When feeding my 15 month old, what about sushi? ~Laura
My boys love sushi. Fish and shellfish are healthy choices (good source of protein and omega-3-fatty acids) for infants and children who can handle small pieces of table food. If you are wondering about sashimi or raw fish, I try to choose cooked options for my own children because of the risk of bacteria and parasites in raw fish. This risk is probably fairly minimal if you go to a reputable sushi restaurant, so many parents do offer their kids sashimi, but be aware that the FDA recommends that young children do not consume raw fish and shellfish because children are at highest risk for serious food borne illness.
You should also think about the mercury level in fish. Although there are many benefits to eating fish, the high levels of mercury found in some fish may harm a young child’s developing brain. Choose fish low in mercury (such as salmon and shrimp) and avoid fish with higher mercury levels (such as swordfish and tuna). The FDA website offers more information for young children and pregnant women regarding mercury levels in fish and shellfish.