Eat healthy, be happy! We know that immune health is more important than ever, and some of you may be looking for an easy-to-follow “road map” to meet your daily nutrient requirements. Just last week the updated 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) were released by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS). Today we want to share the new DGA recommendations to include seafood at every age and every stage – starting at 6 months of age!
Revised every 5 years to reflect the latest science, the DGA inform recommendations made by registered dietitians and other healthcare professionals, public health initiatives and national programs, like WIC and school lunch. Since we know you’re probably not reading all 149 pages of the 2020 DGA, we’ll sum up the seafood-based guidance for you.
The 2020 DGA continue to recommend that Americans of all ages—particularly kids and pregnant women—eat seafood at least 2-3 times a week. And you may be surprised to learn that most Americans do not—in fact, 94% of children and 80% of adults currently do not eat the recommended amount of seafood. This means that most Americans are unfortunately missing out on all of the important nutrients that seafood offers, such as protein, omega-3s, selenium, vitamin B-12, vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals important for optimal health during all life stages. The good news is that there are so many delicious ways to get more of these beneficial nutrients! Getting 2-3 servings of seafood each week is as easy (and tasty!) as adding salmon to your whole grains or in an avocado, shrimp to your pasta, scallops to salad, crab to egg muffins or whipping up some lobster mac-n-cheese, cod tacos or tuna croquettes.
And for the first time ever, the 2020-2025 DGA included recommendations for children younger than 2 years. Seafood is so important during all life stages–especially during pregnancy and early childhood–that the newly-released DGA encourage parents to start serving seafood to children early in life, even as early as age 6 months. Seafood makes a great starter food for infants, easy-to-eat finger food for toddlers and perfect protein for children. In fact, offering seafood to your child helps them develop healthy eating habits early on. Think of it as giving your little Seafoodie a gift that will last a lifetime.
Let’s take a closer look at the new Guidelines. The DGA highlight the following benefits for eating seafood 2-3 times per week:
- Seafood consumed regularly during pregnancy can help with brain development in babies.
- Feeding seafood to children at around age 6 months provides critical nutrients like iron, omega-3s and choline that support brain development and immunity for babies and toddlers. Additionally, starting seafood early can also help shape lifelong taste preferences, as well as healthful food choices.
- For adults, seafood provides protein, calcium and vitamin D, which help strengthen bones and maintain muscle mass.
Part of our mission at Dish on Fish is to inspire you with delicious ideas for how to eat more fish. Join us as we share more benefits of eating seafood, as well as tips, tricks and recipes. In the meantime, download the Dish on Fish free e-cookbook – and start planning the next three seafood meals to enjoy this week!