When Can Babies Eat Fish? And Which Fish To Give Them
Sea to it that they get their Omega-3s.
Fish is an amazing source for crucial fatty acids like DHA and EPA, also known as Omega-3s. DHA is particularly important to children — it helps the brain grow! But before you start throwing down the grouper, it’s important to know when you should give your baby fish and which fish to give them first.
Babies can start eating fish whenever they start chowing on solid foods — usually between about 4 and 6 months of age. It’s a perfect time to introduce a piscine diet to replenish all those Omega-3s lost in the transition away from breastmilk and formula.
There’s one huge caveat from the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP): Fish are one of the leading food allergies. Be extremely cautious about giving your kid fish if they have asthma or eczema that sticks around after a doctor’s treatment plan, or if you have a family history of food allergies, because that means they’re more likely to have an allergic reaction.
If you choose to proceed with fish — or any high-allergen food for that matter — do so at home rather than a restaurant. Start with small amounts, keep a watchful eye, and monitor them for a couple days after to see if they have a bad reaction.
A final recommendation from the AAP is to avoid the big, muscular fish at the top of the food chain, which are typically the ones that can have high concentrations of mercury.
For loads of fish you and your baby can safely enjoy, the Healthy Children website run by the AAP has a plenty of suggestions, including farmed rainbow trout, anchovies, and sardines. Whatever you give your kid, make sure it’s free of bones. Consider mincing or pureeing.
Whichever way you do it, make sure you get the good stuff into them before they get too old or they might not like fish later in life. No matter how many times they go out with you and catch a live one.
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