Mar 7, 2010

Guest Article: Five Ways Your Baby Can Enjoy Canned Sardines

Sardines are not usually an ingredients that spring to mind when you make your own baby food - yet they're packed with omega 3 fatty acids and make a wonderfully healthy addition to baby's diet!

Fatty acids play an important role in infant nutrition. They help support the growth and development of baby's brain and give his immune system a boost.

But the goodness of sardines doesn't stop there - they are also a great source of calcium (especially when packed with their bones) and contain a range of other nutrients, including zinc, B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper and phosphorus.

A common concern when feeding fish to babies is their mercury content...

...but sardines, being both small in size and low on the food chain - contain either very little mercury or none at all, making them one of the safest types of fish for your baby to eat!

Another great bonus for parents is that sardines are relatively inexpensive, although quality does vary considerably from one brand to another and some of the cheapest varieties are also the most inferior in terms of taste and texture.

It's a good idea to check the label carefully and avoid buying sardines containing additional flavorings or preservatives for your baby. We also recommend avoiding those packed in a 'sauce', many of which contain added salt and (in our opinion) may taste anywhere from poor to unpleasant!

During the canning process, the sardines are cooked - and this softens their bones to the point where they can be crushed with a fork and safely eaten. Our babies have all enjoyed sardines mashed with their bones from around 7 months of age - but if you are concerned about feeding them to your little one, then look for boneless sardines instead. Do bear in mind, however, that they will have a lower calcium content than those with their bones intact!

How to Include Sardines in Your Baby Food


Sardines are deceptively delicious - so if you've never eaten them before, don't be put off by their less-than-appealing appearance (particularly if their skins are still on!).

Try these simple ideas instead - then your baby (and you!) will be in for a treat!

  • Make a simple and nutritious lunch by stirring mashed sardines into scrambled eggs.

  • Prepare a quick and easy salad by combining sardines with finely diced cucumber and cottage cheese.

  • Create a tasty topping for bagels or toast by mixing mashed sardines with cream cheese and a touch of sweet paprika.

  • Make a healthy sandwich filling for your baby by mashing sardines and avocado together, then finishing off with a little fresh, chopped cilantro.

  • Cook a delicious dinner for your baby with a decidedly Mediterranean flavor! Just saute a little garlic in olive oil then add fresh, chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes have broken down, then add mashed sardines and cook for a few more minutes. Toss with cooked spaghetti (chopped to size) or small pasta shapes and finish with a topping of chopped, fresh parsley!

Christine Albury
Homemade Baby Food Recipes

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can someone recommend a good online source for sardines? I can get King Oscars locally for $2.80 US / can. But I'd like more selection and better prices.

Arrr said...

Try http://parthenonfoods.com/ . I used to get a big box of Eva Sardines with Lemon slices, at around $2 including shipping (make the order large enough). And those are good sardines.

Arrr said...

Thanks for that article.

The following recipe has been a hit with my kids, one of which will eat my sardines out of the tin, and the other who wouldn't touch them whole.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/03/dinner-tonight-venetian-spaghetti-with-sardines-recipe.html

Dosbears said...

Amazon has lots of different sardines. I like the Vigo sardines with lemon: http://www.amazon.com/Vigo-Sardines-Lemon-4-375-Ounce-Cans/dp/B000FDP6IS/

Cathy said...

Thank you for this article. I never would have thought to use sardines with by baby but I have tried it and it works great.

Xiong Vue said...

By far Costco has the best sardines. Its the Wild Pacific brand. Lightly smoked in water and extra virgin olive oil. Best taste and texture. Not as salty as all the other brands.

Xiong Vue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan credo said...

Does sardines have like just n oil or water like the one n tuna ? Iusually sèe sardines n tomato sauce only

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