Recent studies have shown evidence that introducing fish into the diets of young children could help protect children against future allergies. In fact, some scientists have gone as far as to state that the rise in allergic diseases is due to the lack of Omega-3 fatty acids in childhood diets.
The most recent study, published in the April edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 3,300 children from age one until their twelfth birthdays. They found that children who ate at least two servings of fish each month were 75 percent less likely to develop allergy symptoms than children who lacked fish in their diets.
A study last year in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who had fish introduced to their diets between six and twelve months of age had a lower risk of asthma-like symptoms.
The link between fish, or Omega 3 fatty acids, is unclear. Some speculate that children who have parents that feed them fish as part of their diets are more likely to have a lifestyle that lowers the risk in non-dietary ways.
Currently, government guidelines suggest that children can benefit from eating roughly two servings, or twelve ounces, of low-mercury fish weekly. Low mercury fish that children generally accept include catfish, flounder, pollock, salmon and tilapia.
Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT