Feeding Your Baby Fish at the Wrong Time Could Cause Asthma Problems Down the Road

This Just In 15

baby eatingEarlier 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?


Image via devinf/Flickr

baby health, asthma


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Cleo07 Cleo07

When my baby was 7 months old, he had crab fra diavolo (not super spicy) and loved it. Since I practice baby led weaning, he eats what we eat. He now eats fish, shrimp, scallops or crab on a once a week basis. This past Sunday, I made clams casino and he sucked down 3 clams himself.

nonmember avatar BK

Interesting. My Son's Dad's side of the family are all asthmatic but my son's condition while serious has not been nearly as chronic as their family history would suggest. He did however eat fish around 6/7months old. Very interesting, could be a coincidence but interesting still.

Senia... Seniahmom

Both my boys had fish around 9-10 months and they love it. We have fish once a week.

Lisa Schneider

Of course. It's a perfect early food because it doesn't have to be mashed. Just cook, chop a little with a fork, and serve. My daughter ate all types of fish, including fish eggs, before her first b-day. Maybe your kid was so picky because you didn't give him foods you didn't think he would like. Also, why the cereal? It's nutritionally void. Start with something like avacado. It's nutritious and flavorful.

Page Schalow Jansak

NEVER EVER FEED RICE CEREAL.  It's junk food.  Your Doc is uninformed....

Momto... MomtoDavid

i think both my kids didn't have fish till after one. I thought it was a allergen. Anyway it was just fish sticks. And neither of them have asthma. 

Robin Muske

What Lisa Schneider said . . .

Amanda Michelle Booth

my little 5month didn't like the cereal...so we started baby food slowly now she eats like crazy she is such a little pig lol i will wait on the fish though

Tawny Nicholas

I agree. Skip on the rice and give the little ones more nutritious foods! I dont like fish or sea food neither does my husband but when we go out to eat we try and order the little one a good helping of baked fish! We did give him some oatmeal mixed with some mashed soupy foods. He now loves everything except eggs...hmmm... cant figure that one out but oh well.

Rachel Levy Brown

To assume you baby won't like fish just because it's fish doesn't make much sense. It sounds like the writer is imposing her likes/dislikes on her baby. Fish is just like any other food. Culturally, fish might not be a very "American" type of first food, but in other parts of the world I'm sure it's very common.

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