Chicken Liver

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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raw chicken livers before being prepared for babies starting solids

Warning

Chicken liver has very high levels of vitamin A—an essential nutrient that can be toxic when consumed in excess. For this reason, take care to limit the serving size and frequency.

Can I give my baby liver?

Yes! Liver, and chicken liver in particular, is one of the most nutritious foods you can give to your baby. Note: Liver contains extremely high amounts of vitamin A, which babies need for their developing immune systems, eyes and skin, but can be toxic in large quantities. For this reason we don’t recommended serving liver more than once a week.

Charles, 8 months, eats chicken liver on a thin rice cake.
Callie, 10 months, eats chicken liver for the first time.
Max, 10 months old, eats a homemade chicken liver spread on a thin rice cake.

When can babies eat chicken liver?

You can introduce chicken liver as soon as your baby is ready for solids, which is typically around 6 months of age. Chicken liver can be prepared both as a spread on a thin rice cake (see recipe) or sautéed and sliced as finger food.

Is chicken liver healthy for babies?

Chicken liver is extraordinarily high in iron, selenium, vitamin A, and most of the B vitamins. it also contains all 9 of the essential amino acids our bodies need. Lastly, chicken liver contains a fair amount of vitamin C, which meats generally do not have (unless they are organ meats). What makes chicken liver so unbelievably nutritious for babies is its dense combination of all of these nutrients, which babies need for optimal growth.

Note: Chicken liver is extraordinarily high in vitamin A, which babies need, but can be toxic in certain quantities. For this reason, limit your baby to one serving of chicken liver a week.

Is chicken liver or beef liver better for babies?

While both chicken and beef liver are suitable for babies if purchased from a reputable (and preferably organic) provider, chicken liver is higher in iron per serving and tends to be easier for babies to eat as it’s softer in consistency.

Is chicken liver a common choking hazard for babies?

Liver is not a common choking hazard though in theory an individual can choke on any food. To minimize the risk, thinly slice or blend into a spread. As always, make sure you create a safe eating environment, stay within an arm’s reach of your baby during meals, and check out our age-appropriate serving suggestions.

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

Is chicken liver a common allergen?

No. Chicken is not a common food allergen, although it is not unheard of.12In theory, one could be allergic to any food, and there have been rare cases of meat and poultry allergies. Individuals with fish allergies may have an increased risk of being sensitive to chicken.3 As you would when introducing any new food, start by offering a small quantity for the first few servings and watch closely as your baby eats. If there is no adverse reaction, gradually increase the serving size over time.

How do you prepare liver to babies with baby-led weaning?

6 to 12 months old: Offer sliced, sautéed liver for baby to eat as finger food or blend cooked liver with breast milk, formula, or cream and spread on baby crackers or thin style, low sodium rice cakes.

12 to 18 months old: Continue to make a liver spread for thin rice cakes and offer thinly sliced cooked liver as a finger food. If your baby’s pincer grasp (where the thumb and pointer finger meet) has developed, move down in size to bite-size pieces of liver.

18 to 24 months old: At this age your baby will take great interest in practicing with a fork so you can also offer small, bite-size pieces of liver to spear on a fork.

For more information on how to cut food for babies, visit our page on Food Sizes & Shapes.

★ Tip:

While you want liver cooked well done, don’t overcook it as it will become tough, dry…and smelly!

Recipe: Pâté for Babies

chicken liver pâté spread on 3 thin rice crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 package of chicken livers
  • Whole milk, breast milk, or formula
  • Olive oil, avocado oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, diced and sautéed (optional)
  • Thin rice cakes (low sodium)

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil or butter in a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken livers and cook on medium heat with the cover on.
  3. After 3-4 minutes, flip the livers over and continue cooking, covered for 3-4 minutes more.
  4. Cooked liver should be light brown in color. If any are purple or bright pink on the inside, cook them for a bit longer.
  5. Add the cooked livers to a food processor with a small pour of milk, breast milk or formula. If you are using the sautéed shallot, add this in too.
  6. Pulse/blend until all the lumps are gone.
  7. Serve as a paste on pre-loaded spoons and/or on thin rice cakes. Freeze the rest!

Flavor Pairings

Chicken liver pairs nicely with butter, onions, shallots, rosemary and thyme, all of which can go into the pan while the liver is sautéing.

  1. Zacharisen M. C. (2006). Severe allergy to chicken meat. WMJ : official publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin, 105(5), 50–52
  2. Kuehn, A., Codreanu-Morel, F., Lehners-Weber, C., Doyen, V., Gomez-André, S. A., Bienvenu, F., Fischer, J., Ballardini, N., van Hage, M., Perotin, J. M., Silcret-Grieu, S., Chabane, H., Hentges, F., Ollert, M., Hilger, C., & Morisset, M. (2016). Cross-reactivity to fish and chicken meat – a new clinical syndrome. Allergy, 71(12), 1772–1781. https://doi.org/10.1111/all.12968
  3. Kuehn, A., Codreanu-Morel, F., Lehners-Weber, C., Doyen, V., Gomez-André, S. A., Bienvenu, F., Fischer, J., Ballardini, N., van Hage, M., Perotin, J. M., Silcret-Grieu, S., Chabane, H., Hentges, F., Ollert, M., Hilger, C., & Morisset, M. (2016). Cross-reactivity to fish and chicken meat – a new clinical syndrome. Allergy, 71(12), 1772–1781. https://doi.org/10.1111/all.12968