Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Like exercising regularly and getting more sleep, eating fish is one of those get-healthy tips that we’re reminded of daily. If some magazine article isn’t singing the omega-3 praises of salmon, then our doctors are encouraging us to throw some nutrient-rich sardines into a salad. It’s enough to make your eyes glaze over (I know mine do).
But according to an article on Boston.com, new research may just be enough to convince us to finally put fish on our family’s dinner table more often. A recent study of 4,000 babies in Sweden found that eating some fish in infancy — especially before 9 months — may lower your child’s risk of food allergies, eczema, asthma, and hay fever by a staggering 25 percent. And that decrease is long-lasting: Researchers saw that it was still present in kids who were well into adolescence.
Now, my first thought when I read that was, allergies or not, there’s no way I could have coaxed my baby into eating that many fish tacos. But it turns out, a little salmon (or tilapia or pollock) goes a long way. Researchers saw the lowered risk of allergies in babies who only had two fish meals a month, a number I can comfortably manage. One thing to keep in mind before you hit the grocery store: Fish contain toxins like mercury, so choose ones low in mercury, like salmon, catfish, trout, sole, and tilapia. And stick with FDA-recommended serving amounts: 8-12 ounces a week for you, and 2-3 child-sized portions a week for your baby.
Tell us: Have you introduced fish to your baby yet? Do these findings make you want to try it?
Want to make a baby-friendly fish dinner tonight? Head straight to our recipe finder for a full list of yummy meal ideas. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!
Image of baby eating courtesy of Shutterstock
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Friday, June 6th, 2014
Put down the mops and step away from the sponges! It turns out that that old adage “A little dirt won’t hurt” is right—especially when it comes to allergies.
A new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that exposure to cat dander, a wide variety of bacteria and even rodent and roach detritus (ew!) when your baby’s under the age of one can help reduce the risk that she’ll develop allergies and asthma later on. (Kids who weren’t exposed to a wide variety of pathogens early on were three times more likely to develop wheezing and allergies as those who grew up in dirtier households.) But you’d better hurry and get her that kitten fast—if you start the exposure after age one, you’ll actually increase the likelihood that she’ll develop allergies. “It was the opposite of what we expected,” Dr. Robert Wood, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and co-author of the study, told NBC News. “We’re not promoting bringing rodents and cockroaches into the home, but this data does suggest that being too clean may not be good.”
The researchers theorize that the exposure to dirt gives the immune system something real to fight against, keeping your kid’s immune system from doing battle with harmless things like peanuts. It’s the exact opposite of what we’ve been told all along for allergies—my mom busted her butt keeping the house clean to deal with my issues with dust and pet dander.
So maybe you don’t want to start letting mice nibble in your pantry, but this is definitely a good excuse to hang up the mop and let your kiddo play on the (dirty) floor with you. And if your baby dips her binky in the dirt or sand before putting it back in her mouth, you probably shouldn’t worry too much!
Test your allergy knowledge with our quiz. And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
Image: Mom cleaning by Martin Novak/Shutterstock.com
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