Salmon for Babies – When to Introduce & Recipes
The thought of adding fish in a baby’s diet, once they start eating solids, may not sit well with a parent, given the fact that fish is one of the most common allergy foods. While fish may not be exactly the first choice when it comes to baby food, but certain fish like salmon and sardines that are rich in omega-3 fats may help in the brain development of your baby.
The nutrients in fish such as salmon may make you want to consider it, but should you be including it in your baby’s diet? Find out! This article covers information about adding salmon in a baby’s diet!
Is it Safe for Babies to Eat Salmon?
Salmon is a rich source of important nutrients such as Vitamin D, zinc, iron, protein, and more, and can be included in a baby’s diet, provided that the baby is not allergic to it and eats it in moderation, and once your baby’s paediatrician gives it a go-ahead. But you must pick the fish carefully. Due to pollution, a lot of rivers have excessive amounts of metals, mercury in particular, which is known to cause brain damage. So while buying salmon, make sure to buy fresh salmon.
When to Introduce Salmon to Babies
Salmon or any other fish is not the best first food for babies, so include it in your baby’s diet, when he is a little older, say about 7-8 months. Also, make sure that you feed your baby home-cooked salmon. The fish should be properly cooked and should be given to the baby in small amounts. When introducing it for the first time, watch for any signs of allergy. Do not introduce any other new food with this fish. If you notice anything usual, consult a paediatrician and stop giving fish to your baby.
Benefits of Salmon for Babies
A pescatarian diet has many advantages and provides different kinds of nutrients that the body may have to otherwise turn to different sources. Feeding salmon can be good for your baby’s brain health. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon may help in the brain, nerve and vision development of your baby. Starting seafood early can help develop a taste for it. Including salmon in your baby’s diet can also help him sleep better.
Which One Is Better for Infants – Wild-Caught or Farmed Salmon?
This can be a bone of contention for many people around the world who consume salmon but there are essential, three parameters according to which you should make a decision, namely, contamination, environment and Omega-3 fatty acid content levels. Baby food with salmon is definitely good for their health but the choice you make depends on many factors. Ideally, wild-caught salmon in Alaska would be of good quality and the salmon is available all year long. Farmed salmon is found everywhere around the world. Unfortunately, farmed salmon usually contains toxins from the antibiotics and the pesticides that are used. The food that they get is also poor in nutrients which in turn affects the quality of meat that is derived from them. So from a health standpoint, wild-caught salmon is the preferred choice not only for babies but also for adults.
Can Salmon Cause Choking Issue in Babies?
Salmon is a very soft fish with little to no bones. Unlike shellfish, which can be a choking hazard for babies as well as adults, salmon is not a common choking hazard. Make sure you run your hands through the fish to remove any bones that you might come across before cooking salmon for babies.
Can Babies Have Salmon Allergy?
Although only a very small percentage of people are allergic to it, salmon, like other finned fish is a food allergen. Much like with other foods, make sure to give your baby a little bit, to begin with in order to test the waters. Once you can see that there is no adverse reaction, you can start increasing the amount of salmon in your baby’s diet. Some people might have seafood allergies that run in the family in which case, it is advised to consult with your doctor and an allergist to make sure that your baby is safe.
How to Feed Salmon to 6-month-old Babies to 24-month-old Babies
Here’s how you can add salmon in your baby’s diet at different periods of their early years.
6 to 12 Months
This would be the ideal time to introduce salmon to your baby’s diet. Make sure that all the bones have been removed and that the fish has been cooked thoroughly. This is the best way to cook salmon for a baby. A piece that is as big as two adult pinkies is a good amount of cooked salmon to feed a baby. It works because the meat is very tender and small flakes are also easy for the baby to hold on to.
12 to 18 Months
A good time to introduce canned salmon by just removing it, rinsing off the excessive sodium content and you can choose to add this to salads that contain avocado, olive oil, or other ingredients of your choice. This is a recipe for 1-year-olds.
18 to 24 Months
Salmon cakes are a great food to introduce at this stage. Make sure that you let your baby feel the texture and shape of the fish. This helps with getting accustomed to the food that they are eating.
Healthy Salmon Recipes for Babies
Although you may know about the benefits of salmon for your baby, you might wonder what kind of recipe you should follow so that the meat is palatable for your little baby. We have a few recipes here that should help you.
1. Salmon, Broccoli and Spinach Puree
- 1-2 tbsp of butter
- 100 gms of shallots, sliced.
- 225 gms of potatoes, diced
- 225 gms of salmon
- 100 gms of broccoli florets
- 30 gms of baby spinach
- 75 ml of milk
- 300 ml of water
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Melt the butter in a pan and fry the shallots and potatoes for a couple of minutes.
- Add salmon pieces and broccoli and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Stir in the milk and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Then turn off the flame and allow the mixture to cool.
- Then blend the mixture until smooth and pureed.
- This recipe is perfect for babies between 6 and 9 months of age.
2. Tasty Salmon Risotto
- ¼ an onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 150 gms salmon filet
- 1 tsp of vegetable oil
- 20 gms peas
- 25 gms of white rice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Dice the onion and garlic.
- Wrap the salmon in foil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the meat is totally cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions and garlic.
- Add in the rice and peas.
- Add water to the mix and cover and simmer until the rice is completely cooked through. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, mix in the salmon. Cook for another 2-3 minutes then turn off the flame.
- This recipe is perfect for babies between 10 and 12 months of age.
Salmon is very nutritious and can be included in a baby’s diet once he starts on solids. To include it in your baby’s diet, check with your baby’s paediatrician. Once he gives a go-ahead, try the recipes above and let your baby enjoy this tasty fish!