Bone Marrow

Food Type:
Age Suggestion: 6 months +
Nutrition Rating:How nutritious a food is with a focus on the specific nutrients babies need for optimal growth. The more nutritious a food, the more stars it will have.
Prep Time:How much time a food takes to prepare safely for a baby. The more time-consuming a food is to prepare safely, the more clocks it will have.
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Common Allergen: No
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two cow fever bones cut in half for bone marrow to be cooked for babies starting solid food

When can babies eat bone marrow?

Bone marrow may be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months old. 

Bone marrow is the jelly-like substance in the middle of animal bones, typically a cow’s femur bones. It’s a trendy restaurant food that’s actually quite affordable (and ridiculously easy!) to make at home. Ask your butcher for “long, cross-cut” bones, which will make it easier for you to get the most marrow from the bone once it’s roasted.

When roasting bone marrow, place the bones in such a way so the inner marrow doesn’t run out when it liquefies.
Max, 17 months, eats bone marrow on bread for the first time.

Is bone marrow healthy for my baby?

Absolutely. Bone marrow is soft in texture and loaded with iron and healthy fats (including omega fats), both of which babies need loads of starting around 6 months old. Bone marrow is also packed with B-vitamins, antioxidant vitamins A and E, blood-healthy vitamin K, and immune-supportive minerals selenium and zinc. A true baby super food!

Is bone marrow a choking hazard for my baby?

It can be. When scooped from a roasted bone, the marrow contains globs of fat that need to be broken up before serving to your baby. The easiest way to do this is to blend bone marrow with an immersion blender or whip it with an electric whisk after it’s roasted and cooled.

For more information on choking, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with the list of common choking hazards.

Is bone marrow a common allergen?

Bone marrow is not a common food allergen. In theory any food can cause an allergic reaction, so watch closely while your babies are eating. Serve a small amount when introducing the food for the first few times. If your baby has no adverse reaction, slowly increase the serving size over time.

How do you prepare bone marrow for babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 12 months: Spread roasted bone marrow (recipe below) on bread, thin rice cakes, or baby crackers. You may also whip roasted bone marrow with breast milk or formula and/or mix into other foods, such as mashed potatoes. Don’t go crazy though: a little goes a long way!

12 to 24 months: Slather roasted bone marrow on bread with thick crusts, such as sourdough, and give your toddler the time to really work at chewing and tearing. Roasted bone marrow can also be spread atop roasted veggies and other foods to boost the fat content.

For information on how to cut food for your baby’s age, hop over to our section on Food Sizes & Shapes.

★Tip: Add bone marrow to protein-rich foods, like smashed beans or lentils, for an added nutrient boost to the dish. Butter also makes bone marrow even more delicious!

Recipe: Bone Marrow Toasts

Ingredients

  • Bone marrow bones
  • Bread or thin rice cakes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the bones on a sheet tray—either cut side up if they are cut lengthwise, or propped up on one end if they are cut crosswise. Roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the bones from the oven.
  3. Once the bones have cooled completely, either spoon the marrow onto bread or crackers, or use an electric whisk to blend the marrow into a smooth consistency in a bowl. If you choose to skip blending, carefully remove any globs of fat that are stuck together after spreading the marrow on bread or thin rice cakes.

Flavor Pairings

Bone marrow is rich and fatty. Think of it as a substitute for butter, and pair it with foods like cauliflower, potatoes, or sourdough bread. Fatty foods also benefit from a little acid for balance, so try adding a squeeze of lemon to the dish or serving it alongside a salad with a citrus vinaigrette.