Tuna For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Tuna For Babies

Tuna is a kind of fish that is filled with nutrients and hence a baby’s body needs tuna so that easy growth and development can take place in the body. Tuna is filled with proteins and omega-3 fatty acids which protect the body from diseases such as cancer and other heart diseases. Moreover, tuna is best for growing babies as it not just boosts their immune system but also prevents obesity in babies. Well, tuna is also a rich source of Vitamin B which not just enhances the efficiency of organ systems but also helps in improving the metabolism of babies.

Tuna on the same hand is the most consumed fish in the world. But there are some concerns that you need to ensure before making your baby consume tuna fish, especially for young children. When you have introduced solid foods to your baby, you must also think of making your baby consume tuna. Why? Because it is filled with great nutrients and hence this is a beneficial therapy that keeps your baby’s eye and brain’s health in place. Today in this blog, we will be discussing everything about tuna for babies, its benefits, risks, and precautions. So keep reading.

In This Article

Is Tuna Safe For Babies?

Fish is considered a very healthy addition to your baby’s diet. Having said that tuna carries a risk of high mercury contamination. For this reason, you may have to limit your baby’s tuna intake to very small quantities. As a rule, tuna can be introduced to a baby who has started eating solids and has crossed 6 months of age. Allergies are a common concern with fish of any type, especially tuna fish. Once you have ruled out this concern, you can feed tuna in moderation to your baby after consulting with the pediatrician.

When Can You Introduce Tuna to Your Baby?

Introduce Tuna to Your Baby

Your baby can consume tuna as soon as they start consuming solids that are at the age of 6 months. But before introducing tuna to young babies, it’s important to know about the possible allergies it might cause to your baby. Different babies react differently to this seafood and so you must closely monitor your baby after introducing this food for the first time Use the three-day rule to ensure that your baby is accepting the food well.

Feed your baby a small serving of tuna at first and check whether anything’s happening to your child after consuming it. If it is not causing anything wrong to them then you can introduce them to more tuna. Do not introduce any other new food in the next three days. If your baby is not showing any allergic reactions, you can continue giving them tuna in small quantities.

Everything which is introduced to babies in a moderate quantity does not hurt them. However, you must also ensure that you don’t have a family history of allergies to tuna or any other fish. If there are no allergies in the family, then you can introduce tuna to your babies once they’ve hit the mark of 6 months.

[Read : The 3-Day Wait Rule For Babies To Introduce Solids]

Nutritional Value of Tuna

Nutrients Amount RDA
Energy 109Kcal
Protein 24.4g
Total lipid (fat) 0.49g
Calcium, Ca 4mg 210mg (0-6 months)
270mg (7-12 months)
Magnesium, Mg 35mg 30mg (0-6 months)
75mg (7-12 months)
Phosphorus, P 278mg 100mg (0-6 months)
275mg (7-12 months)
Potassium, K 441mg 500mg (0-6 months)
700mg (7-12 months)
Sodium, Na 45mg 120mg (0-6 months)
200mg (7-12 months)
Selenium, Se 90.6µg 12µg
Niacin 18.475mg 5.4mg
Folate, total 2µg 24µg (0-6 months)
32µg (7-12 months)
Choline, total 65µg
Vitamin B-12 2.08µg 0.1µg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 1.7µg 10µg

Amazing Top 5 Health Benefits of Tuna For Babies

Benefits of Tuna For Babies

Tuna is a kind of fish that is loaded with nutrients and vitamins and hence proves to be the healthiest supplement for your baby. Also, tuna fish is low in saturated fat and that is why it is highly preferred by parents for their babies. Moreover, tuna is an excellent source of protein and if given in moderation possesses healthy benefits for your babies, such as:

1. Aids Growth and Development

Tuna fish is an excellent source omega-3 fatty acids and hence has many advantages for a growing baby. It supports the babies by providing the optimum amount of support for their proper growth and development and keeps your baby’s brain, immune system, eyes, and nervous system in good health.

