Fish, A Baby Brain Food

As your baby starts solids around six months of age, consider serving up fish, a baby brain food. If you think serving fish to babies sounds, well, fishy, read on mamas. We’re sharing all the ways fish is great for your baby and how you can incorporate this baby brain food into your baby’s diet.

Off-Limits Fish

We should first begin by explaining that all fish are not created equal. There are some fish you should avoid serving your baby like swordfish, mackerel, tilefish and shark because they are high in mercury and PCBs. Some people believe in holding off on shellfish in the early months of solid food eating too, especially if allergies run in your family.

Fish, A Baby Brain FoodThe Best Fish for Babies

The best fish for babies are salmon, flounder, cod, tuna, haddock and sole. Salmon usually tops the list because it is the most potent in essential fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, both DHA and EPA. But the truth is, all fish have omega-3s and therefore a variety of types of fish are great for your baby.

Why Fish is Good for Babies

Your baby’s brain is developing the fastest during the 9+ months of gestation and in the first year of life. That’s why fish is an excellent early brain food for babies. Studies show that kids who consumed more DHA from Omega-3 fatty acids prenatally and in infancy performed better academically and had more focus.  Omega-3s are also terrific for all of your baby’s organs, supports less inflamed skin, boosts immunity, elevates mood, and promotes eye health.

Additionally, fish contains other baby-loving nutrients such as Vitamin D for strong bones and lots of lean protein for building muscles.

How to Serve Fish to Babies

It may seem rather gross to puree fish, but this is a perfectly acceptable way to serve it when your baby begins solids. Feel free to blend fish with other flavors your baby enjoys, such as fruit or oat cereal. As your baby begins eating finger foods, tender, flakey chunks of fish are easy to pick up and eat. Be sure you thoroughly de-bone your fish before serving it to babies.

When your baby is ready for more interesting combinations, try flavoring fish with different spices or sauces. You can also make fish fingers by breading and baking fish in small strips or bite-size pieces. Consider replacing some of your other go-to meat dishes with fish, such as soups, casseroles, tacos and chili.

So feel free to “go fish” with your baby’s diet and enjoy all of the benefits fish has to offer!

Sources: Parenting, What to Expect and Wholesome Baby Food