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Nov 22, 2005 02:03 PM

At what age can a child start eating sushi?

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What is a safe age that a child can eat sushi?

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  1. Technically after one year old. However the US has all kids of warnings about uncooked seafood/meats since food related illnesses impact the very young and the elderly much harder than a healthy adult. Personally I have had no issue with my son eating rare meat or sushi since he started eating solid foods.

    1. What did your pediatrician say?

      1. We took our son to a sushi bar when he was about one year old - figured if he could handle lox, he could handle sushi. He grew up to be an adventurous eater, and at 24, still loves sushi.

        2 Replies
        1. re: LBQT

          Lox is preserved with salt, some sushi is raw - big difference from the perspective of being a good medium for bacteria growth. Of course, a good sushiya would never serve raw items that were going bad - but I would be careful about the shopping market packages that have been sitting there all day. I would also be careful about feeding a person with a less capable immune system (ie, child) raw shellfish, even at a sushi bar - a much higher chance of something bad happening that might not have been detected esp. by an untrained burb dude.

          1. re: applehome

            I agree with everything you said - we're on the west coast and stuck with our tried and true well trained, straight from the old country, professional sushi chef, so risk was minimal.

        2. My 3 yr old will eat a single piece of salmon sushi, then politely wait for her order of 6 dumpums (dumplings).

          1. Obviously I wouldn't order sushi for myself or my son at any place I didn't trust, but, working on the general assumption that shit happens, I hadn't been letting my son have it. My thinking was that while none of us would particularly enjoy food poisoning, that it could be particularly dangerous in a very little one both because of his less developed immune system and because little kids can get dangerously dehydrated so easily.

            That said, at his 4 year check-up, I asked the pediatrician if he could start having raw fish sushi. The doctor hemmed and hawed a bit, pointing out that sushi was never risk free. Then he mentioned that he (the doctor) loves sushi. So I asked at what age he started letting his kids have it and he said around my son's age.

            All of which is a long, roundabout way of saying that 4 seems to be ok. Earlier might be fine, too. I probably wouldn't even think of giving it to a kid younger than 2 1/2 or 3, not out of any official medical advice, but because of my fear of the possible effect of a bad piece.

            But as long as there's no raw fish involved, I think you can start as soon as they can handle the texture of the food. Note that the seaweed sheets used in rolls can be hard for little kids to chew properly and swallow. My son has gagged more than once and he's not a gagger/choker/vomiter. I keep a very close eye on him.