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Perfect Souvenirs for Children! 10 Popular Snacks for Young Kids in Japan

Okashi (snacks) are important sources of nutrients for babies and young children. Japan is home to a wide array of snacks that are carefully made by taking into account such factors as size, hardness, and the motor skills of children. Out of the myriad choices available, here are 10 of the most recommended snacks for young children in Japan!

1. Anpanman no Oyasai Senbei by Kuriyamabeika

You’ll know this snack right away through the illustration of the famous character Anpanman on the packaging! Anpanman no Oyasai Senbei is a soft senbei (rice cracker) that is perfect for children who have graduated from baby food. Incorporating six vegetables (spinach, onion, carrot, tomato, pumpkin and corn), this senbei comes in a mild and easy to eat onion soup flavor. It is sold in the 4P (10g x 4 packs) variant that will give your child about 0.7g in dietary fiber in every pack (10g), and the 12-piece variant (2 pieces x 6 packs).

Target age: From around 1 year and 4 months
Reference price: 172 JPY (incl. tax) for the 4P and 162 JPY (incl. tax) for the 12-piece pack

1. Anpanman no Oyasai Senbei by Kuriyamabeika

2. Manna Biscuit by Morinaga & Co., Ltd.

Manna Biscuit has been a long-selling product among snacks for young children in the country. With its mild sweetness and melt-in-the-mouth texture, it has come to be enjoyed by people of all ages - from weaning babies to seniors. It is also characterized by its cute shape that is bound to draw the attention of small children. Now, aside from being a perfect snack to practice the grasping and chewing ability of kids, it is also packed with nutrients (calcium, iron, and vitamins) that tend to be lacking among children when they are in the weaning period. When buying, you can choose between the 2-pack (43g x 2 packs) and Oyatsu Pack (13g x 4 packs).

Target age: From around seven months
Reference price: 158 JPY (incl. tax) for the 2-pack and 162 JPY (incl. tax) for the Oyatsu Pack

2. Manna Biscuit by Morinaga & Co., Ltd.

3. Kokusan Ran-o Kabocha Boro by Iwamoto-Seika

Boro* is a mild-tasting snack that only uses domestically grown and produced ingredients, such as egg yolk. The pumpkin used for this snack is kneaded into the dough as is, so you will taste its inherent sweetness. This snack does not use any preservative, coloring, flavoring, or leavening agents. It does not use dairy products, either, so it is recommended for children with milk allergies. Another great point about this snack is that is loaded with calcium. It is available in a 1-pack (78g) that comes in a resealable packaging to make it convenient for storage and carrying, and the 5-pack (15g x 5 packs) that is made up of five smaller, pocket-size packs.

*A small, round snack introduced from Portugal that is made by baking a mixture of flour, eggs, and sugar

Target age: From 7 months
Reference price: 140 JPY (incl. tax) each

3. Kokusan Ran-o Kabocha Boro by Iwamoto-Seika

4. Oyasai Ball Satsumaimo by Kewpie

The Oyasai Ball that values the taste of vegetables is another recommended snack for young children. With every piece raised and plumped up through pressure and heat, without using oil, this is a light snack that will let kids enjoy that melt-in-the-mouth goodness. It comes in a size and shape that can be easily eaten with the hand, taking into account the development of the fingers of children. Of the three flavors available (sweet potato, pumpkin, and corn), the sweet potato (“satsumaimo” in Japanese) is especially popular thanks to its gentle and natural taste that capitalizes on the flavors and colors of its ingredients. This snack is completely free from sugar, salt, coloring agent, preservatives, and artificial flavoring. It also does not use allergen-specific raw materials*.

Target age: From 7 months
Reference price: 230 JPY (excl. tax)

*Milk, egg, wheat, soba (buckwheat), peanut, shrimp, crab, abalone, squid, salmon roe, orange, kiwi fruit, beef, walnut, salmon, mackerel, soybean, chicken, pork, matsutake mushroom, peach, yam, apple, gelatin, banana, sesame seed, cashew nut

4. Oyasai Ball Satsumaimo by Kewpie

5. Genki Up Calcium Kozakana Senbei & Hijiki Senbei by Pigeon

Genki Up Calcium Kozakana Senbei & Hijiki Senbei is a pack of two kinds of calcium-rich senbei. The Kozakana Senbei, which has powdered kozakana (small fish) kneaded in its dough, contains oligosaccharides that promote the propagation of bifidus bacillus bacteria. Meanwhile, the Hijiki Senbei that has incorporated hijiki (a kind of edible seaweed) powder in its mixture is filled with iron, something that children tend to lack in their bodies. This snack comes in a size that fits the palm and fingertips of babies, so it can also be the perfect snack for training them to eat with their hands and to hold small things with their fingertips! It does not use coloring, preservatives, or artificial flavoring, and is also free from allergen-specific raw materials.

