Baby Food in Germany: The Jar Options

My neighborhood dm stocks a wide variety of jarred baby food.  Muller and Rossman are other drugstores with decent baby food departments.

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.

Never again.

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.

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 something else.

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.  We have a history of food allergies in our family, so milk is completely off limits at four months.

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.

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 are some more potato-laden baby food options.

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 paired with apples.

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 included.  Spelt (Dinkel) is a very popular baby food option here.  Watch out if you have a history of wheat or gluten allergies/intolerance.

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 Milchbrei (cereal with milk or formula).  I find it super ironic that the organic, bland, sugarless culture feeds their babies cookie and chocolate flavored infant cereal.

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 a "Good Night" jar 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’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 produce jars of plain chicken and plain beef.  It's quite expensive though, as you can see.

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 giving 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 for four month-old babies.

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 (highly acidic), pork (hard to digest), and the long-standing staple, carrots... for a four month-old.

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?  What?

Here’s another good one.. Lamb? Well, it’s new.  Maybe it’ll be a flop.

There's a tie for the most outrageous four month-old meal.  The first contestant isn't pictured; dm was out of the salmon in cream sauce.  So, this one wins.  Who feeds their young baby veal?!

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?!

As in the US, there are a few toddler TV dinners.  I'm not big into these because by the time the baby is one year old, they usually eat everything that the rest of the family eats.  But just in case you're looking for a microwave meal, there you have it.

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.

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…

21 thoughts on “Baby Food in Germany: The Jar Options

  1. wow… Looks like the Germans are quite adventurous when it comes to baby food! I never would have known that baby veal would be considered suitable for a 4 month old.
    By the way, I really the photo captions. May I know which software you are using?

  2. Pingback: Disposable Baby Diapers in Germany | Thrifty Travel Mama

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I’m taking my 10 month old to Berlin for two weeks and had no idea how I would figure out baby food. Now I have a handy guide to brands and what they make. I’m especially grateful for the mentions of milk and wheat as my son has allergies to both.

  4. Great post. I fed my son the DM organic brand (anatura or something like that) then jumped over to Hipp when I ran out of choices. I also heard all those things that they say in the states about feeding them one food at a time, checking their allergies and moving on. So what I did was start with, say, pears. Then I moved on to bananas and pears, or something like that. It was easy to do, but took a lot of thinking. I stayed away from all the jarred food that had meat in it. It’s tough because there’s all these “rules” in the states that aren’t followed here, but people here are ok, you know? Still, I think I did some kind of balance between the two when the food choices let me.

    I tried cooking food for him, but he never liked it. My daughter, on the other hand, prefers mom-made meals.

    • Thanks, Ann! Yes, it seems like it is quite a lot of work to introduce one food at a time based on the combinations of food available here. I liked Hipp and Alnatura too! But most of the time, I just made homemade food. It was only for traveling that I agonized over the options in the baby food aisle🙂

  5. Hmmm (;-) me again):
    1) Try Alnatura!
    2) My kids started with pumpkin (also Alnatura)
    3) What is wrong with potatoes?
    4) New studies highly recommend to carefully (!) introduce gluten while still breastfeeding, so my babies were fine with any cereal by about 7 months.
    5) The recommendations about introducing one ingredient at a time are the same in Germany! But -again- try many different things while still breastfeeding.
    6) Many many German moms are laughing about the 4-month-Schinkennudeln as well!😉
    7) Have a look at Italian babyfood!

    • Hi Barbara,
      1. Yes, Alnatura has nice (and expensive!) baby food, but dm is more widely found in Germany and easier for travelers to locate.
      2. Pumpkin is great first food!
      3. Nothing at all🙂
      4. Sounds like you were ahead of the game!
      5. I’m not sure that is true for the whole of Germany.
      6. Good to know😉
      7. I briefly glanced at the section while we were in Tuscany last summer – so many pasta options!

  6. Parsnips are a standard any food in UK so I guess this holds for the rest of Europe too. I’m more into BLW so little dinky is eating what we eat pretty much. Makes me v aware how much salt an adult diet usually contains so hopefully I’m getting healthier too!

    • Hi Karrie, I found out about BLW through a friend and I found it incredibly helpful for a traveling baby. I only wish I would’ve known about it for my two older boys when they were wee ones. Thanks for stopping by!🙂

  7. This is hilarious, I was looking for diaper selections in Germany as we are taking our 1 year old there 10 days after his first birthday. I ran across your diaper post (which is excellent and will help us immensely) and saw the link for this one and thought why not… haha! This made my evening.

