Adding fish to your child’s diet is a great way to provide them with important nutrients. Fish is a good source of high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is essential for a child’s developing brain, nervous system, and vision. To ensure that your child gets the nutritional benefits of fish while avoiding exposure to high levels of mercury, it is important to make healthy fish choices. Here are some guidelines to follow:
1. Frequency of consumption: Children should eat small servings of a variety of fish and shellfish 1 to 2 times per week.
2. Fish to avoid: Some fish should be skipped or eaten in limited amounts due to their high mercury content. These include tilefish, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, orange roughy, marlin, and bigeye & bluefin tuna. At Seafoodfriday we do not sell any of these fishes.
So what are the best Seafood Choices for Kids?
1: Salmon, trout, and herring: These fish are low in mercury and high in brain-boosting DHA.
Fish plays a crucial role in children’s diets due to its numerous health benefits. Incorporating fish into their meals can provide essential nutrients that support their growth and development. Fish contains nutrients such as iron, iodine, choline, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support brain development, spinal cord development, and immune system function. Secondly, fish is a healthy protein option for children. Protein is necessary for building strong muscles and bones, as well as repairing the body as children grow.
Furthermore, fish, especially oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, and sardines, is rich in vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and eyes, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium needed for bone growth. Research suggests that consuming fish early in life may help prevent allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema.
What if your child dislikes eating fish?
Begin with a very small amount of fish, even a bite-sized portion, and gradually increase the serving size as the child gets more comfortable with the taste and texture. It may take time for children to adjust to the taste of fish. Start with mild-flavored white fish like halibut and cod, and gradually introduce other varieties. It is also important to try different types of fish, cooking methods, and recipes to find what appeals to your child’s taste buds. Starting with fish sticks or nuggets can be a sneaky way to introduce fish, and lighter, white fish can be easily seasoned and enjoyed by the whole family.