Dive Into Nutrition: Introducing Fish to Your Baby’s Diet Day 3: Introducing fish

Dive Into Nutrition: Introducing Fish to Your Baby’s Diet

 Why Fish Is Great for Your Baby

1. Protein Powerhouse:

Fish is an excellent source of protein, which plays a crucial role in your baby’s bone development, immune system function, and muscle growth.

2. Omega-3 Wonder:

Fish also offers other vital nutrients like iron, B12, and even Vitamin D in some fatty fish varieties.

3. Essential Nutrients:

Fish also offers other vital nutrients like iron, B12, and even Vitamin D in some fatty fish varieties.

When Can You Introduce Fish to Your Baby?

Fish can be introduced to your little one’s diet as early as 6 months old.

Why Is Seasonal Fishing So Important?

Seafood is nature’s bounty and can be a highly nutritious addition to our kids’ meals, but it must be procured with respect. The availability of seafood follows a distinct seasonal pattern.

As consumers, we hold a pivotal role in supporting the conservation of marine life. Our eating habits exert significant influence on the demand and supply chains. Therefore, it’s crucial that we familiarize ourselves with the seafood/fishing seasons of the types we intend to include in our children’s diets.

The government has established restrictions on fishing and sourcing seafood during specific periods of the year. This practice aids in safeguarding fish during their breeding season, facilitating the birth of the next generation and the continuation of their life cycles.

There are two primary fishing seasons:

  • From January to May
  • From September to November

Being aware of this information as consumers holds importance for three key reasons:

  • Purchasing seafood during its season ensures that you obtain fish that have matured optimally.
  • Shopping during the in-season periods is typically more cost-effective.
  • Buying seafood during its season not only supports the conservation of marine life but also ensures the survival of different species. Overfishing during inappropriate seasons can significantly impact seafood populations

A Quick Lesson on Types of Fish

There are 2 types of fish based on where they live: freshwater fish and saltwater fish.

Freshwater fish (or sweet water fish) are found in rivers and lakes. E.g.: Rohu, Katla, Tilapia

Saltwater fish (or sea water fish) are found in oceans and seas. E.g.: Rawas, Pomfret, Surmai, Bhetki

Fish Is a Common Allergen

  • It’s important to be aware that fish and shellfish are common allergens when introducing them to your baby’s diet. If anyone in your family has a known allergy to fish or shellfish, it’s essential to exercise caution. In such cases, your baby may have a higher risk of developing the same allergy.
  • On the other hand, if nobody in your immediate family has known seafood allergies, you can introduce fish to your baby at an earlier stage, starting from 6 months onwards. Research suggests that early exposure to potential allergens may help reduce the likelihood of developing allergies in the future.

Fish Can Contain Mercury

So, which types of fish are safer with low heavy metal content?

Certain fish are known to contain higher levels of mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal that can be harmful to our bodies. Some fish may also contain arsenic, another heavy metal.

Did You Know:

Mercury levels in fish are measured as parts per millions (ppm)

Fish Names
Fish Common Name English Name
Tilapia St. Peter’s Fish
Rawas Indian Salmon
Parshe Anchovies
Pabda/Singhara Catfish
Tengra Mystus Tengara
Bangda Indian Mackerel
Pomfret Butterfish
Hilsa Herring
Jhinga Tiger Prawns
Sole Maach SnakeHead Murrel

Preparing & Serving Fish to Your Baby

  1. For example, when infants first start solid foods, they may experience constipation. Low-fiber foods like purees or porridges may also lead to constipation due to low fiber contents.
  2. Fish bones can be a choking hazard, so we recommend deboning the fish and serving just the filet.
  3. While boneless fish will not be a choking hazard (due to their soft, flaky texture when cooked), shellfish (prawns, shrimp) can be a choking hazard due to their shape and rubbery/slippery texture.
  4. You can safely serve shellfish in a couple of ways:

    • pureeing cooked shrimp minced
    • shrimp in cutlets or patties
  5. Fish can be enjoyed in a pureed form as well. Alternatively, fish cooked in a curry or gravy is the best form to give your baby.
  6. Fish cutlets, fingers, or patties are also good recipes to get your baby to start enjoying the taste of fish.
  7. Fish can also be grilled, which is a healthier alternative.
Tip:

To avoid risk of cross-contamination, it’s a good idea to have separate chopping boards for veggies and fish. Another precaution you can take is to wash the knife thoroughly if you use the same knife for fish and veggies.

Fish: Age-Wise Recipes & Tips
Select Baby Age
6 to 8 months

1. Fish mixed with a base:

Cooked, deboned fish blended with boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and flavorful spices.

2. Fish strips:

Opt for freshly cooked salmon, deboned and with the skin removed, cut into strips approximately the size of two adult fingers pressed together.

3. Fish curry or gravy

Prepare delectable fish curry or gravy infused with traditional indian spices and herbs. Serve it with rice or mix it with rice balls

9 to 11 months

1. Fish mixed with a base:

Cooked, deboned fish blended with boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and flavorful spices.

2. Fish strips:

Opt for freshly cooked salmon, deboned and with the skin removed, cut into strips approximately the size of two adult fingers pressed together.

3. Fish curry or gravy

Prepare delectable fish curry or gravy infused with traditional indian spices and herbs. Serve it with rice or mix it with rice balls

12 to 24 months

1. Fish mixed with a base:

Cooked, deboned fish blended with boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and flavorful spices.

2. Fish strips:

Opt for freshly cooked salmon, deboned and with the skin removed, cut into strips approximately the size of two adult fingers pressed together.

3. Fish curry or gravy

Prepare delectable fish curry or gravy infused with traditional indian spices and herbs. Serve it with rice or mix it with rice balls

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