish.

#51 GlorifiedRice

GlorifiedRice
  • participating member
  • 1,376 posts
  • Location:Philly Burbs

Posted 03 May 2007 - 02:13 PM

Everything I ever remember reading about the accompaniments to sushi
(Gari, Wasabi, Soy Sauce and the Vinegar in the Rice) have said that those arent just for flavor, they are antibacterial and antiparasitic and are eaten with the sushi to make it safe to eat...
Wawa Sizzli FTW!

#52 JasonTrue

JasonTrue
  • participating member
  • 858 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 04 May 2007 - 02:28 AM

Surely true for the wasabi, but I believe the vinegar is used to simulate the fermented rice-fish combination that was the most notable characteristic in the dish from which sushi evolved.

Everything I ever remember reading about the accompaniments to sushi
(Gari, Wasabi, Soy Sauce and the Vinegar in the Rice) have said that those arent just for flavor, they are antibacterial and antiparasitic and are eaten with the sushi to make it safe to eat...

View Post


Jason Truesdell
Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

#53 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:00 PM

Maybe I'm weird, but I don't like the flavor of wasabi at all... and I generally love spicy foods. The 3 of my kids that like spicy food don't care for it either.

My husband, on the other hand, isn't big on most spicy foods, but loves wasabi.

Edited by MomOfLittleFoodies, 04 May 2007 - 03:01 PM.

Cheryl

#54 nakedsushi

nakedsushi
  • participating member
  • 41 posts

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:18 PM

Maybe I'm weird, but I don't like the flavor of wasabi at all... and I generally love spicy foods. The 3 of my kids that like spicy food don't care for it either.

My husband, on the other hand, isn't big on most spicy foods, but loves wasabi.

View Post


That doesn't sound weird at all. My grampa is the same way. He won't touch traditional spicy food, but he can go through half a tube of wasabi in a week. I used to be like that until I started eating more chili-spicy foods. I think it's because wasabi is spicy in a different way. To me, chili-spicy foods are a "hot my mouth is burning" spicy, but wasabi is a cooling "help my nose stings" type of spicy.
nakedsushi.net (not so much sushi, and not exactly naked)

#55 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:45 PM

Wasabi is not spicy, but pungent. I think it takes a long time to develop a liking for pungent foods, and that's why children don't usually like wasabi (or super stinky cheeses).

#56 JasonTrue

JasonTrue
  • participating member
  • 858 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 07 May 2007 - 10:28 PM

Also, most of the prepared wasabi sold both in Japan and abroad is little more than mustard, Western horseradish, and food coloring, sometimes with a token bit of real wasabi thrown in, such as in SB's "hon-wasabi".

The prepared stuff is a bit spicy thanks to the mustard-heavy blend, but unadulterated wasabi is more pungent than spicy.

(sorry for helping this continue to veer off into non-baby territory... perhaps we can be squeezed into a wasabi topic?)

Wasabi is not spicy, but pungent.  I think it takes a long time to develop a liking for pungent foods, and that's why children don't usually like wasabi (or super stinky cheeses).

View Post


Edited by JasonTrue, 07 May 2007 - 10:45 PM.

Jason Truesdell
Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

#57 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 08 May 2007 - 09:50 AM

Wasabi is not spicy, but pungent.  I think it takes a long time to develop a liking for pungent foods, and that's why children don't usually like wasabi (or super stinky cheeses).

View Post


That would definitely explain why I don't care for wasabi. I love mustard though. I like sharp cheeses, but stuff like bleu cheese isn't too appealing to me.
Cheryl

#58 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 08 May 2007 - 03:56 PM

Wasabi is not spicy, but pungent.  I think it takes a long time to develop a liking for pungent foods, and that's why children don't usually like wasabi (or super stinky cheeses).

View Post


That would definitely explain why I don't care for wasabi. I love mustard though. I like sharp cheeses, but stuff like bleu cheese isn't too appealing to me.

View Post

It's interesting that you say you don't care for wasabi but love mustard. As I mentioned elsewhere, they both have the same pungent component allyl isothiocyanate, and virtually the only difference between them is that wasabi has a fragrant component referred to as a green note.

I learned this from Me Ga Ten (Japanese only), a popular TV show in Japan.

#59 MomOfLittleFoodies

MomOfLittleFoodies
  • participating member
  • 647 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area- East Bay

Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:16 PM

Wasabi is not spicy, but pungent.  I think it takes a long time to develop a liking for pungent foods, and that's why children don't usually like wasabi (or super stinky cheeses).

View Post


That would definitely explain why I don't care for wasabi. I love mustard though. I like sharp cheeses, but stuff like bleu cheese isn't too appealing to me.

View Post

It's interesting that you say you don't care for wasabi but love mustard. As I mentioned elsewhere, they both have the same pungent component allyl isothiocyanate, and virtually the only difference between them is that wasabi has a fragrant component referred to as a green note.

I learned this from Me Ga Ten (Japanese only), a popular TV show in Japan.

View Post


I think it has to do with potency. With wasabi, I start to feel a burning sensation in my nose with just a little bit, with most mustards, I can use a much larger amount before that same "burn" shows up. I think with prepared mustard, it's a bit more diluted than the wasabi paste. I don't like horseradish at all.
Cheryl

#60 tissue

tissue
  • participating member
  • 765 posts

Posted 22 May 2007 - 01:29 AM

My sis and I grew up eating lots of tuna since we could eat solid food and we never had any problems and checked out fine physically. However, that was 20 years ago and the mercury levels in fish might be higher now.