Crayfish or dried shrimps is often used as seasoning in Nigerian cooking.
Crayfish often adds a very traditional flavour to whatever it is used to cook. Many Nigerian mothers often had crayfish to their babies pap to enrich this food. Ground crayfish is often always added to ewedu and okro soups.
What are the health benefits of crayfish?
Crayfish is made up of protein and is rich in a variety of nutrients e.g. vitamin D, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin A, selenium and zinc.
Vitamin B-6, vitamin E and vitamin A helps to improve eyesight and skin.
However is it healthy to give young babies crayfish?
Crayfish can be a healthy part of your child's diet soon after he begins to eat solid food, usually when he's around 6 months. Most Nigerian babies are used to eating ground crayfish from a very early age without any issues. Once in the ground form, it is often easier for babies to consume and digest.
You should however note that seafood like crayfish is one of the top allergenic foods i.e. foods that cause allergies, so if allergies run in your family or if your baby has already shown signs of being allergic to other foods, or has experienced symptoms of allergies such as eczema, or asthma, you should thread with caution.
How would I know if my child has an allergy to crayfish?
Some of the signs that your baby is allergic to crayfish include the following;
- Facial swelling (including the tongue and lips)
- Skin rash
- Stomach ache
- Breathing difficulty
If your baby shows any of these signs or has trouble breathing right after consuming crayfish make sure you take your child to the hospital immediately.
This is because allergic reactions can have more serious side effects for a young child.