When to introduce fish to babies?
Introducing solid foods to babies is an important milestone, and it's essential to do it in a safe and appropriate way. When it comes to introducing fish to babies, there are a few things that parents should keep in mind.
In India, the general recommendation is to introduce fish to babies around 8-9 months of age.
When choosing fish for your baby, it's important to select fresh, locally available, high-quality fish. You should avoid fish that may contain high levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, which can be harmful to your baby's developing nervous system. Instead, choose small, oily fish like sardines, pomfret and mackerel, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients.
When introducing fish to your baby, it's a good idea to start with a small amount, such as a few bites, and gradually increase the serving size. Watch for any signs of allergic reactions or digestive discomfort, such as rash, hives, vomiting, or diarrhea.
It's also essential to cook the fish thoroughly and remove any bones to prevent choking. You can bake, steam, or grill the fish, but avoid frying it as the fish already has enough fats of its own.
If there is a family history of food allergies, it's important to speak to a pediatrician or allergist before introducing fish or any other new food to your baby. They can help determine if any special precautions or testing is needed.
In general, it's essential to provide a balanced and varied diet for your baby that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources like meat, poultry, and legumes. By introducing fish in a safe and appropriate way, you can help your baby develop healthy eating habits that will benefit them for a lifetime.
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