Broth – How To Convince the Kids?

Meat broth (or, for those who choose to make it and can physically tolerate it, bone broth) is a mainstay of the GAPS program. They are super nourishing and actively heal the gut lining. They are very much relied upon, especially in the early stages. The question for many parents is: “How do I get my child to consume it?” Many children (and adults) dislike liquid food in general, including broths and soups. No worries.

First, I have to tell you that I too hated soup pre-GAPS. I found them boring, slow and lacking to the point of agitation! That is, I always felt like crying because they took forever to get into my body and, after all that effort, did not even fill me up. Boy was I surprised, then, to find myself lapping the stuff up early GAPS!


1. Make it thick. My soups are more like stews –super thick and hearty. It’s more like eating meat and vegetables, with a touch of liquid to keep it moist! Here’s how I do it: Put some animal fat or ghee into a very large pot. Add some chopped onions. Saute until clear. Add ground beef. Brown the beef. Add 20 cups of chopped veggies. Add broth and water until the liquid reaches about one inch below the top of the veggies. Bring to a boil. Simmer 20-60 minutes. Shut the heat off. Add ghee, salt and pepper. Eat.

2. Blend. Some people, especially kids, prefer their soups/stews blended.

3. Reduction sauce. A reduction sauce is simply a flavourful liquid heated until some of its water content evaporates, leaving behind a thicker substance. The longer you let it simmer, the thicker it gets. Broth with salt and pepper can be treated this way, then drizzled over, say, Shepherd’s Pie (use mashed cauliflower or mashed celeriac for the top layer).

4. Stir fry. To broth, add sliced vegetables. Let them simmered uncovered in the broth, until much of the water content evaporates and your veggies are resting in a warm, thick coating of flavour.

5. Add it. Pour broth into or onto any other savoury dish, like mashed cauliflower, lentil-mushroom pizzas, etc. I always especially like it with ghee, salt and pepper added.

6. Suck it. Several kids on our support list will take broth happily if presented with a straw.

7. Reward It. If all else fails, offer a reward (star on a chart, a preferred food, etc) for every bite of broth-drenched vegetables.

For more ideas, be sure to read the comments offered below this post.

So, if you love to drink broth by the mugful, awesome. If you can’t stand it that way, though, whatever way you do get it in is just fine. This said, lots of kids have healed fantastically without a daily dose, so don’t stress too much!


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16 Replies to “Broth – How To Convince the Kids?”

  1. Great ideas! I also use the broth instead of water to cook vegetables. And you can make things set in the cooked down broth. Headcheese or souse is an example, but you could chop up cooked meat and veggies and set it in any gelatin-rich broth that is cooked down enough. We eat slices out of hand.

  2. Baden,


    One way that I get broth in is through my daughter’s cod liver oil. I mix the cod liver oil in about 1/3 cup of broth and she likes it. You may want to try it.


  3. Hi Baden,

    You are such a godsend! You are giving such a valuable gift to those whose questions you answer. Thank you!

    I have one quick one regarding this post: can you saute veggies, and brown meat on stage 1 intro? We start tomorrow and I would love to do it this way, but i wasn’t sure whether we could only boil at first.

    I guess a second one is in the stage where nut butter pancakes can be made, can I roast the nuts (or use storebought/roasted) or do they need to be just dehydrated?

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for your kind and supportive words! These help keep me going!

      At first, all meats are boiled. I would start sauteeing veggies only in Stage 3 (starting with onions, as presented) and browning meats only in Stage 4 (where grilling is introduced, though frying not until after intro is completed).

      Yes, as far as I can think right now, nuts roasted at home are fine for use in newly introduced nut butter pancakes.

      All my best,

  4. My toddler was one who refused broth even 6 months into GAPS. She still won’t drink it on her own, regardless of how thick it is. But to my advantage she is very logical and things can be explained to her to reason with. So, I explained to her that her tummy was sick and broth was her medicine. Then I filled up a syringe-type medicine dropper and squirted it in her mouth, teaspoon by teaspoon, until she consumed 1/4 c., then 1/2 c., and finally 1-cup servings. It’s a pain to be feeding her when she’s perfectly capable, but that’s the only way we can get it done. And I truly do believe that broth is like medicine, so it wasn’t lying!! 🙂

    • Wonderful tip, Michelle! The post encourages people to read the comments for more ideas, so I’m happy people will find this one from you. Thanks for sharing what worked for you!

      All my best,

  5. We just started the intro about 5 days ago. My 16 month old is eating lots of the soup but refused to drink the broth no matter what I did. I began juicing as advised for constipation and it dawned on me that I might sweeten the broth to get him to drink it. I know any added sugar is not good right now but I figured if it was the difference between him having bone broth or not, its better that he has it sweetened. I put a tiny amount (maybe .5 oz) of fresh carrot and apple juice to about 5 or 6 oz of broth. It sweetens it just enough that he gulps several glasses down a day.

    • Wonderful, phm! Way to find a solution that works for your family! And thanks for sharing it with all of us!

      Please note: If your child is taking lots of soup with meat (or bone) broth incorporated in that, he needn’t take extra broth on its own.

      All my best,

  6. What is the difference between meat broth and bone broth? I am hoping to start the intro soon and want to make sure I understand.
    Thanks, Mary

    • Hi Mary,

      For the answer to this question, please see page 135 of your GAPS Guide book. Specifically, it is a matter of how long we cook the meaty bone (or boney meat) for.

      All my best,

    • Hi E.C.,

      If broth makes you sick, first try a different kind. ie. If you have gotten sick using beef broth, use lamb, or chicken, or buffalo, or salmon, or sole, and so on. Also, do not use bone broth initially, but rather meat broth. (For the difference, see your GAPS Guide book.) If all broths make you sick, leave broth out of your program, continue with the rest of the foods, and try broth again after a few weeks.

      All my best,

  7. Baden,
    I am just about to start GAPS (your blog is terrific!) and have been on SCD in the past and made chicken bone broth. It bothered my colon a great deal…and I KNOW I have read here in your comments (somewhere!) and elsewhere, the reason why. Just cannot find it again…could you clarify for me? Seems to me I have heard some docs say it is high in polysaccarides. Whatever it is, would like to know, and will definitely start on meat, not bone.

    thanks so much!! Susan

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