Baby's Perfect First Food: Bone Broth
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I like to do my research before claiming that bone broth cures every ailment. From my research, bone broth is an excellent first food for Baby.
Babies need nourishing, easy to digest foods to start with. Breast milk is obvious, but starting at 4 months babies can have homemade bone broth as well. Bone broth has nourished traditional societies for tens of thousands of years. Bone broth is hydrophilic, which means that it attracts digestive juices to it when it is being processed in the body. This will help if Baby is constipated to move the stool through the colon more smoothly. Broth has easily absorbed gelatin, calcium, magnesium (again, helpful for constipation), and lots of fat to ease digestion and boost immunity. Bone broth also helps Baby sleep and produces a calming effect.
Breast milk is 50% cholesterol, so babies naturally need lots of fat to help digest any food. And bone broth usually has lots of fat in it.
Bone broth is great for adults, especially if you have a cold or flu as it is easy to digest. The gelatin and collagen in bone broth helps with arthritic conditions, joint issues, and any skin ailments. Glutamine in bone broth can heal the micro villi in the small intestine that help to absorb minerals and vitamins for our body. This reduces gut inflammation and digestive issues. There are many other amino acids in bone broth that can help to heal gut issues. Check my sources to read more about it.
EASY BONE BROTH RECIPE
It’s so easy and simple that you don’t need exact measurements.
There are many great recipes out there, so I’m going to tell you what I do to keep it simple.
I have a great slow-cooker/Crock-Pot that is 6 Quarts which makes bone broth so easy
Put in the slow-cooker a big-boned piece of meat or a package of bones, or a whole chicken
Add ½ c. Vinegar or red wine
Cover the bones or meat with filtered water ( I use a Berkey water filter)
Put a cookie sheet under your slow cooker for fire safety, just in case.
Cook for a minimum of 24 hrs & up to 72 hrs on Low setting.
If you're cooking a whole chicken, separate the meat from the broth and freeze your broth in small containers to take out and use in soups, chili, casseroles, meat pies, anything!
Always test the bone broth for hot temperature before feeding it to baby. Fats can be really hot and burn Baby's mouth. It should just be warm.
A lot of recipes call for 1 stalk of celery chopped, 1 carrot chopped, and an onion chopped at the beginning + parsley at the end of cooking. So feel free to add those items. But I’m a pretty low-maintenance type of gal, and I find this easiest for me. I usually put in the meat/bones in the late afternoon and then we eat the meat & bone broth the next evening for supper or the day after that. My bone broth has always gelled. The bones are usually so soft at the end that I can cut them with a spoon! I love the thick layer of fat on top, so I don’t separate them. Some people separate it and take the fat off for roasting potatoes, etc. That magical sparkly fat is beautiful when hot in a soup! It adds such a substance and flavor!
If you're new to cooking, be sure to put the meat and broth in the refrigerator/freezer right away and don't leave it out after eating it/cooking it. Meat can spoil very quickly at room temperature, and bone broth can as well.
The key to nourishing bone broth: organic, grass-fed bones/meat.
You can choose any animal: venison, pheasant, turkey, lamb, beef, pork, chicken, etc. But the animal should have been free-range, fed organic feed, and most ideally should have been grass-fed (if it’s beef/pork/lamb/bison). Chickens don't need grass, they need sunshine & bugs and organic feed.
Grass-fed animals are usually healthier because that is their natural diet. Any pharmaceuticals and hormones used in the animal's feed (from a conventionally-raised animal) will go directly into your body after making bone broth. Not a nice thought, right?
A lot of times a local farmer is your best bet. Find local farmers in your area by going to localharvest.org and searching for your city & meat farmers. I buy my meat from TK Ranch in Alberta. They sell direct to the customer to make it more affordable. You can order online with them and pick it up in Edmonton or Calgary on a convenient date. Ask around at your local farmer's market to find a good farmer. I love connecting with my farmers. Plus, I know that my meat is being raised humanely and the animals are healthy.
Sources: Fallon Morell, Sally & Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions (1999). Pages 116-118. Daniel, Kaayla T. Pyschology Today (2012) Accessed 11 11 2016. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/naughty-nutrition/201202/taking-stock-soup-healing-body-mind-mood-and-soul Fallon Morell, Sally. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/broth-is-beautiful/ Pottenger, F.M. American Journal of Digestive Diseases (1938) 5: 96. doi:10.1007/BF03010602 Price-Pottenger Foundation. http://ppnf.org/why-traditional-diet