Can babies eat seafood?
Seafood can be a confusing topic when it comes to your baby’s diet. You might be wondering when is the right time to introduce seafood, what types are safe for them to enjoy and what are the best practices.
When to introduce seafood?
There are many differing opinions when it comes to introducing seafood such as fish, shellfish and oysters. Some people have strong opinions on it based on their own diet and preferences and often it will come down to personal choice, your baby as an individual and also family history.
If your baby is not prone to allergies or doesn’t have asthma, eczema, and there’s no family history of seafood allergies, then introducing fish and seafood between 6-12 months is fine.
What types of seafood can baby eat?
Now, which types of seafood will cause the least amount of potential harm and are the most beneficial? The fish you give your baby should be low in mercury (e.g. salmon is a great first fish many babies love) to avoid mercury poisoning.
Your baby’s immune system and vital organs are not as developed as yours, and a little bit too much mercury can cause harmful reactions. Your child should also not eat any raw or undercooked fish until they are older, as this can cause bacterial poisoning.
How to introduce seafood?
Seafood can have a strong taste, some babies will love it but others may need a little more encouragement. You can start off by giving your babies pureed fish, crab, prawns mixed with fruits or vegetables to ease them into both the taste and the texture. You can then build up to give them softer pieces of fish.
Seafood is high in protein, healthy fats and has several nutrients that are important for your baby’s health and development and can be a great way to get more variety into their diet.
As with anything health-related, consult your pediatrician or healthcare provider before making any significant changes to their diet.