On this page we'll share our simple and delicious baby food recipes with canned tuna.
We'll also look at which types of tuna are best for your little one and why experts recommend that your baby only eats a small amount each week.
Whilst fresh tuna is the best source of nutrients for your baby, it's not always easy to get hold of - and it can be very expensive.
Canned tuna - often referred to as tuna fish in the US - is a great alternative. It's convenient, widely available and relatively inexpensive! It's also lower in contaminants like mercury (more on that below).
Tuna is a good source of
And separate research - carried out in Sweden - showed that babies are less likely to suffer from 'pre-school wheeze' if they start enjoying fish before 9 months of age.
That being said, it's a good idea to check with your doctor before introducing any fish to your baby, in case there are any reasons it may not be suitable for your little one at this stage.
The two main varieties of canned tuna are chunk light and solid or chunk white.
In America, only albacore can legally be sold as white meat tuna. In other countries, cans of white meat tuna may also contain yellowfin.
Tuna usually comes packed in either:
Sometimes, you can buy tuna pre-drained (although you pay quite dearly for the convenience!)
*Why is water-packed tuna better for your baby?
When tuna is packed in oil, the oil mixes with the natural fat in the tuna. When you drain the tuna, you are also draining away the tuna's natural fat, which is the source of the omega 3 fatty acids.
Oil and water, however, don't mix. So when you drain tuna packed in water, you can be confident that those all-important nutrients are still in the fish when you serve it!
Whilst white meat tuna (albacore) is higher in omega 3 than skipjack/light tuna, it's not ideal for your baby as it contains higher levels of mercury.
Fresh tuna goes through quite an extensive cooking process before it hits the store shelves in cans!
The fish is pre-cooked for anywhere between 45 minutes and 3 hours before it is cleaned and filleted, then it is canned and sealed. The sealed can is then heated for between 2 and 4 hours.
The extensive cooking times are needed to ensure that any bacteria are destroyed, although the 'double cooking' method is used because it helps the manufacturers to de-bone the fish more quickly.
Specialty tuna products tend to be cooked only once, retaining more of their natural fats, and they are often packed in their own oils.
They may be more expensive, but the increased health benefits may make them a better choice for your baby.
The non-profit Environmental Defense Fund says that children under 6 years of age can eat up to 3 x 3 oz portions of canned light tuna per month.
This advice is more or less in line with that given by the FDA.
The FDA guidelines say that pregnant women may eat up to 12 oz of low-mercury fish per week and that parents should follow these same recommendations when feeding fish and shellfish to (their) young child, but serve smaller portions.
When buying cans of tuna, make sure they don't have any dents, cracks, discolouration or bulges.
Many varieties of tuna contain added salt - try to choose reduced sodium or unsalted varieties if possible.
If these are unavailable, try draining the tuna then rinsing it 2 or 3 times with cool water to remove excess salt. This is reported to reduce the sodium content by 80%.
Keep unopened cans of tuna in a cool, dry place and use by the date shown on the can.
Once opened, you should store any unused tuna in the fridge in an airtight container and use it within 2 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
There are a few simple ways to include tuna in your baby's daily menu - with no recipe required!