Gut Friendly Baby Broth (First Food For Babies)

Posted by Erica Winn
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You may not have thought of bone broth as a great first food for your baby, but this post is going to tell you all about it and why you should give your baby bone broth!

bone broth in small children's bowl with a spoon in it.

Why bone broth for babies?

Bone broth is simple, real food that is healing and calming to the lining of the gut. It’s a powerhouse of nutrition and comfort. This makes it a great first food for babies since they are transitioning from a milk only diet to adding in solids foods, which can be a little hard on their digestive system at first.

In our Starting Solids Course, we teach you exactly how to care for your baby’s gut as you introduce solid foods. It’s a step-by-step guide that tells you exactly what foods to introduce and when, starting with baby bone broth.

Bone broth is rich in collagen, which is heals the gut lining. Babies have immature digestive systems and they continue to develop through their first birthday. Supportive first foods are so important for helping them to mature their gut, which is what helps them to be healthy overall.

holding a spoonful of bone broth up above a bowl full of broth to show the gelatinous texture.

Babies have immature digestive systems that continue to develop through their first birthday, so giving them gut-healthy and supportive first foods is crucial!

What do you need to make bone broth for babies?

It’s super simple! You only need 4 basic ingredients. Here’s what you need.

  • Bones
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Water

More about bones for making broth

You can grab some soup bones from your local butcher or your local health foods store, like Whole Foods, should carry them as well. Just ask at the meat counter where you shop. You want to get the best quality you can find (preferably grass-fed beef or pastured chicken, but organic and hormone and antibiotic free at a minimum. The healthiest bones make the healthiest, most nutrient dense broth.

close up angled image of bone broth in a small children's bowl with a spoon.

The healthiest bones make the healthiest, most nutrient dense broth. We love grass fed or pasture raised soup bones.

How do you make baby broth?

It’s easy and only takes about 5 minutes to get it started in a Slow Cooker or an Instant Pot. You can also make it on the stove, but I prefer the other options as they require the least amount of hands-on time. You just set it and let it cook. Here are the simple steps for making bone broth in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot.

  1. Place bones, apple cider vinegar and sea salt in your Slow Cooker or Instant Pot.
  2. Fill it up the rest of the way with water.
  3. Set to cook and walk away.
  4. Once it’s done, let it cool and then store it.

When do you start giving babies bone broth?

When you start solids around 6 months, it is a great time to start giving your baby bone broth. We give you all the details about which foods are best to start with and which foods you should avoid for the first year of your baby’s life in our Starting Solids course.

You can serve bone broth to your baby by spooning it into their mouth or in a bottle. Mix an ounce with their milk in a bottle, and then over time you can increase the amount of broth or even try giving them a little by itself.

You can also use bone broth for making purees for your babe. It’s a great way to add even more nutrient dense goodness to your baby’s food!

We provide a video tutorial for making bone broth in our Starting Solids Course!

image of mom feeding baby a homemade puree with bone broth for baby's first foods. dad is eating an apple at the table too.

Your turn to make your baby some bone broth

Now that you know how easy it is to make gut healing bone broth, go ahead and make a batch in your Slow Cooker or Instant Pot and serve it up to your little one! Leave a rating and comment below to let us know how it goes. And make sure to follow along with us on Instagram @healthy.little.bellies. Tag us in your pics feeding your little so we can see!

A bowl of baby broth made at home in the slow cooker with a spoon in the bowl.

Gut Friendly Baby Broth (First Food For Babies)

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 hours
Total Time: 20 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4 quarts (approximately)
Author: Erica Winn
Bone broth is simple, real food that is healing and calming to the lining of the gut. It's a powerhouse of nutrition and comfort. This makes it a great first food for babies.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package soup bones
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Water

Instructions

  • Place bones, apple cider vinegar and sea salt in basin of your Slow Cooker or Instant Pot.
  • Fill the basin up the rest of the way, leaving a little room at the top for it to bubble a bit (or to the Max line in the Instant Pot).
  • Set to cook for 20 hours on low in the Slow Cooker or for 2 hours on manual high pressure in the Instant Pot.
  • Once done cooking, let cool. Pour into freezer safe containers and store in the freezer until needed.

6 comments

  1. Hi!! I have my bones in the slow cooker right now but the smell is really strong and not appetizing at all. Is this typical? Any suggestions?

    1. I’ve heard from some mamas that they don’t love the smell of bone broth cooking. One thought is that if you have an instant pot you could opt for using that instead as it doesn’t smell up the house like the slow cooker or the stove top does.

      My next thought is just one about the entire process of starting solids. It’s so easy (I’m guilty of it myself) to expect our little ones to have the same reaction that we do toward a food, but often times when given the opportunity to have their own reaction they do just fine. I’ve found myself expecting our little one to not like some foods I don’t personally like (pork chops is an example from today actually). I came into the kitchen and my hubby was feeding our little one pork chops and I was like huh…I guess she’s ok with them!

      It was a good thing he was offering them to her because my own distaste for them might have skewed her response to them.

      So, long story short, I’d say offer with as little expectation of your baby’s response as you can. And also, sometimes it does take multiple exposures for babies to take to things.

      We started with simply spooning some broth into our babe’s mouth and she loved it. We’ve heard from almost all of the families using our course that their little one’s have loved it that way too. I can only think of one, maybe 2 babies who didn’t.

  2. Hi!

    Super excited to try this with my 6 month old for her first food. What ratio of bones to water do you recommend?

    1. A 1:2 ratio of bones to water is great. This amount allows for a broth that will be turn out more thick and gelatinous. Sorry for the delay in response, I hope your baby enjoys this!

    1. Every batch comes out a little differently, but my best tips for gelatinous broth are to use uncooked beef bones and the slow cooker. That always yields the most gelatinous broth for me. And that’s what I did with the batch that was used for the photos in this post. You can get raw pasture raised beef bones at a local butcher or even Whole Foods if you have one near you. Chicken bones never seem to make a super gelatinous broth for me.

      Hope that helps! Report back if you give it another try.

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