Can Babies Have Vegetable Broth?
Yes, you can incorporate baby vegetable stock into your baby’s diet. In this article, we will guide you on how to make vegetable stock for babies and kids. Learn about the best vegetable broth, and find out when it is safe to introduce it to your little one. This simple and healthy recipe is perfect for the whole family.
When Can Babies Have Vegetable Broth?
You can start introducing vegetable broth for babies when they begin solids and finger foods, usually around 6 months of age.
It is important to note that veggie broth should not replace breast milk or infant formula. Additionally, it should not replace solid foods in your baby’s diet. This baby vegetable stock recipe is low in calories, and overconsumption by babies, toddlers, and kids could potentially affect their growth.
As I mentioned in my previous article on baby bone broth recipe for chicken stock, easily making homemade baby food is a breeze. Plus, unlike store-bought veggie broth, you have control over the ingredients and can keep them simple.
Although this recipe is a low-sodium vegetable stock for baby, everyone in the family can enjoy it. It is naturally fat-free, low-carb, keto-friendly, Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian. For the older members of the family, you can easily add more seasonings to enhance the flavor.
What is the Difference Between Veggie Stock and Veggie Broth?
Many people use the terms “stock” and “broth” interchangeably, and that’s what we’ll do here as well. Technically, stock is made mostly from bones, while broth is typically made from vegetables and meat simmered in water. However, when it comes to vegetable stock and broth, there is not much difference as no bones are usually involved.
Vegetable Stock Benefits for Babies
Why should you make baby vegetable stock? Here are the advantages of this recipe:
- Unsalted veggie broth: Most store-bought vegetable broth contains excessive salt, which is not suitable for babies. This homemade veggie stock contains no salt or unwanted additives. It also serves as an excellent base for soup if you follow a low-sodium diet.
- Save money: Making veggie broth is a great way to utilize vegetable trimmings or veggies that are slightly past their prime. If you are trying to stretch your grocery budget, making your own baby food can be helpful.
- Introduce new flavors: The combination of vegetables in this stock helps introduce new flavors to your baby.
- Hydrating: While veggie broth provides small amounts of vitamins and minerals, its main advantage is its hydrating properties. Think of it as an alternative to water in your baby’s diet.
- Convenience: For busy parents, this recipe is almost hands-off. Just chop the veggies, add water, and let it simmer on the stove, crockpot, or Instant Pot. It’s that easy!
- Enhances taste: Leftover vegetable stock can serve as a flavorful base for various dishes. Use it to cook rice, other grains, braise veggies, or anywhere else you want to add an extra layer of taste compared to plain water.
Best First Vegetables for Baby
When making baby vegetable stock, it’s best to keep the ingredient list simple. This allows you to quickly identify any food intolerances your baby may have. Here is your shopping list:
- 2 Onions
- 3 Carrots
- 3 Celery ribs
- ¼ cup Parsley
- 8 cups Water
Leeks and bell peppers are also great options. While using organic vegetables is nice if you can afford them, it is not necessary for a healthy diet.
You can use slightly wilted or bruised veggies in this recipe, but remember to avoid moldy ones as they can make your baby ill.
As your baby is introduced to more foods, feel free to add additional herbs, spices, and vegetables to this recipe. If you’ll be serving this stock to the whole family, add salt to the broth after removing your baby’s portion.
How to Make Vegetable Stock for Babies: The Step-by-Step Guide
- Peel and chop the onions into eighths. Peel and quarter the carrots, then chop into thirds. Halve the celery stalks lengthwise and chop them into thirds.
- Combine the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, and water in a pot, crockpot, or Instant Pot. It’s cooking time!
Cooking Time and Temperature
How long should you cook vegetable stock for babies? Simmer the baby vegetable broth for 60-90 minutes on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Keep the pot partially covered and adjust the temperature as needed to maintain a simmer.
For slow cooking, cook on high for 4 hours or use the low setting for 8 hours. You can use a regular crockpot or the slow cooker function of an Instant Pot.
The great thing about making your own veg stock is that you have complete control over its flavor. Adjust the cooking time and amount of water used to control the strength of the broth. If the veggie broth tastes slightly bitter, change the vegetables and reduce the cooking time. For a stronger broth, use less water and cook for a longer duration.
To strain the broth, place a colander over a large bowl and line it with a double layer of cheesecloth. Strain the baby veg broth, allowing it to collect in the bowl. You can discard the veggies or enjoy them, and store the broth in the fridge.
How to Store Vegetable Broth
Leftover veggie broth can be stored in glass mason jars or lidded food storage containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays or cocktail cube trays. Store the broth cubes in freezer bags for longer-term storage.
Vegetable Soup for Babies
To turn this into a baby vegetable soup recipe, simply puree the cooked broth and veggies using a food processor. Add seasoning for the older family members.
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Vegetable stock should not be your baby’s first food. It is low in iron and calories, and does not provide the energy density necessary for healthy growth.
That being said, veggie broth has its merits in terms of hydration and introducing new flavors. However, never use it as a substitute for baby formula or breast milk.
For older family members, veggie broth is a great way to increase fluid volume in meals without adding many calories. It works well in soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces. Make vegetable broth your secret ingredient whenever you want to enhance the flavors of your dishes.
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Please note that all recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult a registered dietitian or your physician for guidance on the dietary pattern that best suits you.
The nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary based on the specific brands and ingredients used. Calorie information on food labels can be highly inaccurate, so don’t stress too much about the numbers.
For more information on how different recipe levels can help with weight management goals, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let’s get cooking!
Enjoy Baby Vegetable Broth at Hook’d Up Bar and Grill!