    Our German friends asked us if we needed them to pick up food or diapers for our trip. I can only imagine what we would have thought if these had been the offerings. We have Aldi in my town in the states, I need to see what they offer for baby food, they probably don’t carry the German brands .

    Oh one off topic question: Breast feeding, I know that the US is ridiculously backwards from the rest of the world, but what should I know about breastfeeding in Germany? (If you can help). I am not prudish and do feed in public. The state I live in has a law that says you can breast feed in any location and not be forced to cover, woo hoo! I do use a small blanket because I hate when he quickly looks around, no thank you for the nip-lash (like whiplash… well you get it). Would that be considered odd?

    Awesome blog… know what I am going to be catching up on for the next couple of hours!

    Thanks again!!

    • Hi Amy,
      I’m so glad you found my posts helpful – and even better, humorous🙂. In my experience, the Aldi in the US is completely different than the Aldi in Germany, so you won’t find any German branded baby food in the US stores. Breastfeeding in public is completely the norm in Germany. The only women I have seen with covers are expats, so you shouldn’t have any problems. Nip-lash – ha!! Enjoy your trip to Germany!

  8. Hi! Thanks so much for this post! I know it’s a few years old, but my mom and I are getting ready to visit family in Austria with my 11 month old and I was wondering what the baby food would be like! Eeek! My daughter has a dairy allergy so I’m getting nervous now! I think we’ve decided to just steam a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies and buy a small ice chest to cart around with us. I’m wondering if you’ve found prunes anywhere over there?? That’s the one fruit that she needs daily and I’m not sure if she’ll eat it if it’s homemade!

    • Hi Jessica,
      I doubt the baby food has changed much. We left last October, and the baby food aisle still looked the same as when I originally posted. The only difference is that more and more options are popping up. Those squeezable packs were just starting to get popular. Can you bring a stash with you? I don’t remember ever seeing prunes in baby form or otherwise, but plums are popular. You might be able to find a jar of just Pflaumen of Zwetschgen in dm, but probably only in the Alnatura brand. Unfortunately, Austria doesn’t have Alnatura stores, but there are plenty of dm drugstores. You could also look around for a Bioladen or Biomarkt that sells more natural foods. As for the dairy allergy, be on the lookout for labeled ingredients like Milch, Milchpulver, Käse, Butter, Molke, Süßmolkenpulver, Casein, Creme, Rahm, Sahne, Casein, Quark, and Joghurt. I hope that helps – enjoy your trip!

  9. Hi, Thanks for this post. I’m travelling with my 19 months old toddler for 2 weeks driving road trip in southern Germany. I have this idea of cooking her meals alternate days & bringing along as frozen food cube in the ice box. Do you have any idea if restaurants in Germany usually help to warm up baby food? & how do they do it (hot water? microwave?). Thanks in advance, I don’t know what to expect as this is my first ever long trip with the girl. Cheers!

    • Hi there, I have requested hot water at restaurants to warm up baby bottles and food. This is usually not a problem. I just then used the hot water to heat the food or bottle myself at the table. Microwaves be more rare, perhaps even nonexistent in smaller town restaurants. I hope that helps🙂. Enjoy your trip to southern Germany!

  10. We have lived in and visited Germany before we had kids and when we had kids.
    The German baby food selection and options are way better than what you can get in the US. I HATE food pouches and not being able to see what is in them. Think about spoiled or rotten food and you can’t see the content in the pouch. The glass jars are so much nicer and you can feed your baby directly out the jar. With the pouches I found it harder as putting the amount on a spoon for feeding is just more messy to me and I do not appreciate the concept to give a pouch to my child to such on it. I want my child to properly eat and not “suck” food out of a pouch. I am lacking meal options in the US – as whatever you have here does not come as a full meal (carbs, proteins and vegetables). I struggle in finding options for travel (making my own baby food at home) to ensure my 11 month old get’s a balanced diet. And there are only two companies that offer jars and they are super expensive. I also hate that most snacks here contain sugar and a bunch of additives (PUFFs for instance, just look at the ingredients label – who want’s to feed that to their babies).

    Bottom line is that I disagree with the selection and options in Germany being strange and would love for more variation in the US.

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