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Monday, August 17, 2009

Let Your Kids Go Fish!

Do you feed your kids fish? Here are some questions to ask yourself about fish.

Do you think it’s not that important to eat fish?
It’s very important, because fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids play a significant role in brain development, IQ levels, immune system and helps kids with behavioral problems like ADHD according to some studies. The two most important omega-3’s are DHA and EPA.
Do you love seafood, but your kids don’t?
Have you tried them recently? Kids tastes change and there are many different ways to fix different fish and shrimp that may appeal to their tastes and yours. Check the Internet for recipes. Shrimp Pizza seems to be a favorite. (just make sure to watch for signs of allergies) And have them help you make it. Kids are more apt to eat something they helped make.

Do you think it’s too much trouble to fix?
How hard are fish sticks to throw in the oven? Now, I would offer more than the breaded and fried version of fish. Have you looked for frozen fish on sale? They don’t take long to bake and no thawing is required. It takes me longer to make the mac and cheese I often serve (along with a veggie of course) than it takes to bake the fish.

Do you think fish isn’t safe to eat because of pollutants?
Well, yes some fish are not safe to eat at all, some are ok to eat once a month or so and some are safe to eat a couple of times a week. Here’s the list of ok fish to eat a couple of times a week. These are low in mercury, PCB’s and are not overfished:
  • Anchovies
  • Catfish (farmed)
  • Clams
  • Cod (Pacific)
  • Crab (U.S.)
  • Crawfish (U.S.)
  • Flounder (Pacific)
  • Mackerel (Atlantic, U.S.)
  • Oysters (cooked)
  • Pollack (Alaskan)
  • Rainbow Trout (U.S. farmed)
  • Salmon (wild Alaskan)
  • Shrimp (U.S.)
  • Tilapia (U.S.)

Here are some OK to eat once a month or so:

  • Halibut (Pacific)
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Sablefish
  • Tuna

Never let your kids eat these. (Not that many of them would eat these kinds!):
  • King mackerel
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Tilefish
  • Eel

Keep in mind, some farmed fish can be more polluted than wild caught fish depending on the ways they are managed. All fish have some contaminants in them, that’s how our world is nowadays unfortunately. All the more reason to change our ways. Beef and chicken are also tainted with pollutants, even the organic meat may have a small amount. So it’s almost impossible not to eat anything without some contamination. We just need to be smart about our choices.

Supplementing with fish oil capsules is also one way to add to your diet the essential fatty acids. If you wish to supplement your diet and your kids diets, make sure the vitamin manufacturer use a purification process that removes the contaminants, but doesn't compromise the essential nutrients. Here are some I recommend and take myself:

For adults:

OmegaGuard & Vita-Lea

For kids: Mighty Smart & Incredivites

For Infants & Toddlers: ShakleeBaby

So don’t overlook fish in your diet. Having smart, healthy kids is worth it.

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