Can You Give Babies Bone Broth? When Is It Safe?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Bone broth has been praised as high in protein, low in calories, and rich in vitamins and minerals. However, should you feed bone broth to your baby?

While bone broth is high in protein, it is quite low in calories which your baby needs to grow. It is also high in sodium. Therefore, avoid feeding your baby bone broth and opt for a more nutritious choice. 

Let’s discuss what age you can give your baby broth, if it is good or bad for them, and more. Read on to learn more!

At What Age Can I Give My Baby Bone Broth? 

Bone broth is safe to give to your baby when they are at least six months old. However, while many adults use bone broth as more of a beverage, babies should not be given bone broth to drink instead of water, breast milk, or infant formula. 

If your baby is under six months old, they should only be receiving breastmilk or formula. Once they are six to 12 months old, they can be offered four to eight ounces of water a day along with their breast milk or infant formula (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]).

Once they are 12 months old, they can begin to drink cow’s milk or unsweetened soy drinks. 

Your baby can safely have a dash of bone broth as a soup. However, it is not necessarily recommended or healthy for them — more on this below!

Age in MonthsCan Your Baby Have Bone Broth?
6Yes, with pureed vegetables, starch, and meat
7Yes, with a thicker consistency pureed vegetables, starch, and meat
8Yes, with soft pieces of vegetables, meat, and starch
9Yes, with soft pieces of vegetables, meat, and starch
10Yes, with soft pieces of vegetables, meat, and starch
11Yes, with soft pieces of vegetables, meat, and starch
12Yes, with soft pieces of vegetables, meat, and starch

As mentioned above, do not give your baby bone broth to drink because it is not an appropriate replacement for water, breast milk, and infant formula. 

Is Bone Broth Good or Bad for Babies?

While technically safe, bone broth, whether beef or chicken bone broth, is not a very good food choice for babies. 

Bone broth is known for being high in protein (which is great for their growth and development!) but also very low in calories. For example, a one-cup serving of bone broth only contains a mere 14 calories and zero grams of fat (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] FoodData Central).

In fact, many adults praise bone broth for helping with weight loss or weight management because you get the feeling of fullness with very low amounts of calories consumed.

Bone broth made from chicken in a glass jar

Your baby, especially when they are so young, needs calories and fat to grow and develop appropriately. Giving them breast milk or infant formula is more nutritious and rich in healthy fats and calories that your baby needs.

If you are giving your baby broth of any kind, it is best to add in fruits, vegetables, protein, and starches that are the appropriate texture for their age.

This can help bulk up the calories and fat while providing more essential vitamins and minerals in a developmentally appropriate texture. However, sodium is the primary concern when giving your baby soups or broths of any kind.

Though it is so low in calories and fat, a cup of bone broth contains a whopping 470 milligrams of sodium. Wow! It is recommended to avoid giving your baby foods high in sodium (source: CDC). Therefore, it is best to avoid giving your baby bone broth because of its very high sodium content. 

bone broth in a white bowl

Homemade vs. Store-bought Bone Broth for Babies

Homemade broth is best for your baby, as you can limit the amount of salt it contains. Additionally, you can add meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables to bulk up the nutrient content of the soup. 

To safely reheat the soup to give to your baby, ensure it comes to a boil (source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]). Additionally, do not serve your baby broth (or any canned food) that is heavily dented in which there is a sharp point, as this can let in dangerous bacteria (source: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension). 

In conclusion, I hope this article was helpful in breaking down the important information regarding whether your baby can have bone broth.