In many countries around the world, bone broths are used to ease babies into their first solid foods. They are also the ideal food to serve when any family member is sick. We are going to go into some details why.
A bone broth is basically slow cooking water with some beef or chicken bones, vinegar or lemon juice, and various vegetables usually for 6-8 hours but also up to 24 hours. As the ingredients are slow cooked, nutrients from the bones, various tissues and vegetables are absorbed into the water making a nutrient-dense liquid or broth.
Many babies reject even the mildest vegetables the first time around. Bone broths carry a hint of flavour from the vegetables that they are cooked in which we found is a more accepting first step. Depending on the baby, you may need to start with a single carrot or celery in the broth and work your way up.
Bone broths are rich in collagen, gelatin, amino acids and minerals, all of which have amazing benefits for you and your child. We have listed a few.
Bone broths are famous for healing the GI tract and therefore are extremely beneficial with the following:
- Reseting the GI tract to a good state after a bad reaction to a specific type of formula or food.
- Re-establing a healthy GI tract after a virus or bacterial infection (e.g. flu, severe diarrhea, food poisoning).
- Regulating general digestive issues (e.g. constipation, diarrhea).
- Reducing the chance of developing food sensitivities.
Helps build strong joints, cartilage and bones
- Collagen and gelatin are known to be great at developing strong joints.
- The calcium and magnesium that are present in bone broths come in a form that is easily digestable.
Boosts the immune system
- Glycine, proline and arginine amino acids are present and they help boost the immune system.
Beef Bone Broth Recipe
Following is a recipe we tested out. Feel free to add or remove any vegetables.
- 1-2 lbs. beef bones
- 1-3 tbps. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 8-12 cups water
- 3-4 carrots
- 1/2 sweet potato
- 2-3 celery sticks
- Peel carrots and sweet potatoes.
- Chop all the vegetables.
- Add all the ingredients to a large pot or slow cooker.
- If required, add additional water so that all the ingredients are covered.
- Heat on high until the water boils. Remove the foam if desired to improve the taste.
- Reduce the temperature to the lowest setting and cook for at least 6-8 hours and up to 24 hours making sure to add water if any of the ingedients are peeking out.
- Let cool down for 1-2 hours.
- Strain broth using a metal colander.
- Discard the bones. You can keep the vegetables if desired.
- For babies, serve the liquid either with a spoon or in a bottle. You can also feed them some of the vegetables if they are interested.
- Broth can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.