Healthy Kids Diet Guidelines
Make healthy shopping and cooking changes now—our simple nutrition guidelines get you started.
The American Heart Association recommends everyone aim for two servings of fish each week. But you may wonder whether you should feed your kids fish because much of the seafood we consume contains mercury, an environmental toxin that’s especially dangerous for children’s smaller, still-developing nervous systems. Our advice is to serve fish regularly, but choose it wisely: the Food and Drug Administration (along with the Environmental Protection Agency) recommends some specific guides for safe seafood consumption for young children.
Children should not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish—large “predatory” fish that tend to accumulate high levels of mercury. But kids can safely consume up to 12 ounces (two or three average meals) of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury; five of the most commonly eaten varieties of fish are low in mercury: shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock (commonly used in fish sticks) and catfish. However, no more than 6 ounces (1 medium can) should come from albacore (premium white) tuna each week.
It’s a good idea to limit fried fish, too: recent evidence suggests that commercially fried fish products may be low in omega-3 fatty acids and high in trans-fatty acids, and do not provide the same benefits as other sources of fish.
Connect With Us
Poll of the week
- 5 “bad” foods you should be eating (331 comments)
- The #1 food you should eat (and probably don't) (211 comments)
- 3 reasons you should snack on popcorn (124 comments)
- How to pickle anything (no canning necessary) (119 comments)
- 3 reasons you should reach for canola oil when you’re cooking (102 comments)
- What’s Fresh: Is corn healthy or not? (99 comments)
- The best breakfast foods for weight loss (78 comments)
- Is Coconut Oil Healthier Than Butter? (76 comments)
- How to make a healthy smoothie: best smoothie ingredients & 10 to ditch (75 comments)
- Trying to save money? 15 foods you don’t need to buy organic (72 comments)