I’m often asked by parents when is the best time to introduce foods into a baby’s diet. When can they start solids? With a baby you are responsible for nurturing them from an emotional and physical point of view, but we should also look at nurturing their digestive system. With a rise in allergies for a variety of reasons, the main constant that seems to be coming back is the link with the digestive system and the responses to IgG and IgA (immune responses). Therefore we want to support their digestive tract so they can become resilient. Seventy percent of your immune system comes from the digestive tract, so therefore a malfunctioning stomach will ultimately lower your health potential and prone the body to infection and disease.

Introducing grains to an underdeveloped digestive when it is not ready to absorb, can only hinder in the long term.

A good way to gauge when to introduce foods is to look at what teeth the baby has developed and what those teeth are used for. The body is an amazing piece of working machinery. Therefore when their intestines are ready to digest a certain type of food they will have those kinds of teeth grow through the gums.

Usually front teeth are the first teeth to cut through, at around 6 months of age. These are good for digesting soft vegetables and fruit such as mangoes, avocado, melon. And as more teeth come through (around 9 months), the vegetables can become slightly firmer i.e. carrots, broccoli, cucumber, apples.

Grains require molars to grind down, which don’t come through till 12 months of age. Having grains before will only result the body not being able to break the food down. This can only upset the digestive bacteria balance and lead to sensitivities, intolerances and at worse even allergies to certain foods since the immune system goes on high alert.

The canines (fangs) are the last to develop. These are used for eating meat. One would hope to wait for them, which can be 9-13 months of age.

Lastly introduce new foods one at a time; one new food every 2 weeks. This will minimise and even isolate if there is an allergy to that food being introduced.

I hope this common sense approach helps you in deciding when to introduce foods. For more information ask the staff at Neurohealth Chiropractic.

If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us admin@neurohealthchiro.com.au or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au

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This article is written by Dr. Steven Cannon, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic