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, especially fatty fish, contains Omega-3 fatty acids, including an important nutrient called DHA. DHA is known for its significant role in brain development, which is especially crucial during the early stages of your baby's life.

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.

Remember, when introducing fish to your baby, it’s best to prepare it carefully (without bones) and pay attention to any potential allergies or sensitivities after your baby eats their meal. You can also talk about this with your baby’s doctor.

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. 


DID YOU KNOW: The government has restrictions on fishing and sourcing seafood during specific periods of the year to protect fish during their breeding season.


There are two primary fishing seasons: 

  1. From January to May
  2. 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

    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. 

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

    Saltwater fish (they’re also bigger in size) are higher in mercury and may contain more heavy metals than freshwater fish. The below table will be a helpful guide when it comes to serving Indian fish that are safer thanks to their lower mercury levels (<0.09 ppm).

    Names of Low Mercury Fish

    Common Name

    English Name


    St. Peter’s Fish


    Indian salmon








    Mystus tengara


    Atlantic/Indian mackerel

    Sole fish

    Sole fish








    Labeo rohita


    Pink perch

    Sole Maach

    SnakeHead murrel




    Preparing & Serving Fish to Your Baby

    1) Fish should be well cooked. Avoid feeding raw fish or sushi to children.

    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.

    You can safely serve shellfish in a couple of ways: 

    - by slicing the shrimp or prawn in the middle length-wise

    - pureeing cooked shrimp

    - minced shrimp in cutlets or patties

    4) 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.

    5) Fish cutlets, fingers, or patties are also good recipes to get your baby to start enjoying the taste of fish.

    6) Fish can also be grilled, which is a healthier alternative.


    TIP: To avoid cross-contamination, keep separate chopping boards for veggies and fish. Also, wash the knife thoroughly if you use the same knife for fish and veggies.


    FISH: Age-Wise Recipes & Tips

    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 a 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) Minced or flaked fish: Take flaked fish and incorporate it into soft, scoopable foods along with rice or chapati.

    2) Bite-sized fish pieces: Prepare cooked and deboned fish by shaping it into cakes, patties, cutlets, or fish fingers. These bite-sized portions are perfect for your little one to grasp and enjoy.

    3) Poached or grilled fish

    12 to 24 months

    1) Prepare the cooked, deboned fish in various appetizing forms. Serve it in longer strips, bite-sized pieces, or shape it into delicious cakes and patties. You can also flake the fish on its own or mix it with other foods.

    2) As your baby grows, try methods like poaching, broiling, grilling, or pan-searing fish.


      To avoid cross-contamination, keep separate chopping boards for veggies and fish. Also, wash the knife thoroughly if you use the same knife for fish and veggies.

      Learn the right ways to nourish from experts