True Story: I Used to Drink Meat Juice


Ok it wasn’t really meat juice. It was broth, and it wasn’t by choice, I promise you. My parents were immigrants and both came from poor households. They grew up during a time when parents relied on the advice of others for parenting and most of it came by word of mouth. My parents were from small villages where there was a designated “smart” mom. Usually one that had many children and was successfully raising them into adulthood with little to no medical ailments.

When I was about 4 years old my mom was told by my grandmother who had heard from a friend whose neighbors sister’s had a mother and her mother had a friend, (you get my drift), that making your children drink meat broth instead of eating the actual meat would make your child grow big and strong.

My mom proceeded to boil large pieces of boneless meat daily, pouring the warm salty liquid into a glass and making me drink it. Most of the things my mom did as a parent came from advice that had some truth to it to start, but like a game of telephone, some of the details got left out as it was told by one person to another to another. I believe what she was trying to do was give me bone broth. I decided to do some research of my own and here is what I found out.

• Broth is water simmered with meat, vegetables, salt, pepper to taste and sometimes bones. Cooking time is short —about two hours.
• Stock is water simmered with bones, vegetables, salt, pepper to taste. Medium cooking time—usually four to six hours.
• Bone broth is made from bones, with or without meat. Cooking time is very long—24 hours or even more for beef.

What makes bone broth so good for you is the very long cooking time. In order to pull the nutrients out of the bones the long cooking time is crucial. Regular broth, or “meat juice” like I like to call it, only has minimal nutrients compared to bone broth.

My mom had good intentions. She did something based on the advice she heard from my grandmother who had a friend whose neighbors sister’s had a mother and her mother had a friend…
So it got me thinking. What other advice have mothers been told through the years? So who did I ask? The internet of course.

I found some new mommy advice that caught my attention, and here it is!

• 1940’s – If baby is 3 months old some experts suggest some liver soup, of course!

• 1950’s – Mothers were advised to wean baby as young as 3-4 months old with raw egg yolk. Once baby turned a year old, boiled tripe was a favorite solid food starter.

• 1960’s – A book called Bringing Up Baby, A Family Doctor’s Practical Approach to Child Care, written by Dr. Walter Sackett Jr., has one very intriguing chapter. Chapter 6, (Page 54- 65) ,“The Little Fellow Has to Eat.” Everything from scheduled feedings to giving your baby cereal at 2-3 DAYS old. Read the full book here.

• 1970’s – Don’t bathe baby. Twice a week is just fine.

If you want to read more parenting advice through the years, you can do so here.

These days there is no shortage of books, articles, blogs etc., all with studies and research to back up the advice they give. It can be a bit overwhelming. I don’t know all the answers to parenting and  I’m likely not getting an A++ at motherhood. Most days I will settle for a good strong C, a B if I am lucky.

I think we just love our children with all of our hearts and do the best we can with the information we have. What I do know is that I survived the meat juice. My mom drove me crazy and still does, but I was loved. Regardless of how I was parented there is one thing I never questioned, and that is the love my mom has for me. Long live the meat juice.


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