Seafood comes in many varieties, and if you’re a fellow lover of it you probably want to share the experience with your baby to see if you’ve passed it on. Since there are so many types of seafood, and many of them are on the list of possibly causing an allergic reaction, you’ll want to be careful about what you introduce to them and when.
Just because you’re not allergic to seafood doesn’t mean your child won’t be. It could be that someone in your family or your partner’s family has a sensitivity to it that you don’t know about, or it could be that your baby simply is allergic to it without a history being present. That’s why you want to take extra care when introducing them to seafood, but you don’t have to be paranoid about doing so.
One other concern you might have is whether seafood is a healthy thing to be giving to your baby as they develop, and if there is any benefit to giving it to them. While many kinds of seafood are known to contain good things for us like protein and omega-3, there’s also the concern about cholesterol and sodium in certain types. That’s why you should take it on a case by case basis, and check out the pros and cons to each item you give your baby.
Can I Give My Baby Seafood? Answer: Depends on the Type
You’ll always want to check with your doctor first, especially if you have a family history of food allergies. They’ll be able to advise you as to whether it’s OK for your particular baby and their medical history and situation, as well as which types of seafood would be best to start off with. It’s always best to get specific advice rather than general opinions from places like Yahoo Answers.
Many health experts recommend eating more fish and less red meat, as it contains protein and omega-3 without the high levels of saturated fat. But does the same hold true for your baby? Since fish ranks high on the list of allergenic foods it was common practice to hold off on it until later on in a child’s development. The American Academy of Pediatrics came to the conclusion that there isn’t any pressing reason to wait, as your child will be allergic to the food no matter when they are introduced to it. That being said it can be given to them as early as six months when prepared properly.
This is the category that trips up many parents, because even within this category there are many creatures that live below the water and taste so good. Crab, lobster, and shrimp fall under the Crustacean label, while clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops are known as Mollusks. It is possible to be allergic to any one of these but not the others, as well as having a sensitivity to all of one category, but being fine with another category. That’s why it’s crucial to introduce them to your child individually, and spaced out over a period of days.
How to Prepare It
When you’ve done your due diligence on each type of seafood you’ll want to make sure that you prepare it in a way that makes it least likely to cause a problem with your baby. The first step is making sure that it’s fully cooked, even if it’s possible to eat it raw, like with oysters, sushi, and shrimp. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against giving your baby or young child under-cooked seafood as the bacteria pose a threat to them that adults aren’t effected by.
When giving you baby fish or shellfish for the first time, make sure you introduce it the same way you introduce all new foods to them: one at a time. This allows you to monitor how they’re reacting to it, and if there’s a problem with a food item you’ll be able to narrow it down quite easily. Three days is the usual amount of time that is recommended, as this will allow ample time for it to pass through your baby’s system. If you get the all clear you can add that food item to the list of OK foods and move on to the next new food.