While some mothers choose to avoid solids for the entire first year, others prefer to start sooner. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that most babies can start solids by 6 months, around the time babies begin to be much more active.
When you decide your baby is ready to begin solids, consider introducing some nutritionally dense superfoods instead of the traditional grain-based baby cereal. Babies produce plenty of functional enzymes and digestive juices that help them digest proteins and fats, making these fatty, protein-rich foods perfect first foods.
Introduce only one food at a time, and wait at least four days before introducing another food to rule out the possibility of a negative reaction. Always check with your pediatrician before beginning new foods.
Egg Yolks. Pediatricians warn us to stay away from egg whites, which may cause an allergic reaction, but the yolk is a nutritional powerhouse. Yolks from pasture-raised hens provide much-needed fat and cholesterol for proper brain and nervous system development, as well as choline, amino acids and vitamin A. Simply boil an egg for about 4 minutes so the yolk is soft but not runny, discard the white and serve with a small amount of unrefined sea salt.
Liver. Pastured, organic, poultry liver is extremely high in vitamin A, which is an important nutrient for developing babies. It also happens to be one of the best sources of usable iron along with vitamin B12 and other nutrients such as choline and cholesterol, which are important for healthy brain development. Start by shredding about a teaspoon of frozen liver (freezing for at least 14 days helps destroy any harmful microbes) onto an egg yolk. Beginning at six months you can serve baby cooked, pureed liver.
Salmon Roe. These nutrient-dense little eggs have some of the highest levels of omega 3s, almost 3.5 times the amount typically found in salmon. In addition to the brain-boosting fats, salmon roe is rich in antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins along with zinc and iodine. Try serving by themselves or incorporated into a soft-boiled egg yolk.
Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.