Saturday, 27 November 2010

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The Excellent Cod Fish/Torsk fisk/鳕鱼[xuě yú]


The Danish authorities say from 6 months, www.babycenter.co.uk say 7 months, some others say from 12 months.

If there is only one single white fish that I could choose to introduce to J, it would be the Cod Fish due to its high nutritional value.

Directions:
1. Steam the cod fish fillet (75-100g) together with a teaspoon of chopped leek - white portion (optional), 2 slices of chopped up ginger (optional, it reduces the fishy smell of fish) and 1 teaspoon of olive oil for 6 minutes or until fish is cooked

2. Drain fish (together with leek and ginger) and puree with blender with a little of the stock left from the pot (to get a powdery texture)* or mince it with a knife and fork (to retain the fish texture for older babies)

3. Cool down and serve (Note: For fish, since J only eats it 2 times a week, I prefer to make it fresh just before meal time than freezing it. )

Tips:
1. Also ideal to serve mix with carrot puree.

2. If you find it too troublesome to make such small portion for baby, you can increase the portion proportionately and eat it yourself for lunch. Just don't blend your own portion. Very often, when i don't have time to take lunch, i will feed myself while feeding J.

Nutritional Value:
Fish are high in protein, heme iron, vitamin D (an important vitamin for strong bones), low in "bad" fats and contain Essential Fatty Acid (EFA's) - Omega-3 fatty acids. The Omega 3 fatty acids from fish are EPA and DHA, which are not found in any other protein source, not even in meat or plants. EFA's found in fish and fish oil products help fight off both physical and mental diseases. Eating fish 2 times a week is recommended for both adults and children by the US FDA.

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Additional Comments:
The Danes think that fish is good, and the Chinese believe that it can increase the intelligence of children. Cod fish brings back a lot of childhood memories… When I was young, we were poor, and cod fish was (and still is) expensive in Singapore. My mother would save and pinch to buy cod fish and cod liver oil to feed us, she herself eating almost only plain porridge. I seem to be walking in my mother’s footsteps… I am now saving the organic food for J. (OK, You may be wondering why my IQ is not any higher given that my mother had been feeding me cod fish and cod liver oil. My answer is that I could have been even dumber, if my mother hadn’t fed me fish :-)

Looking at the Japanese, I believe my mother must be right. The Japanese are known to have the highest average IQ among human beings, with one of the highest life expectancy rate and with the highest number of centurions. Looking at their diet, fish constitutes a major part. In fact, a large part of it is eaten raw. Thus, in this matter, I will be taking a leaf from the Japanese, and my mother :-)

Some say that it is important to select the "white flesh" fish types, because they are most easily digestible and lowest on the allergen list. Cod fish is considered among one of the safest to introduce. But some say salmon is also a good choice, which contrary to popular belief, has lower levels of mercury than one thinks. Cold water fish have lower levels of mercury and also contain higher levels of Omega 3's.

Due to the concern of mercury-tainted fish and fish being a high allergen food, I am a little bit in doubt of when fish should be introduced to J. Thus I have waited until now… but I intend to introduce it to J in the coming weeks (7+ months old), since both Daddy and I are not allergic to fish, and I guess everything in moderation should be ok.

Given so much conflicting advice surrounding fish, in order to maximize the benefit of fish and to minimize the risk, here is my action plan:

- Until J is introduced to fish and continuing on, I will take my omega-3 fish oil supplements daily and religious as the nutrients are passed on from breast milk

- I intend to start with cod fish for baby between 7 months, and 1 week later followed by salmon, once cod fish is established.

- I plan to give a small portion to J - meaning only 1 serving a day

- I will monitor to give only one time cod fish and one time salmon each week, together making up serving fish twice a week and not more

- I will be avoiding fish species such as swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, shark and tilefish known to contain a high level of mercury

- I will only be buying fish from reputable fish handler in Lyngby (although he is super arrogant and I dislike buying fish from him) and IRMA supermaket... no more money left for shopping... which means that I will be saying bye-bye to my dream Mulberry bag :-(

References:
http://www.babycenter.com/408_when-can-my-baby-eat-fish_1368510.bc

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/introducingfishtobaby.htm

http://www.parenting.com/article/Baby/Health/Should-Babies-Eat-Fish

http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/2006111w.html

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