Navigation Links
Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish, scientist says

URBANA Has your toddler eaten fish today? A University of Illinois food science professor has two important reasons for including seafood in your young child's diet, reasons that have motivated her work in helping to develop a tasty, nutritious salmon baby food for toddlers.

"First, babies need a lot of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish for brain, nerve, and eye development, and when they switch from breast milk or formula to solid food, most of them don't get nearly enough," said Susan Brewer, also a registered dietitian.

"Second, children's food preferences are largely developed by the time they're five, so I urge parents to help their kids develop a taste for seafood early," she said.

Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, have huge health benefits and help to prevent coronary artery disease, but most adults don't eat fish twice weekly as experts recommend. In predisposing children toward liking fish, parents are doing their kids a big favor, she said.

Brewer knows her recommendations might meet with some resistance. "When we started working on salmon baby food, I thought, Ewwwh! But the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics is solidly behind the idea, and fish-based baby foods, common in Asian markets, have been marketed successfully in the United Kingdom and Italy."

Brewer collaborated with former U of I professor Peter Bechtel, now of Alaska's Agricultural Research Service, in the effort to create a viable product, using wild-caught salmon from Alaskan waters.

"When salmon swim upstream to spawn, their flesh begins to get very soft. At that point, the meat is not firm enough for fillets, but it's perfect for baby food," she noted.

She has experimented with both pink and red salmon, finding that red salmon survives the baby food production process better.

And, to boost nutrition, in separate experiments she has added bone meal and pureed salmon roe (eggs) to her entrees. The first ingredient (made by grinding the bones in the salmon into a powder) provides calcium in a form that is readily available for bone building in children. The second provides high-quality protein and contains significant quantities of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docohexaenoic acid (DHA).

"A newborn infant's brain is 50 percent DHA," she noted. "However, babies and toddlers have immature livers and can't synthesize enough DHA to ensure an adequate supply to their developing nerve tissues. If small children are going to get DNA, they must ingest it in their food."

According to Brewer, the results of her experiments have been encouraging. "Salmon is very mild, and the toddler dinners, which are 27 percent meat or fish, don't taste or smell fishy at all. They remind me of that salmon and cream cheese dip you have during the holidays."

Besides, could 107 parents of preschoolers be wrong? In a recent sensory panel conducted in the scientist's lab, parents found little difference in taste between formulations that contained roe or bone meal and those that didn't. Eighty-one percent of the parent panelistseven those who don't eat salmon themselvessaid they would offer it to their children after taste testing the product.

"It's not enough for mothers to know that toddlers need fish in their diets. They won't buy a product unless it also appeals to the eye and the taste buds," she said.

"Our goal is to deliver maximum nutrition in an entre that's aesthetically pleasing, and these studies show that we can do just that," she added.


Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. Nationwide Recall of Eggs Linked to Salmonella Expanded
2. Your Pets Food Dish Could Serve Up Salmonella
3. International Pinot Noir Celebration Guest Chef Jason Stoller Smith to Cook Famed Northwest Salmon Bake at White House Picnic
4. FDA Adds 16 More Firms to Import Alert for Salmonella Contamination in May 2010: Many Non-U.S. Firms Affected According to
5. FDA Updates Import Alert 71-04 for Salmonella Contaminated Animal Feeds: Many Non-U.S. Firms Affected According to, LLC
6. Prevalence of HIV in Africa is leading to new strains of Salmonella, say scientists
7. Salmonella Scare Prompts Wide Product Recall
8. Salmonella Tennessee Identified in a Processed Food Ingredient
9. Delivering Babies Even a Few Weeks Early Ups Respiratory Risks
10. Probiotics use in mothers limits eczema in their babies
11. Study Suggests Higher Cancer Rate Among IVF Babies
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Safe storage for contraceptive devices ... inventors, one from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other from Bradley Beach, New Jersey, ... to save the expense of having to replace NuvaRings more often than necessary. As ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... There is only one major question facing ... last year? , This question has not been an easy question to answer. Especially ... age and the younger workforce don’t share the same discipline around working long hours. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the health care in America. As people age, more care is needed, especially ... are rising, and medical professionals are being overworked. The forgotten part of this ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Orange County, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... holiday season , The company is offering customers 10% off of their purchase of ... purchase any treatment at full price. According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the Radiology ... Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the best ... at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a collaborative ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November ... --> ... / personal emergency response system ... grow steadily for 5 years ... growing region expected to see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Netherlands , November 26, 2015 ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... Netherlands has found that immunotherapy can be ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the addition ... 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing Awareness among ... offering. Boston scientific and ... and others. --> The market is dominated ... scientific and others. Asia ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: