Can babies have vegetable broth? Yes, you can use baby vegetable stock as part of baby led weaning. I’ll teach you how to make vegetable stock for babies and kids. Learn about the best vegetable stock, and when it is safe to introduce it into your baby’s diet. You’ll love this easy and healthy vegetable stock recipe for the whole family.
When can babies have vegetable stock? You can try this vegetable broth for baby when you start introducing solids and finger foods. This will typically be at about age 6 months.
Veggie broth is not a replacement for breast milk or infant formula. It should also not displace solid foods in your baby’s diet. This vegetable stock for baby recipe is low calorie, and overconsumption in babies, toddlers, and kids could lead to slowed growth.
As I talked about in my baby bone broth recipe for chicken stock, making homemade baby food is easy. Plus, unlike with veggie broth from the store, you can keep the ingredients simple.
Though this recipe is a low salt vegetable stock for baby, everyone in the family can enjoy it. It’s naturally fat free, low carb, keto, Paleo, vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian. You can easily add more seasonings to flavor things up for the older members of the family.
- ❓ What is the difference between veggie stock and veggie broth?
- ⭐ Vegetable Stock Benefits for Babies
- 🥘 Best First Vegetables for Baby (Baby Vegetables List)
- 🍽 Equipment
- 🔪 How to Make Vegetable Stock for Babies
- ⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🌡️ How to Store Vegetable Broth
- 🥣 Vegetable Soup for Babies
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Recipes Using Vegetable Stock
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
❓ What is the difference between veggie stock and veggie broth?
Many people use the terms “stock” and “broth” interchangeably, and that is also what I am going to do here. Technically, stock is made from mostly bones, while broth is typically made from vegetables and meat simmered in water. However, vegetable stock and broth are pretty much one and the same, since no bones tend to be involved at all.
⭐ Vegetable Stock Benefits for Babies
Why make baby vegetable stock? Here are the advantages of this recipe:
- Unsalted veggie broth: Most store-bought vegetable broth is loaded with salt, and not appropriate for babies. This homemade veggie stock has no salt and no additives that you may not want in there. This recipe also makes a great soup base if you’re on a low sodium diet.
- Save money: Making veggie broth is a great way to use veggie trimmings or vegetables that are a bit limp. If you’re looking to stretch your grocery budget, making your own baby food may help.
- Introduce baby to new flavors: The medley of veggies used in your stock can help introduce your baby to new flavors.
- Hydrating: Though veggie broth does provide small amounts of vitamins and minerals, its main advantage is that it’s hydrating. You can think of veggie broth as an alternative to water in babies’ diet.
- Hands off: Are you a busy parent? No worries, this recipe is almost completely hands off. Just chop the veggies, add water, and heat on the stove, crock pot, or Instant Pot. So easy!
- Tasty: Leftover vegetable stock is a wonderful flavor base for a variety of dishes. Use it to cook rice and other grains, braise veggies, or anywhere else you’d like to add another layer of flavor. It will make your dishes more delicious compared to cooking in plain water.
🥘 Best First Vegetables for Baby (Baby Vegetables List)
You want to keep the list of veggies in baby vegetable stock simple. If it’s baby’s first time trying these veggies, keeping the ingredients list simple can help you pinpoint any food intolerances faster. Here is your shopping list:
- 2 Onions
- 3 Carrots
- 3 Celery ribs
- ¼ cup Parsley
- 8 cups Water
Leeks and bell peppers are some other great options. You don’t have to use organic vegetables in baby broth. They’re nice if you can afford them, but not a must-have for a healthy diet.
It’s fine to use veggies with some wilting or bruising in this recipe. However, make sure you don’t use moldy veggies, as they could make baby sick.
As baby is introduced to more foods, you can add additional herbs, spices, and vegetables to this recipe. If you’ll be using this recipe for the whole family, add salt to the broth AFTER baby’s portion is removed.
