What days of the week do fish hate? Frydays!
If you don’t want your children to hate fish like fish hate Frydays, it is important to introduce fish in their diet as early as possible, which can be as early as 7 months old1. That way, they will develop their taste for fish. Serve it pureed first and then chopped around the age of 9 months. However, it is recommended to wait a few weeks after introducing meat before trying the fish.
What’s the difference between a fish and a piano? You can’t tuna fish
You can introduce fish that comes from commercial fishing or farming in the diet of children without worry. These fishes are salmon, fresh or frozen herring, haddock, canned tuna in water, sole, halibut, mackerel, and cod.
Moreover, it is necessary to be careful with some varieties of fish that contain more pollutants, including mercury. These should be given to children in moderation. Consumption of albacore tuna must be limited to 75 g per week (2.5 ounces) and that of fresh or frozen tuna, swordfish and marlin should be limited to one per month2.
Only sport fish with no restriction of consumption can be served at will to young children such as brook trout, lake whitefish, rainbow smelt, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic tomcod and blueback herring2.
Reminder: There is no limitation for canned light tuna. For children, it is best to choose it in water to reduce the amount of salt.
Lemon’s juice does not change a thing!
Raw or partially cooked fish and seafood are not recommended for young children to avoid contracting foodborne infectious diseases. Lemon’s juice does not cook fish. It only reduces the bacteria that lay on the surface of the fillets. The only solution is heat, as cooking destroys the parasites that are present in fish.
Fish on the menu, not just on April fools!
Fish is a source of proteins and good fats. It is an excellent option to contribute to the health and development of young children. Two to three meals of fish should be served every week.
- Institut national de santé publique du Québec. (2012). From tiny tot to toddler. Consulted on November 19, 2012.
- Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec. (2012). Le poisson, l’environnement et la santé. Consulted on November 20, 2012.
By Marie-Ève Nadeau, Nutritionist trainee level 4, McGill
Nathalie Regimbal, RD
Christine Gadoneix, RD
Dieticians and nutritionists for Manger Futé