Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Global Food Gamut Tempts Baby Palates

Moscow supermarkets have a wide range of commercial baby food to tempt the budding gourmet.

Most supermarkets stock one or two well-known brands of baby foods as well as baby cereals and juices. They are safe, wholesome (free of salt, sugar, chemical additives, artificial flavors and colors), nutritious (often containing extra vitamins and minerals) and convenient.

Prepared baby foods became a part of my baby's regular diet when I found my best culinary efforts being used to fingerpaint the high chair; their only drawback is that they often lack the texture necessary to stimulate chewing skills. You can add finely grated carrots, rice, or sieved egg yolk for extra interest and added nourishment.

The Irish Garden Ring stocks Gerber and Heinz baby foods, with jars of unsweetened fruits or vegetables or meat for the baby just starting on solids ($1.79), as well as larger cans or jars for the older baby ($2.15 for a 200-gram Heinz vegetable and meat combination).

Across the road, Eldorado has the excellent Finnish "Piltti" dishes, including chicken and vegetables, lasagna, beef and potatoes ($1 for 190 grams). Stockmann also carries the Piltti range and has fish and vegetables, which I have not seen elsewhere, and beef stroganoff ($1.30 for 190 grams), mango puree and dairy desserts. To my mind, the best-tasting baby food is produced by Bledina, available at Progress Supermarket.

Pediatricians recommend one and even two helpings of cereal a day. Younger babies are better off with single-grain baby cereal, which has iron in a more absorbable form than ordinary breakfast cereal. The Irish Garden Ring has Gerber rice cereal ($3.86 for 227 grams). Stockmann has a good range of baby cereal ($4.50 for 500 grams) as does Eldorado (including the German brand Alete baby muesli, $10 for 500 grams).

Russian babies eat kasha, porridge made from buckwheat available in most Russian supermarkets. The Holding-Center supermarket has Slovenian kasha in chocolate, hazelnut or vanilla flavors ($1.77 for 250 grams), and apple-flavored semolina and banana cornflour cereal from Israel ($1.44 for 400 grams).

This variety in food sources means babies in Moscow are quite worldly: They can eat a Finnish breakfast, a Russian lunch and an Israeli dinner.

Garden Ring, 2 Ulitsa Serafimovicha, metro Borovitskaya, tel. 230-1261.

Eldorado, 1/3 Ulitsa Bolshaya Polyanka, metro Polyanka, tel. 238-8611.

Stockmann, 2/3 Zatsepski Val, metro Paveletskaya, tel. 233-2602

Progress, 17 Zubovsky Bulvar, metro Park Kultury, tel. 246-9976.

Holding-Center, 72 Lyusinovskaya Ulitsa, metro Dobrininskaya, tel. 952-0520.

You buy a packet or plastic bag of krupa and cook it with boiling water, milk or bouillon.

lobbed at the cat or

, or slip in rejected foods such as peas or spinach

(which my son adores)

Progress has many products, including French baby formula and teething rusks.

to prepared baby dinners

Its German brand "Alete" is suitable for the baby with a big appetite ($3.55 for 250 grams of meat and vegetables). Older babies can eat oatmeal or low-sugar cereals such as Weetabix.