I don’t recommend using starchy veggies, such as sweet potatoes, to make clear vegetable broth. I also don’t recommend using strong-tasting cruciferous veggies like cabbage and broccoli.
(One time I made the mistake of making a cabbage broth and it made the house smell horrible. You have been warned. Haha)
Here is the kitchen equipment you need to make baby veggie stock:
- Vegetable Peeler
- Crock pot, Instant Pot, OR Large Pot (for stovetop cooking)
I have an oval slow cooker with a 7-quart capacity and a 6-quart Crock-Pot Express programmable multi-cooker. If your crockpot has a smaller capacity, you may need to make a smaller batch of vegetable stock.
Cheesecloth is helpful to strain all the small bits out of the stock. I use Olicity Cheesecloth, which can be washed and reused without falling apart. I haven’t needed to replace my cheesecloth in years!
🔪 How to Make Vegetable Stock for Babies
Peel the onions and chop them into eighths. Peel the carrots, quarter them, and chop into thirds. Halve the celery stalks lengthwise and chop them into thirds.
Put the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, and water in a pot, crock pot, or Instant Pot. Time to cook!
⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you cook vegetable stock for babies? Simmer baby vegetable broth for 60-90 minutes on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Keep the pot partially covered, adjusting the temp as needed to keep it simmering.
To slow cook veggie broth, cook on high for 4 hours, or use the low setting for 8 hours. You can use a regular crock pot or the slow cooker function on an Instant Pot.
The great thing about making your own veg stock is that you can tailor it exactly as you want it.
Control the strength of flavor with the cooking time and amount of water used. If you feel the veggie broth is a bit bitter, shift the veggies you use and shorten the cooking time. For stronger broth, add less water and cook longer.
To strain the broth, put a colander over a large bowl. Line the colander with a double layer of cheesecloth. Strain the baby veg broth so it collects in the bowl. The veggies can be discarded (or eat them!) and the broth can be stored in the fridge.
🌡️ How to Store Vegetable Broth
Leftover veggie broth can be kept in glass mason jars or lidded food storage containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also freeze veggie broth in ice cube trays or cocktail cube trays. Store the cubes of broth in freezer bags for longer-term freezer storage.
🥣 Vegetable Soup for Babies
To make this a baby vegetable soup recipe, all you have to do is puree it after cooking. Use a food processor to blend the broth and cooked veggies into a smooth puree. Add seasoning for older members of the family.
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One cup of veggie stock has 25 calories, 5 grams net carbs, and 0.5 grams protein. Nutrition information is for one adult serving of unsalted vegetable stock per Cronometer. Nutrition information listed is an estimate that can vary depending on a variety of factors.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Vegetable stock should not be baby’s first food. It is very low in iron and calories, not an energy-dense food that supports healthy growth.
That said, veggie broth has merits in its hydrating abilities. Homemade veggie stock can also be a good way to introduce baby to the flavors of some new veggies. Just remember that it is never to be used as a nutritional replacement for baby formula or breastmilk.
For older members of the family, veggie broth can help boost the fluid volume of meals for very few calories. It's great in soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces. Make vegetable broth your secret ingredient when you want to add some extra flavor to dishes.
Babies can have a taste of homemade no salt vegetable stock when they start solid baby food. This is typically at age 6 months. Baby vegetable stock is not a replacement for breastmilk, baby formula, or solid food in the diet.
According to FoodSafety.gov, homemade broth will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, or 2-3 months in the freezer. Store bought broth in shelf-stable packaging can be kept unopened in the pantry until the use-by date. Opened packages of broth can be kept for 3-4 days in the fridge.
There are no baby stock cubes or baby Oxo cubes currently available. Even low sodium vegetable stock cubes are quite high in salt. For example, the first ingredient in these low sodium veggie bouillon cubes is salt. Knorr sells zero salt veggie stock cubes in the UK, but these are highly processed, and I don’t recommend them for babies.
