My neighborhood dm stocks a wide variety of jarred baby food. Müller and Rossman are other drugstores with decent baby food departments.
Big Foot has just made it to the six month mark (yay!), and he’s decided to join his brothers in becoming a fast and ferocious eater. The kid LOVES food.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate to sleeping well at night, but that’s another topic for another day…
As with the other two boys, I’m making my own baby food. I use the schedule and the frozen food cube method from Super Baby Food. For the most part, it’s worked well for me and the babies. But, I have to admit – it lacks portability when traveling.
For instance, Doc Sci and I took a road trip when T-Rex was about five months old. I packed my food cubes in a cooler on ice for a 12 hour trip (uh, yes, we were totally nuts, and no I do not recommend a road warrior mentality when traveling with an infant). By the time we arrived at our destination, all those neat and pretty food cubes had melted into each other, and it was impossible to tell where the avocado ended and the banana began.
As you might know, when Screech was ten months old, we moved to Germany. Luckily, I had a heads up about two months in advance that we might be hopping the pond, so I busted my you-know-what to make sure Screech was down with the chunkier textures and scarfing down the same stuff as his big brother and parents.
He was game to grow up a bit ahead in the baby food game, and I found that a pair of kitchen shears was all I needed to make my plate of spaghetti into Screech’s delight.
And good thing, too. The baby food jar options in Germany are, well, um, interesting to say the least. Now that I’m gearing up to take another road trip next month (only 7 hours this time!), I’m again venturing into the commercial baby food world to weigh my options.
Want to take a look with me? Let’s head down to my neighborhood dm and give it a gander.
But first, a few notes to help decipher labels for those traveling to Germany or new to the country…
- Bio = organic, and it’s pronounced B-O as in the gym locker fragrance, not Bi-oh as in biology.
- Ohne Salz Zusatz means without added salt and Ohne Zuckerzusatz means without added sugar.
- Hipp is usually the most expensive brand, but almost everything is organic and of good quality.
- Nestle/Alete is usually the cheapest brand and has a rotten reputation.
- Foods are labeled with which month they are appropriate to use (usually 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 months). The higher the month, the chunkier the texture.
- Just like in the US, the jars are rather expensive. I’ve included prices in the photos below for reference.
German babies all start with the same food – carrots. It is the only vegetable I have found that comes by itself in a jar. Watch out though – some brands have added oil to provide omega 3.
All other vegetables come packaged with other ingredients. No single green beans, peas, or broccoli to be found here.
Spinach is processed with milk and cream and labeled as suitable for four month-old babies. That might be okay for some little ones, but we have a history of food allergies in our family so milk is completely off limits at four months.
The only other green vegetable I’ve seen is zucchini.. but again, it’s with potatoes. Carrots and potatoes are the German baby food staples. By the way, this stuff smells and tastes totally rank. There’s nothing zucchini about it.
Here we go with the lineup of potato-laden baby food options. I guess the Germans think the potatoes will make the other veggies palatable..? But parsnips.. who eats parsnips? I’ve never even seen them sold in grocery stores here, let alone considered them as infant fare.
There are more fruit options than vegetable ones, but often they are mixed up, shaken, not stirred, with applesauce.
Many fruit options also have grains (Getreide) included. Spelt (Dinkel) is a very popular baby food option here. Watch out if you have a history of wheat or gluten allergies/intolerance.
And speaking of grains, Germans feed their babies loads of Milchbrei (cereal with milk or formula). I find it super ironic that this organic, bland, sugarless hippie dippy culture feeds their babies cookie and chocolate flavored infant cereal. But, they do.
If you’ve got a poor sleeper, or a hungry monkey, you can give one of the “Good Night” jars a whirl. Apparently these mixtures are supposed to take longer to digest and therefore help the baby sleep longer. (Unfortunately, this hasn’t worked for us…)
If you’re going for pureed meat (mmmmmm, delicious), a few companies are hawking jars of straight up chicken or beef. It’s quite expensive though, as you can see.
I am used to feeding my babies one food at a time, waiting a few days to check for any allergic reactions, and then moving on to another single food. I am not sure how you do this in Germany without making food on your own. Other than the few fruits and vegetables I have pictured, the rest of the baby food jar options are “menus” or complete meals. Here are a few of the menus on the market for four month-old babies.
This one baffles me… noodles (wheat), tomatoes (majorly acidic), pork (hard to digest), and the long-standing staple, carrots… for a four month-old. Say, what?!
Here’s another good one.. Lamb? Well, it’s new. Maybe it’ll be a flop.
And the award for the most outrageous four month-old meal goes to… Wait, it’s a tie. The first contestant isn’t pictured; dm was out of the salmon in cream sauce. So, this crazy concoction wins. Who feeds their young baby veal?!
In case you’re itchin’ to know, there are a few toddler TV dinners on the German baby food market. I’m not big into these because by the time the baby is one year old, they usually (hopefully?) eat everything that the rest of the family eats. But just in case you’re looking for a microwave meal, there you have it.
Okay, the TV dinners and these squeezy fruits aren’t jars, but whatever. I know these pouches are all the rage in the US, but they have just started catching on in Germany. They’re here, but few and far between.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little tour of the baby food section at my neighborhood dm drug store. Unfortunately, I’m still without a traveling baby food solution. Maybe I could convince Big Foot to subsist on carrots and pears for a weekend? Yeah right…