April 14, 2009

DTQ: What Do Kids In Cheerio-less Countries Eat First?


General Mills launched Cheerios in 1941 as the first ready-to-eat oat cereal. Baby Boomers grew up wanting to be the Cheerios Kid or be annoyed by the Cheerios Kid, which is why every American baby since then's first finger food has been Cheerios.

Which often gets me to wondering: what are parents in other parts of the world picking up off the floor right now?



Unsalted ricecakes. Or Hirsebällchen.

Hirsebällchen? I don't remember seeing those in the HiPP line-up :-) Although my nephew's first solid was a taste of sausage.

When we lived in Germany - prime Cheerio-eating age for our son - we had my mother airmail Cheerios over to us. The Alnatura Zwieback were delicious!

Puffed rice.

Its the same as pop-corn, except its rice that is popped while still in its kernel and the husk then gets blown away, so you are left with fluffy white puffed rice.

My grandma, and her grandma, and hers ... have picked puffed rice off the floor.

You can buy it at any Indian grocery store.

-- //Shrikumar

Hirsebällchen are sold at the health food store. They are perfect for babies, made only from organic millet and air. They melt in your mouth.
Austria has Cheerios now (Nestle multigrain version). Still, I would not use multigrain for a first food. We preferred one ingredient at a time.

We have cheerios too, but most kids here (Portugal) eat bread for breakfast, not cereal. In the countryside vegetable soup was the traditional breakfast until not so long ago. With a glass of red wine on the side (for grown ups, mostly).

Ah, I wish I'd found those, they sound perfect! Took me a while to find a Reformhaus in the city where we lived, thinking back they'd probably have Hirsebällchen.

We could get multigrain Cheerios through the English Shop in Köln, but I also didn't want a multigrain cereal at a young age.

We have Cheerios (and indeed own-brand equivalents) here in the UK but no-one I know feeds them to babies.
I think it's the sugar coating rather than the multigrains that put us off (we reckon multigrains are fine from 6m, which is when they'd be going for finger food anyway).
Miniature plain rice cakes and the puffed carrot sticks thus or similar are all popular with middle-class British parents.

The cheerios available in the UK are the sweetened, multigrain kind which ARE available in the US but aren't the most common kind.

Seems like toast fingers are very popular as the first finger food among a lot of my friends of children that age.

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