Created for expats living in Japan

Homemade Baby Food in Japan

It could be very trying to prepare baby food in Japan if you are not familiar with Japanese weaning system. If you would like to try for homemade baby food, here are 3 useful tips to make your “homemade-baby-food project” much simpler and easier.

3 tips for easy homemade baby food in Japan

1. Popular vegetables and cutting tools for Japanese baby food

Here are ordinally vegetables you could purchase easily at grocery stores in Japan:

onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbages, turnips, sweet potatoes, cauliflowers, broccoli, pumpkins, spinach, Komatsu-na (Japanese mustered spinach), tomatoes, beans etc. When preparing vegetables for a baby, make vegetable soup without adding any ingredients. Boil/steam them in big chunks until everything is soft, then put the vegetables out, puree or cut them separately.

You can arrange whichever to add into a soup. As long as onions are in, it’s really tasty without any ingredients. You can also make soup for adults with the remaining after removing the vegetables for your baby.

For the next stage, you could add some proteins such as Tofu, fish. Mushrooms/seaweeds could be added for a flavor as well. For further stepping-up stage, you could add some meat, and some flavors, such as garlic, ginger, salt or any ready-made baby ingredients.


2. Useful containers to stock in a freezer

There are so many containers for a freezer in Japan, however, these silicon containers are very popular products among Japanese parents. “Richelle” is very similar to ice cube tray, having a lid and easy to wash and re-use. The silicon packs can be used for rice porridge or cooked meals. When the contents are frozen, put them out of the tray and move them to a freezer bag, so that the container can be used for the next.

After making frozen cubes, they can be easily added/arranged when you prepare for a meal. For example, you could put each cube of tomato, corn, potato and add small fish(Shirasu-boshi) or Tofu, then heat them together in a microwave. Stock as many kinds as you can, so that any arrangements could be easily done. (The author usually have more than 15 different types of cubes in the freezer, including ready-made vegetable cubes.)


3. Partially use ready-made Japanese ingredients for babies

Though you would be cautious not to rely too much on the ready-made baby food, they definitely have some advantages for busy parents. The food market for babies in Japan is actually getting bigger and bigger, offering many kinds of freeze-dried baby foods, frozen pureed vegetable cubes with no ingredients added, seven allergen-free food, or 100 % organic food. There are also powdered ingredients specified for babies, which you could easily arrange the amount of ingredients as you would like. Furthermore, you could try for some dried noodles, rice or oatmeal cereal. Some can be used from the first stage of weaning. Those could be easily prepared in a short time or stocked in a freezer for a later use.

Useful Links

Homemade Japanese baby-food recipes:

Baby delivery foods in Japan:

Food allergies with babies and young children:

Baby Food in Japan

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