What types of fish are safe to feed my toddler. I’m very confused by the information out there.
I’m glad you asked- fish is such a great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids and it’s easy for our little ones to digest. There is a lot of confusing and conflicting information out there, but if you follow these guidelines, you can relax knowing you’re feeding your toddler well.
- Do not feed your child Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
- The smaller the fish the better: the “bad stuff” we hear about- mercury and PCBs- accumulate in the tissue, and so the higher on the food chain the fish are, the more they will have accumulated. Two good ones to try: sardines and anchovies. (My toddler loves sardines on crackers!)
- Five commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish – only buy these fish if they are “wild caught,” and be sure to check the country of origin. I only buy fish caught in the USA, usually Alaska. Avoid farm raised fish- they are often fed grain (not their natural diet!), antibiotics, and in the case of salmon, paint chips to give its flesh a pink color. (We are what THEY eat, and I don’t know about you, but paint??? No thanks.)
Aim for 2 meals a week of a variety of fish and shellfish, and your child will reap the many benefits of eating fish!