Have you ever wondered if you should be giving your baby fish sticks? Though many mothers now feed it to their babies, it could lead to a sticky situation and must be done with caution.
There seems to be a sharp divide in the debate about feeding fish to babies. The old school thinking is that one should wait till the first birthday before giving fish, as it ranks amongst the top foods that can cause allergic reactions. Fish reactions can be the worst of them all. That’s how conventional thinking goes.
But, there is an emerging newer-age view and an increasing number of pediatricians now recommend introducing fish as early as six months. The thought behind this is that as long as the baby is not allergic to fish, then it is actually extremely beneficial for them, especially because it contains all the amino acids, including omega-3, a fatty acid which has in recent years especially been talked about as the magical ingredient that boosts babies’ brain power. This is a feature that always goes down well with parents who are forever trying to increase the grey cells in their babies’ brains.
Can I Give My Baby Fish Sticks? Answer At 6 Months to a Year
That aside, more and more studies are citing Omega-3 as the wonder nutrient that has a lot of benefits – from fighting eczema and building immunity, to improving vision. Some reports point out that that the babies who ate fish at an earlier age were less prone to skin ailments.
That fish has lots of goodness packed into them is now relatively well known. But it still must not be given without thought and care. Because with the good comes the bad. That is, with the curative omega-3, comes the injurious mercury, a metal found in fish, some more than the others, which if given in large amounts can harm not only the baby’s brain, but also seriously damage the nervous system. One such fish is tuna, which while appearing to be innocuous is quite high in methyl mercury levels. Others include predatory fish like king mackerel, shark or swordfish.
So before you decide to give you baby fish sticks, check out what fish it is, and also find out if anyone in the family ever had any allergic reactions to seafood. Knowing your family’s allergic history is a good idea in any case. It would help you figure out some seemingly mysterious ailments in your child.
Even if you are of the new-school thought, there are some kinds of fish, like shellfish, which are best avoided till the baby is at least one or older.
Watch Our For Allergies and Cook The Fish Well
If you decide to give your baby fish sticks, then try a small bit with them first and watch for reactions. It’s always a good idea to try a new food in the daytime, for obvious reasons. You don’t want to be rushing to the ER at night. Also, one can watch out for symptoms throughout the day.
The best thing would be to make the fish sticks at home, rather than buy the frozen ones. Food out of a bag, no matter how fresh it may seem, can never match food made at home. Commercially-made, processed fish-sticks would not exactly be high on nutrition, so, it would be best for your baby if you can make fish sticks at home.
It’s not really that hard to make either – all you need is flour, eggs, breadcrumbs and, of course, fish cut into finger slices. Get hold of a good recipe and do this at home, for best results. What you do need to be careful of is the bones; you must thoroughly de-bone the fish and cook it well.
However, if you really want your baby to benefit from the nutritional qualities of fish, then ask your pediatrician about the best way to prepare fish. Crumbing and deep-frying, while lowering risks of reactions, also diminishes the goodness that fish contains, especially the omega-3.
Also, know the portions according to the body weight. Most mothers give fish sticks to their babies only once a week, about two sticks, at a time. This can vary though from child to child and it’s best to ask your doctor about how much to give.
And remember, if your baby develops a rash, or a swelling, or starts to vomit after eating fish, consult a doctor right away.