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Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Weaning is an important milestone in a baby’s growth. As parents, we want to make the right choices regarding baby’s food and diet. In Japan, weaning typically begins when babies are around 5 or 6 months of age. This may differ with your country. If you have doubts about when to introduce solids to your baby, do not hesitate to consult with a pediatrician. Let’s begin with a look at the top 10 Japanese baby food brands.

Top 10 Japanese Baby Food Brands

1. Kewpie (キユーピー)

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

You might instantly recognize the cute icon from the bottle of mayo or salad dressing in your fridge. So, it may surprise you that Kewpie makes baby food. In fact, Kewpie is perhaps best known in Japan for its jar baby food which is intended for babies 5 months of age and older. You can find Kewpie baby food in sealed pouches and plastic cup containers, making it easy for you to take them traveling. Kewpie products do not contain any of the 7 main allergens (egg, milk, wheat, soba, peanuts, shrimp, crab) identified by The Ministry of  Health, Labor and Welfare.

Try: Kewpie Peach and Grape Dessert – Available on Amazon Pantry for 98 yen

Here is Kewpie`s full line of baby food – Amazon Pantry Kewpie

2. Wakodo (和光堂)

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

If you’re planning a family outing, then you might want to pick up one of Wakodo’s bento boxes. Wakodo also makes freeze dried cubes of baby food which are easy to prepare by simply adding hot water. If you are looking to expand your baby meal repertoire, pick up a few of Wakodo’s powdered mixes. They’ll help you make anything from soups, Japanese soup stock (dashi) to steamed cakes (mushi pan), rice porridge (okayu) and more!

Try: Wakodo Japanese-style bento box – Available on Amazon Pantry for 246 yen

Here is Wakodo`s full line of baby snacks and food – Amazon Pantry Wakodo

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

3. Pigeon (ピジョン)

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Pigeon’s baby food typically comes in sealed pouches and are intended for babies 9 months and older. Pigeon also makes microwavable meals as well as soups and sauces that can be made easily by adding hot water.  Pigeon’s rice crackers (senbei) make a great snack for babies 6 months and older. The size is perfect for little hands and the crackers themselves dissolve in a child’s mouth.

Try: Pigeon Calcium and Iron Fortified Rice Crackers – Available on Amazon Prime 3 boxes 920 yen

Here is Pigeon`s full line of baby snacks and food – Amazon Pantry Pigeon

4. Beanstalk (雪印ビーンスターク)

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Beanstalk makes both snacks and complete meals. Its snacks are for babies 6 months and older;  meals are for babies 7 months and older. Beanstalk baby meals are known for containing a wide variety of vegetables. This ensures that your child will obtain all the nutrients they need as they approach the final stages of weaning.

Try: Beanstalk Chicken and Mushroom Rice – Available on Amazon Pantry for 172 yen

Here is Beanstalk`s full line of baby snacks and food – Amazon Pantry Beanstalk

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

5. Morinaga (森永乳業)

Morigana’s lineup of baby food is for babies 9 months of age and older. Its packages are 120 grams in weight and contain larger and firmer pieces of food. If you find that your child is not full even after eating, perhaps a switch to Morinaga might just do the trick.

Try: Morinaga Beef and Mushroom Sukiyaki – Available on Amazon Pantry for 131 yen

Here is Morinaga`s full line of baby snacks and food – Amazon Pantry Beanstalk

6. Hakubaku (はくばく)

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Hakubaku noodles are made from Australian organic wheat. In their lineup you will find soba, udon, and spaghetti. All of its noodles are cut into 2.5 cm pieces. Its soumen is intended for babies 5 months and older. The udon is intended for babies 7 months of age and older. Lastly, its spaghetti is intended for babies 9 months and older.

Try: Hakubaku Table Salt Free Spaghetti – Available on Amazon for 238 yen  

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

7. Ofukuro (おふく楼)

Like Kewpie, this lineup of baby food by Ofukuro comes in jars. However, Ofukuro baby food is organic. Its lineup contains 4 categories featuring a main ingredient: Rice, soy milk, vegetables, and fruit.  The rice series is the largest, featuring 11 different varieties. Ofukuro baby food is intended for babies 5 months and older

Try: Ofukuro 5 Vegetable Rice – Available on Amazon for 410 yen  

Ofukuro baby food can also be found at F&F Natural Food Store, Takashimaya and Amazon Japan.

8. Green Mind

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Another organic option is Green Mind’s rice porridge (okyau). It comes in textures that correspond to the 4 stages of weaning. The first stage of Green Mind porridge can be given to babies 5 months and older. Green Mind rice porridge packages are also a great addition to your household’s emergency kit.

