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Dec 5, 2008 09:18 AM

Do You Give Your Children Raw Fish either Sushi or Sashimi?

I asked my kid’s pediatrician, if they were old enough to eat sushi, I was surprised when they replied it's better to wait until they're older, in their teens. I asked, was it because of safety issues? They said the main concern is mercury levels are too high for young growing bodies. I was disappointed to hear this, but I will go with his advice. Just wondering what others thought, or did with their kids when it came to sushi. Thanks!

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  1. if the only concern is contaminants, you can choose types of fish that are typically lower in mercury & PCB's, and introduce it into their diets in very limited quantities.

    you can find some pretty helpful information online:

    1. I give my young dogs sashimi....

      1. The mercury level is the same whether it's cooked or not and sushi is only bite sized anyway vs. American portions. Are they recommending no fish for children? The last recommendation I've read is the benefits of fish for children and pregnant women outweigh the negatives. I let my son eat it. It's not like he eats a huge amount--just a few maki. I'd think the concern would be parasites more than mercury.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          maybe it's both? on our next visit I'll ask for further clarification.

          1. re: chowser

            Yeah, aside from potential issues with food poisoning - which seem pretty remote from well-reputed sources - I don't get the skull&crossbones on sashimi/sushi. It seems that most are not addressing, say, a huge slab of grilled swordfish that probably has enough heavy metals and toxins in it to put airport security on red alert.

            I've drastically cut back on my seafood consumption, but for other reasons - mostly concerns with overharvesting and the downside of many of the farmed products. I might be sounding like Chicken Little wearing Earth shoes, but with all of the pressures being levied on this planet, if pediatricians can help keep seafood consumption due to their concerns, any reason is a good reason to me.

          2. my family is in the sushi biz and my daughter eats a good amount of the stuff. Of all the customers that come in even children as small as 2-3yrs have downed the stuff.
            I don understand your concern as well as I had of my own BUT.... you got to think that in other countries they are doing just fine. And this is not something that you are eating on a daily basis ( and if so , good for you ) to really hinder and influence drastic health outcomes.

            1. For what it's worth, I've been eating raw fish from the age of 3.

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