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?
When to Worry: Food Allergies
Image of baby eating courtesy of Shutterstock