Can I Give My Baby Sushi?

Can I give my baby sushi?Sushi is pretty delicious, but is it something that you should be giving to your baby? They say that there is some nutritional value in the protein of the fish, but does your baby need all that protein, and can they handle it being raw?

Your baby’s digestive system is developing at the moment, and if they’re in the first six months they really don’t need a lot of solid foods, and can still be breastfeeding. If they’ve made the switch from breastmilk to formula, and then to cereals and other soft foods, you might think that they’re ready for something like sushi. However, this is not a very good option for your baby both because it is raw, and because it is fish.

Fish is pretty nutritious, but it is not something that needs to be eaten by adults or babies. The fish used in sushi has been known to contain high levels of mercury, so unless you’re planning on giving them a California roll it’s probably best to avoid it altogether. Another component of sushi is rice, as well as the seaweed holding it all together. None of these are food items that your baby needs to be given.

Can I Give My Baby Sushi? Answer: Not Recommended

There are a ton of other foods you could be giving your baby besides sushi. It may be quite some time before they can start eating all the same foods that you do. Until then, you have to give them foods that are suitable for a baby’s developing digestion system, and also foods that give them the nutrients and vitamins that they need.

Bacteria Concerns
There will always be concerns with sushi containing bacteria since the fish has not been cooked. Of course there are some rolls that you can order that have cooked fish on them, such as eel which is grilled before putting it onto an Unagi roll. There are also fusion style rolls that will include things like shrimp tempura, which has been lightly fried before being wrapped up in a roll. But these are not recommended either because they are too complicated for baby’s stomach to handle.

The reason they serve wasabi alongside things like sashimi is to help the adult digestive system handle bacteria that is present with uncooked fish. You don’t want to feed your baby wasabi, so they won’t be having any assistance dealing with this sort of bacteria if you give them sushi.

Introducing New Foods
If you want to introduce new tastes to your baby, you should start by giving them things that are more simple in nature. One of the problems of sushi is that it combines many ingredients into one tiny roll. You want to give your baby new foods one at a time, so that they are able to process them and get used to them.

For example, if your baby has never had rice before, you’ll want to introduce rice to them first. Then, you can move to things like avocado if they’ve never had that before. What happens when you give them a piece of sushi is that they are eating four or five different types of food all at one time. The best way to feed a baby is to give them one food item to concentrate on, let them finish that, and then move on to the next.

Allergy Concerns
Another thing that you want to consider is that your child might be allergic to fish, or raw fish, or any number of ingredients used to make sushi. If they do have a reaction to it, you’ll have trouble narrowing it down to what exactly they are allergic to. If you’ve already tested fish with your baby, and they were able to handle it all right that’s no guarantee that they will be able to eat raw fish and process it easily.

Best to Avoid It
Adults eat sushi because it tastes good, but also because it looks good. They say that the design of the sushi counts just as much as taste. Since your baby is not really going to remember having sushi, and they aren’t going to appreciate the way it looks, there’s really no reason for them to get involved in the whole affair.

Add Your Own Answer to Can I Give My Baby Sushi? Below

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Jobbawob July 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm

It is better to give child sushi and let them eat it and have them eat it now then find sushi from bad people and eat it when they get older we should all work to prevent this as sushi makes child super and healthy and no sushi makes child have hiv this is studied many times


canigivemybaby July 18, 2013 at 5:24 am

Hi Dr Jobbawob,
Thanks for your comments. Just a point to note, I definitely don’t believe that sushi causes HIV. I don’t recommend sushi to babies because of the raw fish component and the complexity of the dish. It’s always best to give babies one new food at a time and sushi contains a few of the food groups in every serve. As I am not a pediatrician I only offer an opinion, but I believe that the potential harmful bacteria in raw fish, the different sauces associated with sushi and the combination of multiple foods in the one bite make sushi an unrecommended food choice for a baby. I wish you all the best and thanks again for your feedback. Best regards, Amber


JustAGuy May 17, 2014 at 7:03 pm

This offers absolutely no scientific basis for whether or not sushi is bad for young children. It’s basically “I don’t think kids should have sushi.” But you don’t answer the question of safety at all. You simply state that sushi isn’t “necessary” and so it should not be presented.

Must be a hell of a life you live where only “necessary” things are incorporated. No beverages other than water, no chocolate, no driving anywhere fun, no purchasing a new outfit that looks good on you. Only what is “necessary”.

You need to grow as a writer and learn to research before you can start acting as an authority on what people can and can’t give their babies.


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