Seafood provides high quality protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats such as DHA which are important for a child’s developing brain, vision and nervous system. In addition, eating seafood early in life decreases the risk of developing allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema. So why is seafood consumption by children in the US decreasing? The main concern is contamination of seafood with mercury which can be toxic for children and harm their developing brains, but there are also concerns with environmental pollutants including PCBs and dioxin. In this episode, we review how to make sure that children are eating enough fish for nutritional benefits, and how to make healthy fish choices. We’re aiming for children to get all the benefits of seafood while minimizing any risks. We also discuss sushi, eating fish during pregnancy, overfishing and more.
This episode written by Dr. Dean Blumberg and Dr. Lena Rothstein.
We thank dietitian Staci Collins at UC Davis Children's Hospital for reviewing this topic, although Drs. Dean and Lena take responsibility for any errors or misinformation.
- Healthy Children Healthy Fish Choices for Kids
- Healthy Children Is it safe for my child to eat sushi?
- Healthy Children Fish & Pregnancy: What is Safe to Eat?
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG Practice Advisory: Update on Seafood Consumption During Pregnancy
- UC Davis Health Good Food Is Good Medicine Your guide to healthy seafood and why you should eat more
- Environmental Protection Agency Stay Healthy by Eating Fish and Shellfish Wisely
- Seafood Watch Recommendations
- American Academy of Pediatrics policy Fish, Shellfish, and Children's Health: An Assessment of Benefits, Risks, and Sustainability
Photo from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics