Deciding on the baby's diet can be quite a task. The foods items chosen should ensure maximum nourishment and health benefits for the baby. Most pediatricians suggest that by the time a baby is six months old, he or she can have solid foods, including fish, without any problem. Fish is a healthy food option that can benefit your child immensely.
1. The fish, especially Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel, to name a few, are laden with the Omega-3 fatty acids Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These are essential for brain development of the baby, giving a much-needed boost to their immune system. Fish is also a rich source of the “Good Fats” as well as proteins, necessary for the overall development of the baby.
2. However, parents need to be a little alert and cautious while feeding fish to the baby, especially for those who have a history of food allergies in their families.
3. Shellfish or boney fish can trigger an allergic reaction in babies (stomach upset, rashes, wheezing, blocked nose, or fever) and should be avoided until the baby is at least a year old.
4. Fish with high mercury content (King Mackerel, Tilefish, Swordfish, Shark) should either be avoided or given in limited quantities. High levels of mercury in the body can trigger a host of complications including extreme damages to the nerves and the brain. Instead one can opt for fish such as Tuna, Salmon (low mercury content).
5. Make sure the fish served to the baby is fresh and well cooked. When it comes to babies, avoid experimenting too much. For beginners, it is best to serve a white flesh fish (such as Cod, Flounder, Haddock,) that is light and easy on the stomach, ensuring a better digestion.
6. Ideally, you can serve fish twice for three a week in either stewed, baked, mashed or pureed form. For the first time, serve fish in small quantity and wait for at least a day to see if there are any allergic reactions.
Some of the healthy fish preparations for the baby include:
The carroty fish delight
The ingredients for the fishy delight include
- A small finely chopped carrot.
- Boneless fish (Cod or Haddock), cut into small pieces.
- In a pan, add water and the chopped pieces of carrots and fish and bring it to a boil (steam the mixture for at least 12-15 minutes).
- Transfer the boiled mixture into a mixer and blend it to a fine puree.
- You can adjust the consistency with water.
- Lastly, you can add a pinch of roasted cumin powder to it (option).
You can prepare similar puree using other healthy and nutritious vegetables such as sweet potato, potato, peas, beans, summer squash, avocados, onion, to name a few. The recipe is ideal for babies above nine months of age. Alternately, you can also serve the fish along with rice or cereals.
- Take boneless fish (minced well) and boil it well.
- Next, add rice and lentils and some vegetables (of your choice which are healthy for the baby) in a cooker, add water and cook for 2-3 whistles.
- Transfer the contents in a mixer, add the boiled pieces of fish and blend well. To this, you can add a small teaspoon of butter or ghee and a pinch of black pepper powder or roasted cumin powder.
- Your healthy rich and rice puree is ready to be served.
There can be many other ways in which you can serve the fish to the baby. Unleash the creative chef in you and prepare a lip-smacking fish recipe for the little one.