Text Version of FDA/EPA Advice on What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know about Eating Fish

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What is a serving?

To find out, use the palm of your hand!

For an adult, a serving is 4 ounces, about the size of an adult palm.

For children ages 4 to 8, a serving is 2 ounces

What is a serving size?

FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding eating fish. This advice is geared toward helping women who are pregnant or may become pregnant - as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children - make informed choices when it comes to fish that is healthy and safe to eat.

The advice includes a chart that makes it easier than ever to choose dozens of healthy and safe options, and a set of frequently asked questions & answers.

Learn more about this initiative in the Press Release

The following is the text version of the information in the advice chart.

Fish and other protein-rich foods have nutrients that can help your child’s growth and development.

For women of childbearing age (about 16-49 years old), especially pregnant and breastfeeding women, and for parents and caregivers of young children.

  • Eat 2 to 3 servings of fish a week from the “Best Choice” list OR 1 serving from the “Good Choice” list.
  • Eat a variety of fish.
  • Serve 1 to 2 servings of fish a week to children, starting at age 2.
  • If you eat fish caught by family or friends, check for fish advisories. If there is no advisory, eat only one serving and no other fish that week.* 

You can use this chart to help you choose which fish to eat, and how often to eat them, based on their mercury levels. The "Best Choice" have the lowest levels of mercury.

Eat 2 to 3 servings of fish a week from the “Best Choice” list
1 serving from the “Good Choice” list

Click on the arrows below each column header to sort by that column.

Remember, this advice refers to fish and shellfish collectively as "fish."

Read the Questions & Answers that go along with the chart.

Fish *

Best Choice, Good Choice, or Choice to Avoid?

Anchovy Best Choice
Atlantic croaker Best Choice
Atlantic mackerel Best Choice
Black sea bass Best Choice
Butterfish Best Choice
Catfish Best Choice
Clam Best Choice
Cod Best Choice
Crab Best Choice
Crawfish Best Choice
Flounder Best Choice
Haddock Best Choice
Hake Best Choice
Herring Best Choice
Lobster, American and spiny Best Choice
Mullet Best Choice
Oyster Best Choice
Pacific chub mackerel Best Choice
Perch, freshwater and ocean Best Choice
Pickerel Best Choice
Plaice Best Choice
Pollock Best Choice
Salmon Best Choice
Sardine Best Choice
Scallop Best Choice
Shad Best Choice
Shrimp Best Choice
Skate Best Choice
Smelt Best Choice
Sole Best Choice
Squid Best Choice
Tilapia Best Choice
Trout, freshwater Best Choice
Tuna, canned light (includes skipjack) Best Choice
Whitefish Best Choice
Whiting Best Choice
Bluefish Good Choice
Buffalofish Good Choice
Carp Good Choice
Chilean sea bass/Patagonian toothfish Good Choice
Grouper Good Choice
Halibut Good Choice
Mahi mahi/dolphinfish Good Choice
Monkfish Good Choice
Rockfish Good Choice
Sablefish Good Choice
Sheepshead Good Choice
Snapper Good Choice
Spanish mackerel Good Choice
Striped bass (ocean) Good Choice
Tilefish (Atlantic Ocean) Good Choice
Tuna, albacore/white tuna, canned and fresh/frozen Good Choice
Tuna, yellowfin Good Choice
Weakfish/seatrout Good Choice
White croaker/Pacific croaker Good Choice
King mackerel Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Marlin Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Orange roughy Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Swordfish Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico) Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS
Tuna, bigeye Choice to Avoid: HIGHEST MERCURY LEVELS

*Some fish caught by family and friends, such as larger carp, catfish, trout and perch, are more likely to have fish advisories due to mercury or other contaminants. State advisories will tell you how often you can safely eat those fish.


Page Last Updated: 12/07/2017
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