My little gal recently turned ten months old. While I thoroughly enjoy witnessing the beauty of her development and the increasing amazement she has with the world around her, I, of course, think she is growing up WAY too fast. Since deciding I wanted a child, it has been extremely important to me to nourish myself for fertility, pregnancy, and nursing and to nourish my daughter with the best foods I can. Nothing like creating and caring for a human for some serious life inspiration!
In the past, Jaime and I have discussed our love for homemade bone broth and it has become a staple in our kitchens. Well, this wonderfully nourishing food has made it into Baby C's diet as well! After forming a solid food foundation with a wide range of vegetables and fruit and before adding solid proteins, I introduced my little one to a special bone broth made just for her. And guess what? She LOVES it! At first, she gobbled it up mixed in with a variety of vegetables (prepared this way) and she now eats it with either a mixture of vegetables or with veggies and solid proteins such as shredded chicken, beans, eggs, or wild-caught salmon.
My husband and I refer to her special concoction as "Baby Stew." When she squeals in delight about her stew, I feel so good that not only does she love the flavor, but the broth is extremely beneficial to her growth and development. Here are some of the reasons why:
- bone broth is full of vitamins and minerals
- it fights infection such as colds and flu
- the glucoasmine stimulates the growth of collagen
- collagen promotes hair growth and strong nails
- bone broth aids digestion and is healing to the digestive tract
- it contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous which support bone growth
Also, homemade bone broth is cheaper than store-bought, is simple to make, and does not contain all the additives of the latter. The typical broth from the grocery store (including organic) is usually loaded with hidden MSG and chemicals, and lacks the health-boosting properties of homemade bone broth.
Lest you think this is a strange idea, keep in mind cultures from around the world have been feeding their children nourishing broths for hundreds and hundreds of years. Eventually, Baby C will eat the broth we make for ourselves but currently, it contains some foods she has not been introduced to yet (aka onions). For now, I make this super simple recipe just for her. And as I mentioned, she thoroughly enjoys the broth added to her food and she makes her squeal-y "I-love-this-give-me-more" noise that mom and dad know so well! Bon appétit, baby!
With Zest and Zeal,
Ingredients for simple bone broth
- 2 pounds of bones from cows (or chicken) from a source you trust (I use grass-fed, grass-finished, pastured, etc. from a local source)
- 1-2 Tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Bragg's is my favorite)
- Filtered water
- Place bones in slow-cooker.
- Cover with filtered water.
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- Cook on low for 24 hours in a slow-cooker, adding water to keep bones completely covered.
- This can also be made in a stock pot and cooked for less time but the longer you cook, the more minerals and vitamins are removed from the bones.
- I freeze the broth in ice cube trays and then use one cube per serving of stew for a thicker consistency. You can add more cubes to make it more soup-like as your child ages. Broth can be stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
- You can feed the broth to baby on its own (in a bottle or with a spoon)
- I prefer to mix it in with veggies (the stew pictured is made with bone broth, kale, carrots, and cauliflower)
- You can add in vegetables, herbs and spices to the slow-cooker before cooking
- I introduced bone broth around eight months but some people recommend much earlier
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