May 24, 2008,
C.P. asks from Houston, TX on May 22, 2008
When Can My Baby Eat Fish?
I have a 12 month old, and we are feeding her what we eat now. We eat fish (orange roughy) about once a week, but I was wondering if it was ok to feed it to our little girl as well. I forgot to ask our pedi. last week at our 12 month visit. I have heard of doctors telling moms to wait on fish, but why? Is it the mercury levels, and if so what exactly is this and why is it so harmful? I thought fish was good for us. If it is, why do we have to wait to feed it to our babies? Please help, any advice is appreciated!
W.C. answers from San Antonio on May 22, 2008
Mercury is a hard metal that in large quantities can be harmful. Fish live in mercury filled warter and naturally absorb this metal. the larger fish eat the smaller fish and thus increasing the amount of mercury found in the larger fish. There for the larger the fish, the higher the mercury content. Though it would take quite a bit for an adult to have effects fromthis, it takes much less to poison a child. This is my understanding anyway. I've been wrong before. I wouldn't feed any to my child until I ask the dr. just to be sure. I thinkt here is some worry about creating allegies when food is introduce early, but I don't know too much about that, you might ask though. Best of luck.
L.G. answers from Austin on May 24, 2008
Hi Elizabeth. Babies can definitely be introduced fish at young as 10-12 months of age. However, it is the type of fish you need to worry about. You need to stay away from certain types of fish that can contain high levels of mercury such as albacore tuna, mackeral, and sword fish. Fish is very good for you and contains omega 3 fatty acids that are great for brain development and help lower cholesterol. Another thing to consider when buying fish at your grocery store is try to opt for wild caught fish and not farm raised, they do cost more, but are healthier to eat. You may want to introduce shell fish a little at a time such as shrimp, because there are people who are allergic to shell fish. And I wouldn;t reccomend feeding your baby sushi--raw fish.
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S.V. answers from Houston on May 22, 2008
My little girl is 1yr now and out Pedi told us she can eat any meat, fish etc. Just to stay away from Peanuts and Seafood. So yes it is ok to eat fish, but beware of the mercury content the other ladies are describing. Do your research first or call the Pedi to ask which fish are ok...they'd know after all, no?
Good luck with this and keep us posted....i'd like to know too.
L.H. answers from Austin on May 22, 2008
Orange Roughy is high in mercury. Consumption of mercury is linked to autism. You can look up the different fish that are high in mercury. I don't know if they can eat meat until 18 monthes?????