By now it's a well known fact that fish is an incredible source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, like DHA and EPA, which play a major role in brain and eye development for children. So why not get onboard the fish train instantly and start soaking up the rewards? Though it probably shouldn't be the first thing your infant feasts on straight out of the womb, many experts are saying that it is safe to introduce your baby to fish as early as 6 months.
Since it does make the list of most common allergenic foods, however, many parents (myself included) hold off on introducing fish until their child's first birthday. Even then, there are some things to be cautious of, like mercury content. Avoid giving your child shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish. These candidates have pretty high levels of Mercury. On the swing side, very low in mercury, catfish, salmon, tilapia, and flounder are great choices to start with when introducing your child to fish for the first time. And of course, always be attentive to safe-handling and thoroughly cooking the fish before giving it to your baby.
Now that you know the facts, what are you waiting for. Get cooking!
Citrus Poached Salmon
1 cup orange juice
2 cups water
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 small yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1, 1-1/2 lb salmon steak
Place first 5 ingredients into a deep saute pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and add the salmon steak. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20-25 minutes, or until salmon is completely cooked through. Remove from poaching liquid. Remove flesh from bones, and mash or flake to the consistency most suitable for your little one.
If mommy's in the mood for fish, this is a great and healthy option for you too. But if you want to elevate it a bit for your grown up taste buds, here's a quick revamp:
Make a sauce out of your poaching liquid by reducing it for about 15 minutes, until it is much thicker, and 1/3 of its original volume. Adjust the seasoning with salt and honey. Finish by mixing in a few small pads of butter.