Can Babies Eat Smoked Salmon?

Can Babies Eat Smoked Salmon

Smoked Salmon is a marinated fillet fish that is cooked in a smoke oven or prepared with smoke just like its name. It’s usually pretty expensive and a delicacy. It’s rather salty. It is low-calorie and is exceptionally rich in protein, useful and necessary minerals and vitamins, and essential fats, making it perfect for your baby’s growth and development. It has vitamins like B6, B12, D, E, choline, phosphorus, copper, and sodium. It’s rich in a lot of minerals and nutrients. Smoked salmon also has omega 3 fatty acids. 

Now with all of these useful ingredients and components, you start thinking if you should give your baby smoked salmon. It’s a valid question because, with all of these vital nutrients, smoked salmon still has a lot of salt in it. Because of the way smoked salmon is processed, it has a lot of salt, having around 1000 mg of sodium in 100 grams of serving of smoked salmon. Too much sodium causes several growth defects in your baby, so it’s harmful. 

Read on further to know more about smoked salmon and when to introduce it to your baby.

When can I give my baby smoked salmon?

When your baby turns 6 months, it’s alright to give your baby salmon. At this age, the baby has matured and has developed enough to start eating solid foods. Your baby can chew much harder stuff at this point. Remember to completely and perfectly cook the salmon before giving it your baby. Never undercook it or serve it raw like you do with sushi. Never serve your baby with a serving with dried or cured fish or fish with excessive amounts of sodium. Sodium is harmful for your baby as it increases the chances of obesity, make your baby used to salt a lot, and he/she will probably won’t eat anything else, sodium also has risks of giving your baby hypertension. Hypertension is a pathway to several heart related conditions and diseases. Hypertension also increases the risks for stroke in future. 

At six months, it’s okay to give your baby salmon but only in little amounts mixed with something else your baby usually likes to eat and is used to. At 9 months, it’s perfectly fine to give your baby salmon and also smoked salmon again just like before, start it off by adding smoked salmon with something your baby usually eats and only give it in little amounts to see if your baby likes it. Gradually increase the amount as time progresses. Check if your baby gets any allergic reactions from salmon. Consulting your doctor and making sure everything is fine is a good idea too. 

Salmon, unlike other fish, has high amounts of protein, low amounts of calories, mercury and high in omega 3 fatty acids, making it an ideal dish for your baby’s growth and healthy development. 

Make sure your baby has experience with eating solid foods. Babies who have eaten vegetables and fruits around 2 or 3 months and have progressed their way through harder solids slowly as they keep growing will have no issues with chewing salmon when they’re 6 or 9 months of age. 

The process of making smoked salmon

A method of processing food with smoke is called smoking. It’s used with meat, fish and poultry. 

To make smoked salmon, first fish fillets are prepared with salt and sugar. It is then left for around 24 hours. In this long wait, all the moisture drains out from the salmon. This process is called curing. The length of this process is equal to the amount of salt the fish will have. 

When moisture is gone from the fish, the flavor is increased. It also stops dangerous bacteria to occur on the fish that could cause vomiting. 

Then, the fish fillets go through water to eradicate any extra salt. The fillets go to a smoking kiln after this step. A smoking kiln helps the fish fillets to dry out. When the salmon fillet start to dry out, they make a protein called pellicle. Pellicle is a protein coating that helps the salmon fillet to help smoke stick to the fish’s skin easily. 

The kiln also has a smoker to burn sawdust of various types of trees to make smoke. Most frequently used trees are maple or oak.

Smoked salmon is of two types, cold or hot smoked. What makes this different is the smoking chamber’s temperature. 

If the smoke being used is cold, the temperature will be low at around 50 or 90°F for about 24 hours. This temperature is too low for the salmon to be cooked properly, so it’s advisable to whenever it’s being prepared, the salmon should be paid extra attention and care to. Otherwise, it can cause several food-related illnesses.

For hot smoked salmon, the smoking chamber is supposed to be hot, obviously, but it should be the perfect temperature to completely cook the salmon. It’s supposed to be 145°F for the very least for about 30 minutes. 

Usually, when you’re buying smoked salmon, you’ll come across cold salmon much more often, it’s mentioned, however, on the packages that whether if it’s hot or cold. Cold smoked salmon is more smooth and mild in taste, while hot smoked salmon is spicier. 

You can refrigerate smoked salmon for around 3 months after the package has been opened. Look at the label. It’ll be mentioned for how long it can be preserved. 

Is smoked salmon healthy?

Salmon contains a wide range of nutrients that are very useful in the healthy development of your baby’s growth. It has vitamin B, B6 and D, selenium, iron, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. It only has this many useful and necessary nutrients, but it’s also exceptionally low in calories. It also has DHA. This useful component is a vital part of a healthy functional brain and is very important for cognitive and visual improvement in your developing baby. Just be careful and only introduce it in little amounts during the first servings to look for any allergens your baby might have. Smoked salmon lowers the risk of several types of cancers, heart related diseases to an exceptionally high rate. 

The only risk of smoked salmon is that it has a high rate of sodium. Consuming too much salt can cause listeriosis. This is a disease that is foodborne which triggers due to the bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes, this bacterium emerges due to excessive amounts of sodium. This bacterium can be killed by heat, so hot smoked salmon won’t have any of it, but there’s a chance it might be present in cold smoked salmon as it’s not fully cooked. When giving a baby smoked salmon, always be sure it’s hot smoked salmon, and it’s only given in little amounts. 

Can my baby choke on salmon?

Salmon is not something a baby can choke like shrimp or shellfish has chances of your baby choking on, salmon doesn’t. If the smoked salmon you are giving your baby is boneless and soft and fully cooked, then there will be no choking risk. Always check before giving your baby salmon that no tiny bones are in the serving.

Which type of smoked salmon is best for babies?

As your baby turns to 6 months, introducing perfectly cooked boneless salmon fillets is a good start. They’re softer and simpler in flavor that babies usually prefer. 

Salmon that is very oily contains a large amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids, as mentioned earlier, are amazing for your baby’s growth and development.

It is recommended that you give your baby smoked salmon only two portions every week so that a high sodium consumption doesn’t pile up, but your baby gets all the necessary nutrient consumption. 

Benefits each salmon nutrient has

  • Omega 3 fatty acids are amazing for your baby’s developing heart. It keeps your baby’s heart the healthiest.
  • Vitamin D in smoked salmon is good for maintaining strong bones, muscles and teeth.
  • High amounts of protein that salmon has is amazing for healthy growth and development for you baby.
  • Iodine keeps your baby’s metabolism healthy.
  • Vitamin B3 helps to release energy from food. It also keeps skin always healthy and maintains the nervous system to top condition.
  • Vitamin B6 makes haemogloglobin and can help store all the energy your baby got from eating foods.
  • Vitamin B12 can make red blood cells that maintain healthy blood flow.

Conclusion

Smoked salmon has numerous nutrients that are immensely beneficial for your baby’s healthy growth, maintaining various bodily functions and keep your little one’s heart super strong. The high salt rate is indeed something to be careful for, and you can just give little amounts of salmon every week to counter that. Always make sure the salmon you buy is hot smoked salmon or if it’s cold-smoked salmon, be sure to fully cook it before serving to your baby. Fish is a common allergen, but smoked salmon isn’t something your baby can choke or be allergic to.