An article published in the latest issue of Acta Paeditrica, a child health publication, has revealed that babies are less likely to suffer from ‘pre-school wheeze’ if they are introduced to fish before 9 months of age.
The research – which also looked at the effects of antibiotic use on babies – was carried out on children in Sweden. It aimed to identify the possible causes and treatment of recurrent wheeze, described by lead author Emma Goksor as ‘a very common clinical problem in pre-school children’.
Over 4000 families took part in the study and parents answered questions when their children reached 6 months, 12 months and 4 1/2 years of age. The study showed that eating fish before 9 months of age almost halved the chances of children suffering from wheezing at 4 1/2 years – an impressive finding and one well worth taking into account when you’re thinking about introducing fish to your little one.
The types of fish most commonly eaten by participants in the study were:
White fish (79%)
Salmon/game fish (17%)
Flat fish (3%)
As noted in the research, fish is already recognized as useful in reducing the risk of allergies in children in general and may be particularly useful in helping to prevent eczema, rhinitis and asthma.
You should, of course, always check with your doctor before introducing any new foods to your baby. But this research has shown just how very beneficial fish may be in the diets of our little ones!
Why not check out some of our tasty ideas for including fish in your baby’s menu…