There are so many snacks (おやつ) available in Japan for babies once they start eating solid food so I thought I would share information about the ones my daughter has tried. These are great for snack time or for on-the-go, especially if your little one is getting a bit fussy (I always have one or two of these snacks in my diaper bag or purse just in case).
If you’re interested in any of these products, you can click on the name or image to be taken to their online retailer and find out more. These snacks can also be found at most baby stores in Japan as well as supermarkets and drugstores.
- Please ensure that you give your child the snacks below under adult supervision, especially if they are under the age of one, as although the snacks are made to dissolve easily (particularly the 7 months and up snacks), that does not eliminate the risk of choking.
- Most of the snacks below contain sugar (砂糖) unless otherwise indicated. Make sure you read the ingredients (原材料名) carefully before giving it to your child.
- Do not replace meals with snacks.
Japanese Snacks for Babies 6 Months and Up
I was quite surprised to learn that babies can start having snacks from 6 months! This particular pack of senbei (rice crackers) by the popular baby brand Pigeon (ピジョン) has two different flavors: fish and hijiki. They are light and easy for 6-month-olds to hold, and dissolve easily in the mouth. To be honest, my daughter licked these rice crackers and it took her a while before she started eating them because everything was so new to her! These crackers contain calcium and are free of 28 different allergens so you can feel safe giving it to your baby to munch on (or simply lick!).
These little senbei by Beanstalk are loaded with calcium (which shouldn’t be a surprise given their name). They’re also free of fragrances, preservatives, and artificial coloring, as well as 27 different allergens. Each pack contains two senbei that are easy to hold and dissolve quickly. My daughter liked these as well although she preferred the more fishy flavor of the Pigeon crackers listed above.
Japanese Snacks for Babies 7 Months and Up
What I like about this snack by Pigeon is that it comes in two different flavors and shapes — kabocha and potato in ring shapes as well as carrot and tomato in puffed shapes. Both shapes were easy for my daughter to hold at 7 months and feed herself. These non-fried snacks are good for infants 7 months and up, contain calcium, but are free of artificial fragrances, coloring, and preservatives. I found that these were among the most dissolvable snacks on this list. The ring ones are also the perfect size for babies to practice their fine motor skills, such as the pincer grasp.
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Pigeon also offers several other flavors, including one that has whitebait and hijiki rice cakes (which to my delight my daughter still devours despite it not containing any sugar), and broccoli and spinach puffs.
This variety snack pack by Wakodo is a great way for your baby to try out three different kinds of flavors and shapes: rice crackers with whitebait, rice crackers with spinach and Japanese mustard spinach, and puffed rice cakes with pumpkin and carrot. According to Wakodo, these snacks are packed with calcium and iron, are easy for little hands to hold, and dissolve easily in the mouth. Wakodo rings didn’t dissolve as well as the Pigeon ones, however, and I was a bit concerned about its small size and ended up eventually snapping them in half before giving it to my daughter when she was 7 months.
These rice crackers are for 7 months and up. They contain calcium and are made of 100% Japanese rice. These crackers are also good for children with allergies as they are free of 27 different kinds of allergens. My daughter received this as a gift from my mother-in-law but unfortunately, she wasn’t a fan. It’s quite bland, so for those of you who want to start off with someone that doesn’t pack such a flavor-punch, this might be a good choice.
Japanese Snacks for Babies 9 Months and Up
Another variety pack, this time of three different types of cookies — banana, edamame, and baked sweet potato. My mother-in-law bought this for my daughter and it was a good choice because she can’t get enough! Similar to the aforementioned rice cracker snack pack, these contain lots of great nutrients and are easy for little ones to eat.
This is yet another gift from my mother-in-law. These chestnut, pumpkin and sweet potato cookies have the classic round cookie shape and will likely be devoured by your little one but are also a bit crumbly and messy, so that’s something to keep in mind if you decide to get these.
These can be given as a snack or as part of breakfast for your little one. My daughter really enjoys these pancakes in the morning and they are super easy to make — all you need is water! There are several different flavors, such as spinach and komatsuna, kabocha and sweet potato, and plain. One thing I like to do is mix some plain Wakodo pancake batter with leftover powdered baby food packets for lunch (for instance, something not so appetizing but healthy like chicken liver and veggies with boiled water added to it according to its preparation instructions) and my toddler gobbles it up.
This steamed bread is made in the microwave for a super easy warm snack or side dish. All you need to do is pour the contents of a package into a ramekin or small microwaveable bowl, add a tablespoon of milk, water, or vegetable juice, mix and then pop it into the microwave for 50 seconds. I like to add small bits of chopped fruit, such as apple or strawberry, or vegetables like corn in order to sneak some nutrients into my picky daughter. This microwavable bread also comes in cocoa and corn.
Japanese Snacks for Babies 1 Year and Up (Toddlers)
My daughter is obsessed with this snack pack and will throw a fit if she sees it in my bag and I don’t give it to her right away. (Not sure if that’s a good sign but hey, toddlers. Tiny, demanding little beings.) This particular variety pack contains seafood-flavored rice crackers, like しらす (whitebait), shrimp, and wakame (seaweed).
I’ve mentioned this healthy and drinkable snack before in my article about how to keep your little one cool during sweltering summers in Japan. They’re portable, easy to drink from, and contains 100% fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar, so you can feel good about giving this to your toddler. This drink also received the Mother’s Selection Award in 2019 from the Japan Mothers Association.
This cereal, or vegetable and fruit puffs, contain iron and calcium, and can be eaten on its own or with milk or yogurt. My daughter likes to have it with milk as a side sometimes for breakfast. It’s also very light and portable so you can take it with you if you’re going on a trip.
I made this microwaveable cake for my daughter as her smash cake when she turned one. It comes with the cake mixture, icing, and tray, so all you need to get are the decorations. However, it was a bit harder to make than the instructions state. You really have to make sure everything is mixed well and I ended up straining the matter to ensure everything was smooth and even before putting the batter into the microwave.
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I think it’s fun to try out and I might buy it again when my daughter is older and can make it with me.
These black soybean flour cookies are a hit in this house. They contain DHA, which is important for cognitive and visual development in children.
Other flavors include…
Japanese Snacks for Toddlers 16 Months and Up
This variety pack contains carrot and kabocha cookies, spinach biscuits, and soy milk cocoa cookies. Two flavors come in cute shapes that are sure to delight toddlers.
If your baby or toddler is already munching on Japanese snacks and their favorite isn’t on the list, let me know what they like by commenting below!