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Chicken soup is commonly associated with making people feel better when they are a little run down. It can also be made and used effectively during the weaning process; it’s hearty, more protein rich than the vegetable/tomato soup recipes we’ve covered and rather tasty!
In this article we’ll give you some tips on how to cook chicken soup for a baby, common ingredients to be mixed in and what type of chicken is best for weaning and to avoid choking hazards.
Is chicken soup good for babies?
The ethics on how chicken is sourced aside, chicken itself is a good source of protein, plenty of vitamins and minerals and its relatively low in fat when compared to other meats. But, the reality is that chicken soup doesn’t contain that much chicken, in fact it’s mostly vegetables and water – even the taste of it is pretty much vegetables.
The added vegetables on top of the chicken makes this soup bursting with nutrition for your little one!
How to prepare chicken soup for babies
- Chopping board
The most important thing when handling meat is to ensure it is cooked – the best method to ensure it remains tender is to boil it in a pan or pressure cook it. Frying can leave it too chewy – which is fine if you intend to then chop it up into strips or very small chunks.
Note: Ensure the chicken is fresh, make sure to sanitise the cooking area and wash your hands. Check the chicken to ensure the skin is not transparent or has an off smell.
Second, for the vegetables, they will need to be chopped into small pieces so you’ll need a chopping board and suitable knife. However, we recommend using a blender to ensure it is nice and smooth. This is especially true for babies around 6 months who can’t chew effectively.
- Chicken breast
- Chicken stock
- Sweet potato/potato
The first ingredient is obvious – chicken. The best chicken to get is boneless breast, it’s the leanest part, easy to chop and generally a higher quality than the rest. However, stripping bits off wings and legs is still absolutely fine as long as you are careful to make them small enough and without any bones at all. Chicken does lose its flavour during cooking which is why recommend adding chicken stock to give it that ‘chicken soup’ flavour that your baby will love.
As far as the veg goes, the classics go well with chicken to add the flavour. Carrots and potatoes should be added to add bulk and the fibre, and the onion/leek or even garlic for the flavour. The chicken stock is really what adds the flavour, with the veg to round it off and make it nutritious.
How to cook
The important part of cooking chicken soup for a baby is cooking the chicken itself. It needs to be cooked throughout and then stripped or blended. We recommend cooking big chunks like you would for yourself so that when you think it’s cooked it’s easy to cut the whole thing and check on the inside if its cooked properly.
Once that’s in place then you can strip it down with a knife or put in with the blender with the veg.
For the veg, the onions should be sauteed and the carrots, potatoes, and broccoli steamed or boiled until tender.
Once done, throw it all in a baby blender, use a hand blender or just chop it up by hand and put them all in a pan to simmer and blend into a nice smooth puree.
How to serve
Serving chicken soup for babies is the same as any other soup. In a bowl and spoon-feed once it’s cooled down. Some people like to make it a sensory experience and let them play with it and feed themselves and there’s nothing wrong with that.