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Tuna - are there any guidelines on it's use?

(16 Posts)
Laura032004 Mon 09-May-05 09:32:37

DS is now 13m. Is he OK to eat tuna? It would be mainly tinned rather than fresh. I just remember that I was told not to eat it too often when pg, so wondered if the same principle applies to small children. Also, if it is OK, would I be better giving him the tuna in oil rather than brine due to salt content?

Thanks for your help,


Marina Mon 09-May-05 09:42:32

Fine to give it to him aged more than one.
Same principles would apply with how often you give it, I think...once a week perhaps.
And given that calories are not an issue for him, I'd look for the tuna in olive oil as I think this is more succulent than the brine-packed stuff.
Or you can get springwater tuna with no added salt if you prefer.
Other tinned oily fish is very good for them too - sardines (maybe not with spinach...), and tinned salmon is wild not farmed and therefore not subject to the same concerns about the fish's diet etc.

compo Mon 09-May-05 10:15:11

I gave ds tuna as soon as I weaned him at 6 months. Was that wrong then?! He seems alright to me Marina!!!

Marina Mon 09-May-05 10:29:36

I was answering Laura's specific enquiry about age compo Mine have both had it in small quantities from 6 months too.
It's a very protein-rich food so they don't need much of it.

handlemecarefully Mon 09-May-05 10:30:45

Personally I think people worry too much about what they feed their children.

All baby recipe books etc include tuna recipes so it's okay....

handlemecarefully Mon 09-May-05 11:52:53

ooops killed the thread

flamesparrow Mon 09-May-05 11:54:35

Lol - I think everyone worries too much too.

DD has oodles of tuna usually several times a week. The more she has, the calmer she is

anchovies Mon 09-May-05 11:56:11

IMO 13m is defo nfine for tuna. Tuna in brine and tuna in springwater show the same sodium content though. Not sure why?

Merlot Mon 09-May-05 14:03:56

The nutritional therapist we saw recently in connection with ds2 said that no tuna should be given to children under six (o/a mercury content)

I had been giving ds2 (20 mths) tuna pate sandwiches at least twice a week!

lima Mon 09-May-05 14:07:09

hey anchovies - I noticed that - interesting isn't it?

Laura032004 Mon 09-May-05 18:33:19

Thanks for all of your answers. Merlot's answer does have me worried, although as handlemecarefully says, most babyfood books have recipes including tuna. I think the thing about mercury is fairly recent, so maybe they are just reusing tried and tested recipes? Maybe we'll just stick with tinned salmon for a while then?

I'd like to give ds sardines - does anybody have any good recipes? I can only think of sardines on toast

anchovies Mon 09-May-05 18:48:10

Had a quick look on the food standards website earlier and if anything they are relaxing their view on mercury in tuna, the recommended amount for pregnant women has just been increased again. No mention of problems with children on there.

Laura032004 Mon 09-May-05 18:55:38

I looked on the website, and they had the following guidance - childs diet above 1 yr of age should include

"oily fish such as fresh tuna, mackerel, sardines and salmon (no more than four portions a week for boys and two for girls)"

Presume difference in boy/girl guidance is due to future pregnancy issues.

Couldn't find any UK guidance about no tuna at all, but US websites were a lot more keen to say none at all.

Same website also had this:

While you are breastfeeding you should avoid:

* more than one portion of shark, swordfish or marlin each week

* more than two portions of oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, trout and fresh tuna each week (tinned tuna does not qualify as oily fish)

Does that mean that you can eat unlimited tinned tuna whilst bf?? If you worried about everything these websites say, you'd be a nervous wreck! I think we'll just go for moderation, so no more entire cans of tuna (I used to eat a can every day when on Slimming World diet), but will try to use in pasta recipes instead.

Thanks again to everybody for their input!

handlemecarefully Mon 09-May-05 22:09:39

I would be tempted to query the advice from the nutritional therapist as (s)he appears to be out of kilter with other published advice. Up to you though!

handlemecarefully Mon 09-May-05 22:19:07

food standards agency

Laura032004 Fri 20-May-05 18:01:29

Really good summary.

Nearly a year old though.

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