Get the best healthy, easy, delicious recipes now!

First Food for Baby

by Arielle J on August 21, 2017

You would think that I would be so excited to feed Gemma her first baby food, but I know that once she starts, meal time is not only going to be super messy, I’m going to need to start preparing triple the amount of food (and doing triple the amount of dishes). Ah!

So, I’ve been holding off her first foods for as long as I can. Gemma just turned 6 months on Monday, so my Pediatrician recommended that we begin to feed her solids. I’m not in a rush given that I’ve been able to feed her breastmilk, but I would like to start preparing her digestive system for all of the deliciousness to come. What I’ve learned is that the first few months isn’t as much about feeding the baby for nutrition, it’s more for the baby to explore tastes and textures and prepare them for chewing and swallowing.

Choosing your baby’s first food:
It is a very personal choice. Here’s my take: I consulted with my trusted resource, my acupuncturist and fellow mama, Aimee Raupp. Not only is she a fertility expert and personally helped me pregnant, she supported me in feeling great throughout my pregnancy and helps women recover after birth, too. She also has a thriving 1.5 year old son.

Aimee is a huge fan of bone broth so given her obsession I wasn’t surprised when she told me that she fed broth to her baby has his first “food” even before he ate solids.

I had no idea babies could drink broth, did you?! As it turns out, many parents choose to feed their babies bone broth (along with breastmilk or formula), even as early as 3-4 months.

Benefits of Bone Broth for Babies:
-aids in soothing upset stomachs
-supports immune system
-loaded with collagen
-helps the health of the gut/intestines in preparation for solids

My husband is hooked on bone broth and whenever possible, we will eat it for breakfast with egg scrambled in. We both know how amazing it makes us feel, so we hoped that it will make Gemma feel amazing too and decided that it would be her first “food”.

So far we gave Gemma broth twice and both times she slurped it right up!

Type of Bone Broth for Babies:
I made the bone broth (aka chicken soup) using the recipe below. I used high quality pasture-raised chicken from my local farmers market, organic vegetables and omitted the salt and pepper.

How to feed Babies Bone Broth:

-We used these BPA-free Beaba spoons, Cheeky Baby bowl and cute waterproof bib.
-We sat her in this Jonathan Adler by Fisher Price high chair.
-We gave her a few spoons to choose from, dipped the spoon in the broth and gave her the spoon to feed herself.
-I prefer to dress her just in a diaper, as it dribbles and gets really wet and messy!

Some parents feed the broth to the baby in a bottle or a syringe but I didn’t want to confuse her with the bottle (she had some bottle aversions a few months ago) and I felt a little uncomfortable feeding with a syringe. Instead, we let her pick which color spoon she wanted, put on her bib, and helped feed it to her using a spoon. I’ve been reading a lot on baby-led weaning, so I felt like this was a good mix.

She kept on motioning for more broth, was making tons of exciting noises and wanted to put the spoon in her mouth on her own, so we consider her bone broth experience a success! My husband and I took turns and we stopped feeding it to her when she started to get fussy.

I adapted my usual chicken bone broth recipe. See below.

Be Well Baby Bone Broth Recipe
What You Need:
– 3 or more large carrots, peeled;or approx 15 baby carrots. (Tip: Don’t discard the tops – I loved adding the carrot stems for additional flavor.)
– 3 or more celery stalks, cut in half. (Tip: Don’t discard the tops – I love using the celery leaves.)
– 1-3 white or yellow onions, peeled and cut in quarters
– Pasture-Raised Chicken (one small 3 lb whole chicken, or 1-2 chicken carcasses and/or chicken feet, necks and backs), washed
– 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
– water (amount depends on the size of your pot. I use a this huge All Clad 16Qt pot and fill it up about 3/4 way full)
* optional 1 piece kombu seaweed

1. In a pot, add carrots, celery, onion, chicken, garlic, vinegar and fill up with cold water (leave about 1.5 inches of room leaving some room for it to boil.
2. Let sit in cold water for 30 min.
3. Turn up the heat to medium heat (with the cover off) and wait until it boils. Skim off any scum that floats to the top using a spoon.
4. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, place cover on pot and let simmer. Let simmer for at least 8 hours.
5. At some point, add in kombu. I usually add in when I have about 1-2 hours left.
6. When you’re ready to turn off the heat, add parsley and let cook for 1-2 minutes until it’s dark green.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste and voila!
8. At this point, you can serve but I usually place the entire pot into the refrigerator and leave overnight for it to cool down so the fat settles to the top. You’ll know the fat has settled when theres a ring of hard white stuff floating at the top. Also, it’s easier to strain when it’s cold vs. straight off of the stove!
9. To strain, place a strainer or colander over a big bowl. Ladle out chicken, carcasses and veggies and strain soup so the broth collects at the bottom of the bowl. If your baby is older and you want chunks of chicken, carrots and celery in your soup, hand pick them out (de-skin the chicken) and chop them up and add to the broth mixture. If not, toss.
10. I like to store it in these containers and depending on how much I plan to drink that week, I’ll put some in refrigerator or some in freezer. 

Pro Baby tip: put some broth into ice cube trays so it’s easy to heat up and serve to your baby. I always heat up the soup and then cool it for my baby to drink at room temperature.

What is her First Solid Baby Food Going to Be?

Gemma has only had bone broth, so solids are next. As you can see from the photo above, she is getting excited to eat! I prefer eating veggies and fruit that grow locally and that are in season. My family is heading to Hawaii on Friday so I’m going to see what’s in season – hopefully an avocado just-picked from an Hawaiian tree. Stay tuned!

Please note – This is all my personal experience. Please consult with your own doctor on foods that will best for your child.

be healthy. be nourished. be well.

be well,

Previous post:

Next post:

featured on