Ikan bilis to many is a small fish commonly served fried, and added to dishes like Nasi Lemak and Noodle soup to give it additional flavours and textures. It acts as food seasoning and flavour enhancer without the need of any chemical reaction such as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Anchovies are also known to be high in protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and iron, which are especially beneficial for infants or babies in their early stages of development.
However, the downside of ikan bilis is that it needs to be chewed and disintegrated to be swallowed and digested. Babies that do not have the luxury of these sources of nutrients are usually fed in powder form. Ikan Bilis Powder is in fact the best supplement for a baby, as it contains nearly as much nutrients as recommended dietary serving.
Many worry about the salt content and cholesterol on ikan bilis, but the sodium level can be determined by long it is soaked, and cholesterol can be reduced by removing the heads and guts. Mercury in fishes is another concern most people have. Anchovies belong to the small fish category and small fishes contain little or nearly close to no mercury.
Therefore, to answer the question if Ikan Bilis is good for babies – It contains essential nutritions for babies and should be in the powder form to aid a baby’s consumption. The finest ikan bilis powder should be able to dissolve/disintegrate into a puree such as congee or soup to prevent congestion and choking.