Try: Green Mind Rice Porridge for Babies 5mths+ – Available on Amazon Pantry 5 for 1944 yen  

Here is Green Mind`s full line of Products – Amazon Japan

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

9. Kassai Hokkaido (活彩北海道)

You may seen Kassai Hokkaido in the pages of the Japanese parenting magazines Hiyoko Club and Baby-Mo. Kassai Hokkaido promises to bring customers only the best of Japan’s northern island. Kassai Hokkaido’s powdered vegetable baby food prides itself on being preservative and additive free.

Try: Kassai Hokkaido 4 Vegetable Variety Pack – Available on Amazon for 1,980 yen  

 

10. Glico (グリコ)

Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

Seeing Glico on this roundup might surprise you considering that they make snacks like Pocky and Pretz. But, Glico is also behind the baby formula brand Icreo. When it comes to baby food, Glico’s lineup is for kids one year of age and older.  You’ll notice that the choice of foods available (vegetable curry, udon, gratin, stews, etc. ) are virtually indistinguishable from their “adult” versions.

Try: Glico 5 Variety Pack – Available on Amazon for 940 yen  

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

Stages of Weaning

Japanese baby food (離乳食/りにゅうしょく/ri’nyuu shoku) is categorized by age or by stage in weaning. Use this guide to help you understand some of the terms you may encounter on a food label or product package.

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
離乳食 りにゅうしょく ri’nyuu shoku baby food
 ゴックン期  ごっくんき  gokkun ki  5-6 months
すりつぶした  すりつぶした  suritsubushita  ground/mashed
モグモグ期 もぐもぐき  mogu mogu ki  7-8 months
舌でつぶせる固さ  したでつぶせるかたさ shita de tsubuseru katasa  soft enough to be flattened with tongue
カミカミ期  かみかみき  kami kami ki  9-11 months
歯ぐきでつぶせる固さ  はぐきでつばせるかたさ haguki de tsubuseru katasa  soft enough to be flattened by gums
パクパク期  ぱくぱくき  paku paku ki  12-18 months
 歯ぐきで噛める固さ  はぐきでかめるかたさ  haguki de kameru katasa soft enough to be chewed by gums
*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

Organic Foods and Additives

The below terms will help you identify organic or additive-free foods. Please also refer to our posts on shopping organic in Japan: Buying Organic in Japan and Buying Organic Foods Online in Japan.

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
 有機・オーガニック  ゆうき・おーがにっく  yuuki/o-ganikku  organic
 無添加  むてんか mutenka  no additives
 無香料  むこうりょう mukouryou  unflavored
 着色料  むしょくりょう mushokuryou artificial coloring

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

Nutrients

Baby food is sometimes fortified with calcium, iron, DHA, or other minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to help a growing baby meet the necessary dietary requirements. For an in-depth look at the various parts of a Japanese food label, please refer to our article, Reading Japanese Food Labels. You will also find a list of the designated 27 allergens.

Japanese Hiragana Romanji English
ノンカフェイン のんかふぇいん Non kafein Non-caffinated
 ビタミン びたみん  Bitamin  Vitamin
葉酸 ようさん Yousan Folic acid
てつ Tetsu Iron (Fe)
カルシウム かるしうむ Karusium Calcium (Ca)

*** Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients ***

Where to Buy Baby Food

STORES

  • Your local drugstore will often have a sizable selection of baby food.
  • Supermarkets and stores like Ito Yokado and Aeon are also a convenient option.
  • Costco is great for those seeking to buy in bulk.
  • Lastly, don’t forget baby and toddler superstores like Akachan Honpo, Nishimuraya and Babies ‘R Us/Toys `R Us
  • Natural House sells organic baby food and has several locations throughout Japan.  If you’re in Tokyo, check out their branches in Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Meguro Atre, Yurakucho Itocia, or in Aoyama.
  • F&F Natural Food Store sells organic baby food and snacks and has several locations throughout Japan.

ONLINE with Discounts
Sign up for Amazon Family to receive discounts off retail prices with free shipping.  Amazon Fresh is also a wonderful option for introducing delicious ingredients to baby.

Rakuten members can sign up for Mama Wari, which offers frequent point rebates and various bonus point campaigns.

If you’re looking for organic food, check out Natural House (Japanese only).

P.S. Visit our Top Recommended Baby Posts:

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Guide to Japanese Baby Food Brands and Ingredients

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Written By: Teni Wada – A work-at-home-mom determined to find the perfect work-life balance in the bustling megalopolis of Tokyo. Find out more about her life as a new mom in Tokyo over at her blog, babykaiju.com.

 

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