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Spanish Baby Food

An Introduction to the Pureed Iberian Table

As I mentioned in a previous post, we bought jarred baby food while we were in Spain. In this post, I'll give an overview of what we found and how they went over with our taste tester, who was 12 months old when we were there.

Where we found it: Although we found baby food in the obvious places (supermarkets), we also came across a couple of jars in a pharmacy. For both places, the selection was less varied than what you might see in US supermarkets, but this wasn't too surprising considering that the stores didn't have as many square feet of display space as their US counterparts.

Packaging: The brands were different: I didn't see any I recognized from US grocery stores. Nestle and Hero were the brands I saw the most. Some of the jarred food was of comparable size to the 3.5-ounce jars we see in the US, but it was common to see bigger, multi-serving jars. Thankfully, we spent most of our trip in apartments, so I was able to stash leftovers in the fridge instead of tossing them. Packaging also tended to be in glass as opposed to plastic, so when we took jars out with us for the day, I tried to be a bit more careful about loading up the diaper bag.

Fruit: We saw lots of fruit combinations. One difference I noticed was a tendency to include oranges or even a little bit of lemon juice in them, but that didn't faze my daughter one bit: she loved every fruit jar we found.

Vegetables: Jars that were strictly veggies were very difficult to come by. Instead I saw a lot of meat-and-veggie or fish-and-veggie combos. After lots of searching, we did find some carrots at a pharmacy and an asparagus-and-cream combo in the supermarket section of El Corte Ingl├ęs. If you are taking an infant veggie lover to Spain, devote any extra space in your suitcase to packages of veggies.

Jarred veggies in Spain differed from those in the US in 2 ways: 1) they were seasoned with salt, and 2) olive oil, rather than water, was used to create the puree with the vegetable. My daughter didn't mind the added salt, but she did not care for the thicker texture created by the oil. I modified the food by putting some in a bowl, adding water little by little, and stirring until it resembled the consistency of what's available in the US. After that, she would eat it.

Meat/Meat-and-veggie combos: The most common kinds were actually fish-and-veggie combos, but we also found chicken paired with veggies. My daughter has always been finicky about pureed meats: there were only 2 types in the US that she would tolerate. Needless to say, I didn't get too adventurous in this category, though for all I know she may have liked what she would have tried. We tried the chicken-and-veggie combos, and she had the same reaction that she had towards the veggies, eating them only if they were diluted in water.

Yogurt: It's not jarred baby food, but it's worth mentioning that small packages of yogurt are widely available in fruit flavors or the mixed-fruit "Macedonia de frutas." My daughter loved these.

Other stuff: We saw some jarred foods billed as desserts, like pureed cookies and cream. We didn't try them because we generally try to limit sweets. We also saw infant cereals in the supermarkets but didn't buy any because our daughter was no longer eating them.

In all, my daughter did fine with Spanish baby food, but I was grateful to be staying in places with kitchens because it was easier to store and modify the foods.

Posted by amikulski 21:41 Archived in Spain Tagged children food europe

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