2. Boosts Immune System

Tuna is a rich source of zinc, vitamin C, manganese, selenium, etc which helps in the strengthening of the immune system. These antioxidants help in fighting diseases such as cancer and keep the metabolism levels up for your baby.

[Read : Zinc For Babies]

3. Strengthens Bones

Do you know that tuna contains Vitamin B which is the most important component for strengthening bones in the human body? Well, the vitamins present in tuna not just make the bones stronger but also helps by protecting them from injuries and fractures.

4. Helps in Improvement of Skin Health

Vitamin B is essential to maintain healthy baby skin. Tuna is an excellent source of vitamin B for babies. Tuna also contains a protein known as elastin which helps in giving your baby a smooth skin texture.

How to Introduce Tuna to Babies?

As we have discussed above, you just introduce tuna fish to your baby once they have turned 6 months older. Well, there are some essential steps that you just take while you introduce tuna to your baby.

1. Use Only Thoroughly Cooked Tuna

Tuna fish contains a good risk of bacteria and germs in it and that is why before feeding your baby with the same, make sure that you are thoroughly cooking it. Make sure that there are no bones as it might choke your baby. Give well-cooked and mashed tuna which is easier to swallow for your baby.

2. Do Not Overfeed Them

This is also discussed before that you must feed your baby tuna fish only in limited quantities. Why? because serving your baby in larger quantities can harm them. It is best if you serve them with tuna fish only twice a week.

3. Look For Any Allergies in Babies

It is best to introduce a smaller quantity of tuna fish to your baby at first and see whether there is any kind of allergies such as rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing, etc. If symptoms like these do not arise, serve them with more quantities of tuna later.

Risks Associated With Giving Tuna to Babies

Risks of Giving Tuna to Babies

There are several risks which are associated with the consumption of tuna. As mercury contamination is associated with tuna fish, it might harm your baby’s nervous system. If you feed your baby larger quantities of tuna at once, it might cause neurological issues in the baby.

Your baby may also show tuna allergy symptoms such as

  • Rashes and hives
  • Skin irritation and redness
  • Stomach upset and bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gas and indigestion
  • Swelling around the mouth or inside the throat
  • Running nose and breathing issues

In case these symptoms appear, stop giving tuna to your baby and consult the pediatrician.

Precautions to Take While Giving Tuna to Babies

Several precautions must be taken to ensure the safety and security of your baby.

  • Buy fish from known sources only.
  • Prefer fresh tuna over canned tuna since canned tuna has more chemicals in it.
  • Start with small quantities of tuna and slowly increase the quantity as your baby gets comfortable.
    Prefer homemade tuna dishes over restaurant bought.
  • Always offer fully-cooked tuna to avoid risk of bacterial contamination and food poisoning.
  • When in doubt, always talk to your doctor before introducing tuna to your baby.

Top 2 Tasty and Healthy Tuna Recipes For Babies

Tuna Recipes For Babies

There are certain recipes that you can prepare to ensure that your baby consumes tuna happily.

1. Tuna Mash

For babies eating tuna for the first time, tuna mash is a good way to start. You can simply boil and mash tuna making sure that there are no chokeable pieces such as bones. The skin should be removed too. You can start with a teaspoon  or two of the mash and slowly increase the quantity as your munchkin gets comfortable.

2. Tuna Potato Spinach Mash

The recipe involved boiling and mashing tuna, potatoes, and spinach into a puree. Once your baby is comfortable with eating plain tuna mash, you can introduce such mixed tuna mashes. This will introduce your baby to a variety of flavor profiles and also improve the nutrition intake of your munchkin.

[Read : Potatoes For Babies]


2. Is Canned Tuna Ok For Babies?

Well, it is okay to feed your baby with canned tuna but not initially. You must wait until your baby turns 6 months older.

2. How Much Tuna Can a Baby Have?

There are different consumption amounts as per the age of the babies. a 6 months old baby can have at least 1 to 2 ounces of tuna per week.

Read Also: Red Meat For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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