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Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know

Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know

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FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding eating fish. This advice can help women who are pregnant or may become pregnant - as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of infants and young children - make informed choices when it comes to fish that are nutritious 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.

Nutritional value of fish and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Seafood, which includes fish and shellfish, is part of the healthy eating patterns described in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Eating seafood offers heart health benefits. Eating seafood when pregnant or breastfeeding is related to better health outcomes for the mother’s baby.   

Seafood, as part of a healthy eating pattern, provides:

  • Protein
  • Healthy omega-3 fats (called DHA and EPA)
  • More vitamin B12 and vitamin D than any other type of food
  • Iron which is important for infants, young children, and women who are pregnant or who could become pregnant
  • Seafood is a source of other minerals like selenium, zinc, and iodine.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends:

  • At least 8 ounces of seafood (less for young children) per week based on a 2,000 calorie diet  
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding to consume between 8 and 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week, from choices that are lower in mercury.

Click the image to enlarge the chart.

FDA/EPA Advice About Eating Fish

Resources

We have developed the following resources to help you:

Print, Post, Share

FDA encourages consumers, health professionals, educators, and retailers to print, post, and share the Fish Advice chart. We have provided print-friendly downloads for your convenience. You can also share the message on social media using our toolkit.

Supporting Scientific Documents