Fish is a very healthy addition to your diet. It’s exceptionally important for growth and development. It is low in fat and very high in protein. Fish is rich in several body-building nutrients that are amazing for overall growth. It has vitamins like B2 and D and omega 3 fatty acids. Fish is full of calcium, several necessary minerals like zinc, iron and iodine, potassium, and magnesium. Fish is also rich in phosphorus, and it also helps a lot in the prevention of heart-related conditions and diseases and maintains blood pressure to a suitable rate. The nutrients in fish help with brain activity and keep our hearts healthy. Generally, fish is perfect for babies.
However, when we talk about tuna, some concerns start to pile up because tuna has mercury in it. If you love eating tuna and are thinking to introduce it to your baby as well, but you’re unsure whether or not the fish will have any side effects on your baby. You’re also uncertain when to give your baby tuna and what age will be most preferable to give your baby tuna.
Read on further for all the answers to your questions.
Concerns and warnings
According to the FDA, canned tuna is alright to give to a baby above 2. However, the existence of mercury in it makes it very concerning for any baby to feed tuna to. According to several papers, it was said that the existence of mercury had differentiating quantities in varying tunas. Some had double the normal amount while others varied.
Mercury is a sort of metal that is used in manufacturing. It’s commonly found naturally. When tiny fragments of mercury get airborne and enter in water, bacteria get attracted to them and attach themselves to it, it later turns into some sort of matter in the water, which is consumed by fish. Tuna particularly consumes this substance a lot. When we eat tuna, it transfers to us. Having a lot of mercury in your body can cause several problems, especially neurological conditions. For anyone eating a lot of tuna can lead to such problems. For babies especially, the servings of tunas should be kept to a minimum. Babies only after the age of two can eat tuna and that too, in minimum servings every week.
Tuna such as white tuna is very high in mercury and should be avoided. Canned light tuna has an exceptionally less amount of tuna, and it’s alright to give it to your baby.
Little to no mercury is perfectly fine for your baby, but a lot of mercury can gradually affect your baby’s growth, so give only a few servings of tuna every week.
Can my baby choke on tuna?
Tuna can be effortlessly sliced and cut down into many edible pieces for your baby, it’s very soft and can also be easily made into a paste. If you keep an eye on your baby at all times and your baby is old enough and is used to eating similar foods, there is no need to worry about choking hazards related to feeding tuna to your baby.
When can babies eat Tuna?
It is highly recommended that if your baby is under the age of two, you should refrain from feeding your baby tuna, but you can feed him, or her other types of fish that don’t have a high or moderate amount of mercury, have little to no mercury is best. Canned tuna is the best for your baby after the age of 2. Canned tuna is the richest in protein. It is also cheap and can last very long without going bad.
When you first start thinking of giving tuna to your baby, always remember to check if your baby has any allergic reactions to tuna. Tuna generally does not have any allergic reactions in most people, but everyone is different with different allergies, you never know what your baby might be allergic to. First of all, your baby needs to be older than six months. 2 years is the perfect age for any baby to be eating something like this. First, give your baby a tiny serving of tuna and see if he likes it or if any allergic reactions or side effects happen. As tuna will be completely new for your baby, it’s advisable to give your baby tuna with something that he or she is already familiar with. If everything is alright with your baby, proceed to give more tuna.
A lot of people are allergic to finned fish. Its rate is, however, very allergens low in common, however. Low sodium canned tuna is a good type of canned tuna to give your baby as a first serving.
If common allergic reactions run in your family, then be extra cautious. If not, then there’s probably nothing to worry about.
Watch for any signs or behavioral differences after the first serving you gave your baby. It is highly advisable to include fish in your baby’s diet at the very first as your baby has matured enough to eat solid foods. Fish in the diet earlier prevents most allergic reactions from ever happening. People usually aren’t allergic to tuna, Shellfish, or shrimp however they are common foods that people are allergic to.
Common symptoms of any food-based allergy are hives, swelling around the eyes, lips or tongue, some type of rashes that further trigger eczema, difficulty in breathing or a tight throat, stomach ache or heaviness, puking or vomiting, severe diarrhea, dizziness.
Introducing tuna to your baby
Start off by giving your baby canned tuna in little amounts with something they usually eat, slowly increase the amount with every serving you give if your baby is satisfied with what you’re giving. You can make tuna puree or can make mashed tuna with the help of a fork. There are countless dishes related to tuna that will help your baby being used to eating tuna and will overall improve your baby’s first tuna eating experience. You can see what your baby likes more, considerably good choices are tuna sauce which is very easy to give or chunks of tuna. Tuna paste can also be topped on something else that your baby likes, like mashed potatoes or tomatoes.
If your baby is older, you can try adding light mayo to the tuna you’re giving him or her. Rice cake with a lil bit of tuna is a good option too.
Health Benefits of Tuna for Babies
Tuna has a lot of useful and necessary nutrients for your baby’s healthy development and growth. It has nutrients ranging from iron, mass amounts of protein, potassium, vitamins B12 and D, and selenium. Tuna also has omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are building blocks to maintaining a healthy body. Omega 3 fatty acids maintain your heart, blood vessels, lungs, and immune system in top condition and prevent them from a numerous range of harmful conditions from ever happening. Omega 3 fatty acids specifically are helpful in the development of your baby’s eyesight and neurological growth and improvement. Not enough omega 3 fatty acids or B or d vitamins can cause several problems in growth hence it is very important to give your baby the necessary amount.
Canned tuna in water or oil?
Canned tuna preserved in oil loses the omega 3 fats, and only a minimum amount remains, making the tuna somewhat useless as many of its nutrients are missing without omega 3 fatty acids.
Tuna preserved in spring water is spectacular for your baby as the tuna will keep the rich nutrients safe and sound with it, without losing anything of it.
Tuna canned in brine is a bad option for your baby. Brine is basically saltwater which means it will have excessive amounts of sodium which is harmful to your baby’s kidneys.
Which type of tuna has the least mercury?
Canned tuna is the best type of tuna for your baby as it has little amount of mercury that won’t be an issue for your baby, and it’s super-rich in numerous amounts of useful growth and development vitamins and nutrients. Avoid albacore and yellowfin tuna as they are very harmful to babies. Skipjack tuna is another type of tuna that has a very low number of mercury. It has all the necessary nutrients, omega 3 fatty acids, several useful vitamins like b12 and d with low mercury levels.
Fish are essential for healthy growth and development. Babies need a sufficient amount of nutrients and vitamins that fish has a wide range in. It’s a building block in your baby’s growth. The amount of mercury should, however, be always considered to be taken note of. Mercury is harmful to your baby as it causes several growth problems. Canned fish and skipjack tuna are types of tuna with little to no mercury but have all the necessary nutrients/vitamins for your baby. As mentioned earlier, 2 years is the optimum age to give your baby tuna.