We would like to introduce you to Crystal Di Domizio, this month's contributor to our N&G Expert Panel. Crystal kindly took the time to answer a few questions regarding the introduction of solid foods into baby's diet. We love her knowledgable and holistic approach to making the transition from liquids to solids. If you have additional tips or information you would like to share, please share in the comments section. N&G: In the early months, what is the best way that a family can prepare a baby to begin to take solid foods? Crystal: There is no special attention or advanced preparation needed to prepare your baby for solid food. Babies are unique so you’ll need to look to them for signs of readiness, rather than a date on the calendar! The World Health Organization states that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants (without any additional food or drink, not even water.) After 6 months they recommend breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond, along with the introduction of solid food. N&G: What are the top three readiness signs that tell you your baby is ready to eat something other than breast milk or formula? Crystal: Babies become developmentally ready to eat solid foods around 6-8 months. Look for the following signs:
  1. Baby can sit up well without support.
  2. Baby is ready and willing to chew and doesn’t automatically push solid food out of his mouth with his tongue.
  3. Baby picks up food or other objects between her thumb and forefinger and is eager to participate in mealtime and may even try to grab food and put it in her mouth.
N&G: Many families are seriously looking into the foods that they eat and provide for their children and I'm seeing a shift toward "whole food" nutrition. If parents would like to start their babies with whole foods, what are some good options to consider for first foods? Crystal: I highly recommend beginning solid food introduction with real food, rather than processed cereals that are hard for baby to digest and devoid of natural nutrients. You’ll want to introduce new foods one at a time, continuing to feed that same food for at least 4 days before moving on to another so you are aware of any negative reactions. Nutrient dense first foods, introduced between 6-8 months include: • Cooked Egg Yolk – preferably organic, from pasture-raised chickens • Pureed Meats – preferably organic, grass-fed beef, lamb, turkey, chicken • Raw Mashed Fruits - banana, avocado • Cooked Pureed Fruits – pears, apples • Cooked Vegetables – squash, sweet potato, carrots Since we’ve only covered the basics of this important and lengthy topic here are some resources for further reading: World Health Organization Exclusive Breastfeeding Is My Baby Ready For Solid Food? Nourishing a Growing Baby *note from N&G: The introduction of solid foods will result more solid poops. One of the most effective tools we recommend for 'poop management' is Bummi's Bio-Soft Flushable liners. About Crystal Di Domizio: Crystal is a Vancouver based Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Prenatal Coach and Hypnobabies Childbirth Educator. She offers a comprehensive 6-week prenatal course that teaches women how to use self-hypnosis for an easier, more comfortable childbirth experience. When she’s not teaching you can find her blogging about her first pregnancy at www.prenatalcoach.com Find out more: http://cultivateyourhealth.com Previous: Eucalan No Rinse Wool Wash