Can my baby eat fish?
Fish can sometimes be a difficult food to introduce into children’s diets, perhaps because of its strong taste. However, fish can be introduced at an early age along with other foods, once infants are ready to eat solids, as it is a healthy and nutritious addition to the diet. It is known to be an important source of high-quality protein and many other micronutrients, depending on the variety of the fish. For example, salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient for brain development.
Is it safe?
Fish used to be considered unsafe for our little ones because of its potential for allergic reactions. Following new studies, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that delaying the introduction of potentially highly allergenic foods such as eggs, fish or nuts, among others, could be negative in the prevention of allergies.
When to introduce it?
Solid food can be introduced to a baby around the sixth month, as long as the baby sits up alone and depending on the timing of readiness of each kid. Mushy textures and small, soft, chewy pieces could be introduced to crawlers (8-12 months old). Exposure to different tastes, flavors and textures is important as it helps developing the sensory profile through different experiences while working the mouth, jaw and tongue.
What about benefits?
Fish is a nutritious source of protein and fatty acids, such omega-3, which significantly enhance the central nervous system improving different parameters of the cognitive function, visual development, cardiovascular health and immune system. In addition, it provides important amounts of trace minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and iodine, which are essential for the proper growth metabolism.