man fishing at sea

National Seafood Month: FDA Fish Facts

October is National Seafood Month and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends eating fish as part of a healthy diet. It also encourages children and people who are or might become pregnant or breastfeeding to eat fish that are lower in mercury. Learn how you can make informed choices when it comes to the types of fish that are nutritious and lower in mercury with the FDA’s many education resources on eating fish.

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Fish provide key nutrients that support a child’s brain development, such as:

  • Omega-3 (called DHA and EPA) and omega-6 fats
  • Iron
  • Choline
  • Iodine (during pregnancy)

Choline also supports development of the baby’s spinal cord. Fish provide iron and zinc to support children’s immune systems. Fish are a source of other nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium too.

The FDA has several education resources about eating fish, including:

  • Two new PowerPoint slides about Eating Fish for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding and Eating Fish for Children, which can be helpful for health educators to include in presentations, such as at conferences or in community settings.
  • Infographics that share information about eating fish as part of a healthy diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding and for children.
  • Photonovels—or comic-style, graphic stories—that share information about eating fish while pregnant and why including fish in children’s diets is important for their growth and development. Available in English, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.
  • Social Media Toolkit, which includes sample messages about eating fish as part of a healthy eating pattern for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, along with newsletter text, infographics, and web badges.
  • Translations of the fish advice and fish names. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese (PDF; XSLX).

national seafood month fda graphic

The FDA/EPA advice about eating fish features a chart that describes dozens of healthy and lower mercury options. While it is important to limit mercury in the diets of those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children, many types of fish are both nutritious and lower in mercury.

Featured Photo by William McAllister