What Did Babies Eat in Ancient Times?

Babies are the most delicate and precious beings in the world. Their health and nourishment have always been a primary concern for parents throughout history.

Have you ever wondered what did babies eat in ancient times? Let’s dive into the past and explore the diets of infants in ancient civilizations.

Ancient Egyptian Baby Food

Ancient Egyptians believed that breast milk was the best food for infants. However, if a mother was unable to breastfeed, they had an alternative.

They would feed their babies a mixture of honey, water, and raw goat’s milk. This mixture was known as “wet nurse milk.” This practice was prevalent among wealthy families who could afford to hire a wet nurse.

Ancient Greek Baby Food

Ancient Greeks also believed that breast milk was the best food for infants. In case the mother couldn’t breastfeed, they would provide their babies with goat’s milk or barley water mixed with honey. After six months, they introduced fruits like figs, dates, and pears to their diet.

Ancient Roman Baby Food

In ancient Rome, mothers preferred breastfeeding their babies. But if breastfeeding wasn’t possible due to some reason, they would feed their babies a mixture of barley and water called “puls.” This mixture provided all necessary nutrients for babies up to six months old.

Medieval European Baby Food

In Medieval Europe, mothers breastfed their babies whenever possible. However, there were instances where wet nurses were employed to feed infants whose mothers were unable to breastfeed. Wet nurses would provide cow’s or goat’s milk along with other foods like porridge made from grains such as oats or barley.

Native American Baby Food

Native Americans had different diets for infants depending on the tribe’s location and available resources. Some tribes believed that breast milk was essential for an infant’s growth and development. However, other tribes fed their babies a mixture of crushed berries, nuts, and animal fat.


In conclusion, the diets of infants in ancient times varied from civilization to civilization. Breast milk was considered the best food for babies, but if it wasn’t available, they were given alternative foods like goat’s milk or a mixture of grains and water. It’s fascinating to see how our ancestors provided for their babies’ nutritional needs with limited resources and knowledge.

If you are a new parent or expecting a baby soon, consult with your pediatrician about the best diet for your baby. They will guide you on what foods to introduce at different stages of your baby’s life. Remember that every baby is unique and requires personalized care to grow up healthy and happy.