When Jian started getting her teeth we wanted to give her snacks that didn’t have sugar and a lot of sodium. When you look at the ingredients and info on even baby snacks they have a lot of sugar and salt. Jian has a lifetime to get her parents’ sugar and salt addictions. We wanted her to learn to appreciate the real taste of natural food before then.

EJ found a source to get rice snacks naturally flavored with spinach, sweet potatoes, and Korean pear. She cottoned on to them right away. Six months later, and they’re still her favorite snacks.

They come in two forms, pellets and sticks. The pellets look like Rice Krispies, but they are soft, not crispy. Whenever she’s sitting down, it’s a good way to keep Jian occupied practicing her fine motor skills in picking up each pellet.

The sticks are wide and fit easily in a toddler’s hand. They’re not completely bland. They have those natural flavorings, and they subtly come out. She really loves these, even to this day where she’s eating more flavored foods, like her beloved cheese.

And they’re fun. (This was also Jian’s first ride on a high speed train.)

They’re called 맘스쌀과자 Mom’s Ssal Gwaja (Mom’s Rice Cookies). Our order from six months ago is still lasting.

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Joe McPherson founded ZenKimchi in 2004. He has been featured and sourced in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, KBS, MBC, SBS, Le Figaro, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, The Chosun Weekly, and other Korean and international media. He has consulted for "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain," The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, the PBS documentary series “Kimchi Chronicles,” and other projects in the UK, Canada, and Australia featuring celebrity chefs such as Gizzi Erskine and Gary Mehigan.Mr. McPherson has written for multiple Korean and international publications, including SEOUL Magazine, JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea and wrote the feature article for U.S. National publication Plate magazine’s all-Korean food issue. He has acted as dining editor for 10 Magazine and was on the judging panel for Korea for the Miele Guide.He spoke at TEDx Seoul on Korean food globalization, at TED Worldwide Talent Search on the rise of Korean cuisine, and in New York City on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine. The company ZenKimchi International organizes food tours for tourists and corporations and acts as a media liaison for foreign and Korean media and local restaurants and producers.
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