Introducing fish into a baby’s diet. When and How?
For proper growth, your baby’s body needs proteins. They help body cells divide and provide energy metabolism. Proteins are building blocks for body cells. Meat and fish are the source of valuable animal protein. Fish protein is absorbed much faster and is easier to digest.
Feeding fish to babies — advantages.
An important advantage of fish for babies is its delicate structure. Fish has no refractory fat and connective tissue. It’s good for immature enzymatic system of a baby. In addition, fish products are low-cal. Fish is rich in essential amino acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including Omega-3. They have beneficial effects on metabolism, cardiovascular and nervous system of a baby. Scientists have discovered that these substances improve brain activity and stimulate intellect. Polyunsaturated acid from fish is beneficial for those babies who were / are bottle-fed.
Fish contains vitamins A, D, E and trace elements, including rare fluorine and phosphorus. Fluorine is involved in the formation of tooth enamel. The normal development of brain and skeletal system is impossible without phosphorus. Fish is rich in potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron that are required for normal metabolism. Iron is especially important for anemia prevention.
Marine fish contains iodine, which is necessary for the development of the thyroid gland. Fish must be present in baby diet during the first year of life.
When can I start giving fish to my baby?
Pediatricians recommend fish dishes (fishballs, cutlets, casseroles) no earlier than at 8−9 months and after the baby has mastered meat foods. If your baby is prone to allergies, introduce fish into his diet in small portions after one year.
Fish belongs to the group of allergenic products, that’s why you should give fish to your baby not oftener than two times a week even if your child is not prone to allergic reactions. Introduce fish products into your baby’s diet gradually, starting with small portions.
How to introduce fish to a baby?
|First week||½ teaspoon of fish puree before breastfeeding or giving formula||1 time a week — watch the reaction!|
|Second week||1 teaspoon of fish puree before breastfeeding or giving formula||1 time a week — watch the reaction!|
|Third week||1 teaspoon of fish puree or 3 teaspoons of fish and vegetable puree before breastfeeding or giving formula||2 times a week — watch the reaction!|
|From the 4th week||gradually increase the portion||1 or 2 times a week|
You can give your baby up to 60g of fish puree during the first year of his life. In the second year — 85−90g.
What fish to start with?
The first fish should be lean and not red. It is better to choose marine fish — it has more minerals and less allergen. Best variants:
- river species — perch, trout, carp.
Don’t give your baby fried fish and fish broth. Other sea foods and caviar can be given only after 2 years and in small portions.
How to cook fish for babies?
If the fish is frozen, let it thaw in salt water to reduce the loss of minerals (8−10g of salt per 1 liter of water). If you have fish fillet — don’t let it thaw for a long time as it will lose most nutrients. Wash slightly thawed fillet in cold water, then cut it into small pieces and put in boiling water. Simmer the fish for about 10−15 minutes and then make fish puree. You can store the puree no more than 24 hours in the fridge. You can also add some vegetables. Fish with vegetables is better absorbed by the body and babies like such a mixture. Thus, the baby gets a highly balanced lunch.
You can use ready-made fish puree — it’ll save your time. Experts in child nutrition carefully compose recipes of canned products for babies. This product contain the optimal ratio of nutrients for your kid. You should only heat the puree and put it into your baby’s plate.