My 13 month old daughter really likes tuna fish but I worry about the mercury levels in it. Does anyone know anything about this?
Hey. This is in the wrong section but I will answer it anyways with what I found. For next time, Feed that Baby! is just for breastfeeding, not foods in general, or formula feeding.
What about tuna fish? This is actually controversial. The original FDA advisory did not specifically say to avoid tuna fish, which might also become contaminated with mercury, and many critics have come out against the FDA saying that they should have included tuna on the original list. Still, the FDA did give a general recommendation to avoid eating more than 12 ounces of fish each week, which would also include tuna. To be safe, many professionals recommend limiting yourself (if you are pregnant) and younger children to just one tuna fish sandwich each week.
Specifically, the new advisory states that women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should:
* not eat any shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish
* eat only two average servings (6 ounces per serving for adults, but less for kids) a week of fish that are lower in mercury, including shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
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Since albacore ('white') tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, you should eat only up to six ounces of albacore tuna each week. You should also only eat up to six ounces of tuna steak each week.
* eat only up to six ounces per week of fish you catch in your local lakes, rivers and coastal areas, but don't consume any other fish during that week, unless local advisories state that the fish are low in mercury and that it is safe to eat more
In addition to eating tuna, the other types of fish that your younger child is most likely to eat include fish sticks and fast food fish sandwiches. These are usually made from fish that are low in mercury and would count against the two meals of fish and shellfish that you can eat each week.
Since fish and shellfish can be an important part of a healthy and balanced diet for kids and adults, it is important to not simply stop eating fish altogether because of your fear of mercury. Just keep the warnings in mind when planning your child's diet and don't exceed the recommended number of servings of fish each week.
And remember, that although a single serving of fish for an adult is about six ounces, it is only about two or three ounces for a small child between the ages of two and six years old.
Thanks, and I guess I should have read the "Feed that Baby" description a little better huh?