Gourmet babies: French accents in American baby food | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1466-0407
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9118



Twentieth-century American parenting and pediatric norms dictated that babies transition from breast milk or formula to solids through a specific progression of flavourless foods. The pre-packaged baby food paradigm started shifting in the 1960s– 1970s when Americans were questioning everything and returning to nature. Baby food, both home-made and commercial, began including a broader range of tastes, textures and flavours. Over the past 40–50 years, American adults have grown in their awareness of gourmet, ethnic and organic foods, not only for themselves but for their babies. The current trend of French influences on American parenting and food choices supports the reawakening trend in the United States of savouring food for pleasure, enjoying home-cooked meals, and demanding diverse high-quality commercial foods, not only for adults but for children as well. This French-infused American food renaissance is reflected in rapidly declining sales of traditional US baby food products, and the subsequent industry reinvention to meet new demands. Baby foods now include pomegranate, kale, quinoa, spices, and other ingredients that were not available in mass-marketed baby foods a decade ago.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): baby; food; French; industrialized; mass-produced
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