The best vegetable broth for babies is simple, with no added salt and no added sugar. Ideally, the ingredients are just vegetables and water. Here’s a no salt added vegetable broth that may be appropriate for older babies and toddlers.
Yes, you can make purees and other foods for babies and toddlers with stock. Make sure the stock you use is a no salt homemade version, not a super salty stock from the store.
👩🏻🍳 Recipes Using Vegetable Stock
Have extra baby veg stock? Here are some ways for older members of the family to enjoy it:
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All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Baby Vegetable Stock (Veggie Broth for Babies Recipe)
- 2 medium onions
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 ribs celery
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- 8 cups water
- Peel the onions and chop them into eighths. Peel the carrots, quarter them, and chop into thirds. Halve the celery stalks lengthwise and chop them into thirds.
- Put the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, and water in a pot, crock pot, or Instant Pot.
- Stove: Simmer baby vegetable broth for 60-90 minutes on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Keep the pot partially covered, adjusting the temp as needed to keep it simmering.
- Slow cooker: Cook on high for 4 hours, or use the low setting for 8 hours. You can use a regular crock pot or the slow cooker function on an Instant Pot.
- Strain: Put a colander over a large bowl. Line the colander with a double layer of cheesecloth. Strain the baby veg broth so it collects in the bowl. The veggies can be discarded (or eat them!) and the broth can be stored in the fridge.
Brian Hardin says
Veggie stock is always good to have on hand for soups, risottos and endless other dishes. And, this post is a lesson on not wasting anything. Thanks for sharing!
Summer Yule says
Yes, I will never run out of uses for it! Thank you for leaving a rating, much appreciated! 🙂
Terrified Amateur says
Oh, Summer, in what is a coincidence of miraculous proportions, would you believe I was seeking a vegetable broth recipe just now?
Usually I stick with poultry stocks (chicken mostly, but duck and turkey on occasion) and sometimes I rely on what oxtails yield, but the frozen pantry would benefit from a good supply of veg broth. Because it's so much healthier, is a lighter option for the swelter, and is more in keeping with those whose principles led to vegetarianism. Or, all of the above, most likely.
What better time than now to take full advantage of greenery (and such) being at peak? That's what cooking's all about, right? Thanks for the pointers, Summer!
Summer Yule says
That is great, I hope you can use this! The big downside to the veggie broth is that you are missing out on the higher protein that you'd get in a chicken, oxtail, etc. broth. The bone broths can be an easy way to get a little extra protein in for the folks who tend to have trouble reaching the RDA. So I probably would not say this is healthier, but I would definitely say it is a great addition to a variety of recipes to add flavor! (I might say both types of broth are healthy and provide a different range of essential nutrients.)
A big mistake I often see individuals make is restricting protein in their diet in an attempt to be "healthier." This can actually work against them if they are struggling to maintain a healthy weight (since protein is the most satiating macronutrient and has the highest thermic effect). Also, low protein intake can be especially detrimental as we age and we begin to lose our lean muscle mass. I have a post coming up in the next week or two that is going to cover plant-based protein for the folks that want to learn more about that (good sources versus foods that don't cut it) because there is a lot of confusion in this area. When I see vegetarians and vegans *regularly* replacing the protein on their plate with things like jackfruit, cauliflower, and mushrooms, it saddens and concerns me. (It is generally fine to do it on occasion, though.)
I know I went off on a tangent, but it was an important one! 🙂
Terrified Amateur says
Thanks for all the information, Summer! It only is a "tangent" if you lose your audience along the way. As I read enthusiastically throughout, it merely was a bend in the river.
Anyway, unlike others, I'm not looking to replace bone broth, but to supplement it. Why not put another option on the ice-pantry shelf? When the soup-base choices increase, so too do new recipes to try. Thanks for the variety!
Summer Yule says
Exactly! I'm all about getting variety! Sounds like a smart strategy 🙂