I wonder what is the first solid food you have fed your child?
For many chinese older folks, they believed a lot in feeding the baby at 4 months old with porridge cooked with seafood such as clams, "ikan bilis" or anchovies, some "expensive" fishes(in Malaysia) like cod fish.
Being a young mother then, I read a lot from the Internet and asking more modern moms what is the best food to feed my child too.
Actually, my closest older folks also have the same belief that those seafood are good for brain-building...but having read a lot about the negative effects of mercury poisoning ever since I was pregnant, I am quite wary of it....and am thankful at the same time I practice vegetarian diet, thus do not have any intention to feed my child with such food.
But, indeed there are still many modern parents who thought feeding the child with such food is good as preached strongly by the older generation.
One thing I noticed, one of the child who has been feeding on porridge cooked with clams, "ikan bilis" or anchovies and cod fish daily have a hard time eating some other "plainer" healthier food choices. No offence at all to those who believe in the goodness of such diet. This is purely based on my own experience. I saw when the mom tried to feed the child with puree of pumpkin+red apple+potato; the child refused. Maybe he is so used to very strong seafood taste in his food which makes him hard to accept other "plain-tasting" food.
Now, having to come across this article written by a mom on Mercury Poisoning (http://parenthots.com/parents_corner/soapbox/Mercury-poisoning.aspx), I cannot helped but raise this issue again to alert the rest of the parents.
"My son is 18 months old now. We started feeding our son cod fish, and occasionally salmon since he was six months old until one year old.
We found out that he was suffering from mercury poisoning during a routine checkup when he was one.
There were no signs or symptoms of mercury poisoning. We casually asked the doctor whether it's okay to feed him cod fish (chilean sea bass) every day since we read that it contains high mercury content."
(For full content, please visit Parenthots: http://parenthots.com/parents_corner/soapbox/Mercury-poisoning.aspx)
Based on my reading, baby do not need seasonings in their food when they are young (less than one year old) as their organs (such as kidney) are not fully-developed to digest/take in such ingredients.
I have to salute my ex-boss and his wife for turning into more plant-based and organic diet just for their child's sake. As they knew the goodness of not taking the meat which largely contained of hormones etc.
And, you may asked what other option we can take to include DHA (if that is what you are concerned about when it comes to feeding your kids with seafood as most parents do); breastmilk does contains DHA, so do most of the powder milk/ milk formula available in the market today.
I researched about this and found out that many food that we have been taking daily do contain certain qty. of DHA too. Food like:
- algae (such as spirulina or chlorella)
- vegetable oils (primarily flaxseed, soy, and canola)
- Flaxseed & flaxseed oil
- pumpkin seeds
- green leafy vegetables
So, yes, parents, we do have many other options besides seafood.
Let us ponder before making the right choices for our children!