Fish can be a healthy part of your child’s diet soon after he begins to eat solid food, typically when he’s around 4 to 6 months old. However if your baby has chronic eczema or a food allergy, talk to the doctor first.
You’ll wish to check with the doctor because fish is one of the leading allergenic foods, and the majority of physicians suggest starting with traditional first solids (such as baby cereal and pureed meat, fruits, or vegetables) prior to offering your baby fish and fish fingers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Allergy and Immunology says that a lot of children– consisting of those with mild eczema, or a household history of food allergies or asthma– can begin eating foods like fish after introducing a few less allergenic foods (such as cereal, veggies, and fruits) without triggering an allergy.
Some children need to not start eating allergenic foods such as fish till the doctor has accepted. Talk to the doctor if your baby:
- Has moderate to severe eczema after following a doctor’s skin treatment plan
- Has had an immediate allergic reaction to a food in the past
- Was formerly detected with a food allergy
When presenting an allergenic food, the AAP recommends offering it to your baby at home, instead of at daycare or a dining establishment. And similar to any new food, serve it for three to five days before providing something else. That way you can monitor him for a response and understand what’s likely causing it.
Signs of a food allergy are facial swelling (consisting of the tongue and lips), skin rash, wheezing, abdominal cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your baby shows any of these signs– mild or severe– or has difficulty breathing right after eating a brand-new food, call 911 or your regional emergency number right away, according to iytmed.org.
Besides an allergy, there are a few other traits you’ll want to look out for:
- Mercury. Fish is rich in protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients, but specific types of fish include high levels of methylmercury, a metal believed to be harmful in high dosages to a child’s establishing brain and nervous system. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that you prevent feeding your child shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish– large predatory fish which contain the greatest levels of mercury.
To keep mercury levels down, the AAP informs parents to limit the amount their child eats to less than 12 ounces weekly. Types of fish that are low in mercury include canned light tuna (not albacore, or “white” tuna, which is higher in mercury), salmon, cod, catfish, flatfish, and pollock.
- Bacteria and viruses. Make sure fish is completely cooked to kill the foodborne bacteria and infections that flourish in raw or undercooked fish (smoked fish).
- Choking. To avoid choking debone, mince, and puree the fish.