What Babies in Italy Eat

25 Jul

No, no, this isn’t becoming a “mommy blog.” God forbid.

Just a couple things I found interesting.

Yesterday Vincenzo had a pediatrician visit and the doctor explained to me the whole plan for introducing him to solid foods. Today was his first non-milk “meal.” It consisted of:

-vegetable broth prepared with one carrot and one zucchini
-a few spoonfuls of powdered rice cereal


– one teaspoon of olive oil

Do you not love it? My baby’s first meal had olive oil in it. Something tells me that’s not on the menu for US babies, but I could be wrong… Racheal Ray would totally approve, right? EVOO, people!! Yum-o! (Insert eye roll here). Check out her website and you’ll even find she’s dispensing parenting tips, real gems like this one: Spend one on one time with your kid–Even if you’ve got three or four of them, making some one on one time for each child will give you bonding time that you can’t get as a group.

WOW. It’s like… WOW.

But, this is what I find the funniest though. When my mom was here for Vince’s baptism about a month ago, we went to the supermarket and were looking at stuff in the baby aisle. She picks up a package of baby food and goes, “Well, that’s weird. Why in the world would they put a horse on the package?”

Go ahead, answer me that. Why would they put a horse on the package?

I personally have never gone in for the whole “horse meat” thing here in Italy, so I highly doubt little V is going to be partaking in it. I’m sure it tastes just like chicken though.


19 Responses to “What Babies in Italy Eat”

  1. nyc/caribbean ragazza July 25, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    There’s horse meat in the baby food? I don’t see that selling in the States. I think PETA would have a cow.

    Rachel Ray doesn’t have kids and now she is giving out child rearing advice? Yet a minute, silly me. She can’t cook either but she makes millions a year sharing her cooking advice.

  2. Barbara July 25, 2008 at 1:52 pm #

    Being from Kentucky, home of Churchill Downs, the Ky Derby and may horse farms, eating horse meat is just unthinkable. I do see it in the grocery store, but since I don’t have a baby I’ve never noticed it in the baby food aisle too!

    I do love the idea of adding a bit of olive oil to the baby food, though….

  3. Miss Expatria July 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    i think it’s funny that they have an adorable horsie pic on the package. it’s not like they put bunnies or cows on other food.

  4. Eryn July 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    I unfortunately was persuaded to try “cavallo” while studying in Italy…..and it does NOT taste like chicken.

    you’re not missing out on anything!

  5. SunnyInspiration July 25, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    That is different. Here they start off on rice cereal usually. Then, at 6 mos, they start getting introduced to some veggies and fruit baby foods. 🙂

  6. anna l'americana July 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm #

    Ah, yes, carne equina. What memories. Once a year my mother would try to get me to eat it as it is actually much more nutritious and has a much lower fat content and more flavor (beefy – not chickeny) than beef. Our neighbors used it as beef (Trastevere was poor back then – all original residents. We were the first stranieri in zona). And just as regularly I would refuse to eat it. We did, however feed it to our dog who was fed fresh food (there might not even have been decent kibble choices in Italy then when dogs were only for hunting or guarding and everyone I knew with a dog just fed it their own human leftovers – poor dogs!) and for his protein we would go around the corner to the macelleria equina (right off of P. Trilussa on V. Benedetta about halfway to dove spunta V. del Bologna – I think the marble sign is still over the door last year, although I think the venue has been turned into….what else? Another crappy tourist restaurant., of course!

    I still remember the smell of the equine tripe…..UGH!!!!!!….which everyone in the neighborhood considered quite a treat and they laughed at me for not even being able to look at it!

    I find it strange that the baby food label said “Cavallo” instead of “Equina” – which is a little more clinical and less like you are eating Roy Roger’s best friend. Boh!

  7. Kelli July 26, 2008 at 1:57 am #

    Get that kid over here, stat. We’ve got plenty of olive oil so he can keep his heritage, but it is equally important he recognize Trigger isn’t dinner.

  8. girasoli July 27, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    Wow, I have never heard if horse food for babies! Eeewww. Interestingly here in Hawaii, poi is often the first food fed to babies. I would take poi or olive oil over horse food any day.

  9. Judith in Umbria July 27, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    Aren’t we silly about what we think is edible and what is not? I know it to my toes and still do not eat horse or eels. I know an eel is not a snake… it looks too snakey to eat!

  10. federico July 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    ciao a tutti! i grow up on horse meat i think it s gorgeous! dont see why we feel it s ok to kill a chicken but not a horse or a hare or a donkey. horsemeat is very rich in iron and a speciality where i live (verona). try it if ur in the area!

  11. Michele February 26, 2009 at 6:06 am #

    My third child is now 7 weeks old. He has colic. My second child had colic too, he is now 14 yrs old. I am currently using 0.5ml of extra virgin olive oil as an additive to my baby’s feeding schedule. I give him that amount before he takes a bottle. He has become a quiet normal baby again. I wish I had known about it when my second child had colic. No more constipation, upset stomach or spitting up. And most importantly, no more screaming and crying in pain after taking a bottle!!!!

  12. Mary May 26, 2009 at 3:44 am #

    I was wondering what babies in Italy eat because my 8m old LOVES roasted garlic and could eat it by the handful like cherios! It seems rather wrong to feed a kid garlic like that but mine is definitely an italian baby- I wonder when italian babies start eating that?

  13. Audra October 29, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove horse meat. My American-ness be damned, horse meat is good. It really tastes beefier and leaner than beef. It’s really nice grilled with salt and pepper and squeezed with lemon.

    And Mary, I, like your (adorable) baby LURVE roasted garlic. For real, give that kid a gold star.

  14. spacedlaw March 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    It doesn’t (taste like chicken). Horse meat is rich in iron and not fat, which makes it ideal as children food.

  15. Un'americana a Roma March 28, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    It’s a real cultural difference here in food. I personally don’t have any problems with the idea of using horses for meat, but pretty much every American I know is appalled by the idea. Why is it ok to eat a cow but not a horse? Because horses are kept as pets, I guess.

  16. Andre delMondo December 22, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    Seared on a wood fire or charcoal, it is just like tender lean beef or buffalo. I would try it tartar if served very fresh.

  17. Antiqua Tours April 12, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Another great thing is they aren’t telling you to give your kids cow’s milk which is more or less poison for human children, but in the USA the cow milk industrty is a strong lobby so Americans actually believe it is healthy for humans (it is not) Olive oil is great for children!

  18. Antiqua Tours April 12, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    As for horse meat, ideally it could be healthy BUT be careful. Most horse meat in Europe today is from horses that were used for racing or other equestrian sports, so therefore they are loaded with tons of parmacueticals like hormones and steroids and it has been dicovered that horsemeat is actually unhealthy for human consumption due to this fact.

  19. Un'americana a Roma April 12, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Why is cow’s milk poison? And is that in general or just US milk (hormones, etc.)?

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