Earlier this week, we learned that giving babies acetaminophen can potentially up their risk for having asthma -- and now it looks like there's something else in infancy that may contribute to asthma problems as well.
Researchers have found a link between when babies eat fish and their chance of developing asthma-like symptoms down the road. Babies who were given fish after the age of 6 months and before they turned 1 had a lower asthma risk than infants who were fed fish before they turned 6 months -- or after they turned a year old. (Huh?)
The study was conducted in the Netherlands, and Jessica Kiefte-de Jong at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam wrote in her research findings:
Introduction of fish between 6 and 12 months but not fish consumption afterward is associated with a lower prevalence of wheezing. A window of exposure between the age of 6 and 12 months might exist in which fish might be associated with a reduced risk of asthma.
Okkk -- so if we plan on giving our babies their first taste of fish, it should happen within that six-month time frame or we might be totally screwing them as far as upping their asthma risk goes. (Perfect.)
I guess if you plan on giving your baby fish before his first birthday, this research shouldn't be worrisome at all, because most babies aren't introduced to more complex solids until after they turn 6 months.
But that brings me to the question of whether or not there are really parents out there who feed their babies fish? What baby wants to eat fish -- and what little one actually likes it after tasting it at such a young age? Maybe I'm just naive because I have a picky eater who gagged on peas, peaches, carrots, squash, and a whole host of other mashed foods when he graduated from rice cereal. But not once did I think to myself, "Gee, I think I'll grind the salmon I'm making for dinner into a nice bowl of mush and maybe he'll enjoy it."
If you're a fish lover, however, and want your baby to be as well, it's probably not a bad idea to give your little one his first taste somewhere during that six-month window. It can't hurt to be cautious, right?
Does your baby eat fish?
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