When to Include Seafood in Your Child’s Diet
Everyone loves seafood, as it contains delicious tastes as well as lots of health benefits. What if you want to introduce seafood to your child or toddler? Many of us might get confused whether to provide seafood to our children or not. There’s no doubt that some seafood has loads of health benefits, but when you’re thinking about giving seafood to your child, there are some precautions you need to take as a parent.
When Can I Give Seafood to My Baby?
If your baby is just a newborn, then you should follow strict diet guidelines from your doctor. Generally, experts don’t recommend parents to include seafood or fish in their child’s diet until they turn six months old. After a certain age, your baby’s development will be able to handle solid food, such as some fish.
After the age of six months to a year, it’s safe to give solid food in small amounts to see if your baby can digest it well. Some fish are a common allergenic food, so if there’s a history of allergies in your family, then it’s better to wait at least three years to feed your child any seafood.
What Is the First Step to Introduce Seafood to My Child’s Diet?
You should always start by introducing one food at a time. Be it some kind of fish or seafood, it can produce allergic reactions in most children. This is the reason you should take the best care during this process. After six months to a year, you can start by giving a small amount of one specific fish or seafood to your child. Here, you should keep in mind that you should not try to mix multiple kinds of seafood at once. After introducing one specific seafood to your child, wait up to 3 days before you introduce another.
Why Should I Introduce a Specific Seafood to My Baby?
To all parents, the reason behind starting a specific seafood is to benefit your child’s health. Everyone cares about their child and so do you, right? Every child is unique and so is their body. You’ll never know what suits your child until you try and see the results. While you feed your child with one specific seafood, you’ll come to know within 3-4 days whether that particular seafood suits your child or is triggering any food reaction.
If your child’s body is accepting that specific seafood, that’s the signal for allowing them to eat and digest it in the future. For that, you should wait at least 3-4 days so that it’s easy to pinpoint. Also, you should take care that you cook and feed every seafood dish only at your home for maximum safety.
What Are the Risks to Avoid?
Aside from allergic reactions, there is also the risk of toxicity contained in some seafood. Certain seafood contains a high level of mercury which could be harmful to your child. The toxicity in seafood can impact the development of your child’s brain. Avoid fresh tuna, shark, or swordfish as they contain high levels of mercury. Also, you should avoid dried fish since it’s usually preserved with a high amount of salt, which is not good for your child’s health. Raw fish or fish in cold marinade contains bacteria, which may cause illness.
Consuming the best seafood is essential for a healthy body and life. However, you need to take precautions when your children are involved.
For more information on how to choose healthy and safe seafood for a better life, read: How to Choose Healthy and Safe Seafood