Target age: From around 6 months
Reference price: 268 JPY (incl. tax)

5. Genki Up Calcium Kozakana Senbei & Hijiki Senbei by Pigeon

6. Hai Hain by Kameda Seika

Hai Hain is a mild-tasting snack that makes best use of the original flavors of rice. It is a soft senbei that quickly melts inside the mouth. The Yasai Hai Han that comes in a green packaging incorporates four green and yellow vegetables (pumpkin, spinach, tomato and carrot) and is packed with iron. Meanwhile, the plain type in blue packaging contains nutrients that are good for babies, such as K-2 lactic acid bacteria and calcium. It has no artificial flavoring, coloring and preservatives, and does not use allergen-specific raw materials.

Target age: From 7 months
Reference price: 194 JPY (incl. tax) each

6. Hai Hain by Kameda Seika

7. Anpanman no Mini-Snack Yasai by Fuji Baking Group

This is a bread with a mild taste that is made with a mix of vegetable and fruit juices kneaded into its dough. With a soft texture that melts in the mouth, its is perfect as snack for children! It comes in a small size that can be easily held by tiny hands. Its packaging bears a drawing of Anpanman and his friends, so this snack is bound to put a smile on your face. Aside from yasai (vegetable), this snack is available in different variants that include milk chocolate, banana and carrot. It does not use yeast or emulsifying agents.

Target age: From around 12 months
Reference price: 150 JPY (incl. tax)

7. Anpanman no Mini-Snack Yasai by Fuji Baking Group

8. Akachan no Yasashii Hotcake Mix by Wakodo

This is mixed powder that will let you make pancakes easily without too much trouble, as all you need to do is mix the powder with water and then cook! It is designed to be friendly to babies since it uses malt sugar with simple sweetness and domestically grown vegetables*. By eating this snack, young children will be able to take iron and calcium with pleasure. The packaging comes with a resealable flap that makes it convenient for storing. This snack comes in three variants: Plain, Spinach & Komatsuna, and Pumpkin & Sweet Potato. It does not use artificial flavoring or coloring.

*Used only the Spinach & Komatsuna and Pumpkin & Sweet Potato variants

Target age: From around 9 months
Reference price: 290 JPY (incl. tax) each

8. Akachan no Yasashii Hotcake Mix by Wakodo

9. Range de Mushipan by Pigeon

Range de Mushipan is a kit for easily making mushipan (steamed bun), which is perfect for a snack or breakfast, with a microwave oven. Just combine the powder mix and milk in the accompanying cup and pop the batter in the microwave oven, and you’ll have a soft and delicious mushipan in 40 seconds or so. This snack comes in four flavors, comprising Apple & Sweet Potato, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin, Spinach & Komatsuna, and Pumpkin & Carrot. All these variants are light on the sweetness, so you can enjoy the original flavors of vegetables and fruits.

Target age: From around 9 months
Reference price: 208 JPY (incl. tax) each

9. Range de Mushipan by Pigeon

10. Fruit de Oishii Yasai Jelly 6-ko-iri Pack by Morinaga Milk Industry

This is a jelly drink made from 100% vegetable and fruit juices that come from eight kinds of vegetables and fruits. It is packed in a container with straw, so it would be easy for kids to slurp away while holding it! Further, it has no coloring, artificial flavoring, preservatives or sugar, and is characterized by a natural kind of sweetness extracted from the inherent flavors of its ingredients. This 6-pack comes with two packs each of jelly drinks of fruits blended with yellow vegetables, red vegetables or green vegetables.

Target age: From around 12 months
Reference price: 949 JPY (incl. tax)

10. Fruit de Oishii Yasai Jelly 6-ko-iri Pack by Morinaga Milk Industry

The snacks featured in this article can be purchased at shops that specialize in baby goods, such as Nishimatsuya, Akachan Honpo and Babies “R” Us, as well as supermarkets and drugstores. Try to look for them!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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