Q: A friend told me not to give my daughter fish because of the risk of mercury poisoning. Is it okay for young children to eat fish?
A: It’s too bad that methyl mercury has made families wary of serving fish. Fish is not only an excellent source of protein, but it’s also the best source of omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) essential for brain development.
See DHA and Kids: The Complete Guide for Parents
The FDA recommends high-risk groups including young children, pregnant women, women capable of becoming pregnant and nursing moms consume 1-2 servings of fish per week but it can be 2-3 times from the best choice list or 1 from the good choices list (see below).
Be careful of portion sizes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 1 ounce for children 2-3, 2 ounces for children 4-7, 3 ounces for children 8-10, and 4 ounces for children 11 years and older. If you’re eating fish caught locally, check for fish advisories.
Best Choices: Scallops, shrimp, cod, salmon, sardines, herring, canned light tuna, sole, pollock, crab, and Atlantic mackerel
Good Choices: Bluefish, Chilean sea bass, halibut, canned albacore tuna, yellowfin tuna, tilefish (Atlantic ocean)
Avoid: Shark, swordfish, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), bigeye tuna, orange roughy, marlin, king mackerel
For more details about feeding children of all ages, check out Maryann’s book Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters From High Chair to High School
I liked your so site very much,therefore i have chosen you to ask.
I am a healthy 32 yr old women entering my 13th week of pregnency.I am vegan.I started my pregnency at normal weight and has gained 1.5kg so far and has no history of nutrient deficiencies.I am really worried that my baby may not be getting the nutrients she needs.Knowing that i wear sunscreen whenever i go out ,and i make sure to combine plant sources of protein everyday.
I made dietary analysis and the results were:
Alpha linolenic acid:0.54g
Vitamin B12:2.1 micro g
Vitamin D:3 micro g
My questions are:
1)Am i consuming enough protein?
2)Which nutrients are consumed in amounts that are below the DRI standard for pregnency?3)Can you suggest types of food that i can consume to bring up my intake of the nutrients indentifies in question 2?
4)Can you give me a plan sample of a typical day menu.
Thanks alot and sorry to bother.
Hope you reply me as soon as possible.
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
I’ll send you an email with my advice. Thanks!
Fish is such a wonderful way to get so many valuable nutrients, as the article so clearly described. However, like everything else out there today, we have to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we can make safe and healthy choices for ourselves and our families. Don’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater”…just dedicate a bit of time to researching what is good for you, and what isn’t. That way, you feel empowered knowing you’re making smart choices for the health and nutrition of your family.