This week’s lunch scare
Before you go to the grocery store to buy the supplies to make kiddies’ lunches next week, beware the tuna.
The most alarming of the recent study’s findings were that some children, called “tuna lovers” by the authors, may be getting dangerously high doses of mercury, because they are simply eating too much canned tuna. For these children, the report recommends that parents request a blood test for mercury levels and try to cut down overall tuna intake.
But the author has a couple of suggestions to reduce your child’s mercury intake, beyond not biting down on thermometers.
• Children should never be fed canned albacore tuna. The report found higher levels of mercury in albacore tuna than previously thought, and the authors concluded that there is no reason to include this type of tuna in a child’s diet, when they could have canned light tuna, instead.
• Children who are small (under 55 pounds) should eat canned light tuna no more than once a month. Children over 55 pounds can have canned light tuna twice a month. Federal guidelines allow canned light tuna twice a week for all children.
• Schools, parents, and caregivers should coordinate when children are fed canned tuna, so they don’t receive more than two such meals a month.
• Schools and parents should consider serving other types of seafood, such as salmon or shrimp, that aren’t typically high in mercury.
Regarding the last suggestion of mixing in more salmon and shrimp, I would add more dolphin.