It pays not to shy away from seafood when pregnant, with some seafood providing health benefits to both expectant mums and their babies.
Prioritising higher fish consumption in pregnant women and young children is among the key dietary recommendations of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Committee on World Food Security. (The FAO Committee on World Food Security is a group of food and nutrition experts created in 1974 as a forum for review of nutrition and food security policies.)
During its forty-first session in Rome, the committee recognised the contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to food security and nutrition. Seafood was recognised as a primary source of protein and essential nutrients, and the industry was noted as a provider of income and livelihoods.
A key recommendation of the report was “encouraging maternal and child consumption of fish including through nutrition education…”
Seafood New Zealand endorses this recommendation, and is proud that our product is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. In New Zealand there is a large variety of fresh and tasty seafood which is accessible and affordable for all New Zealanders.
“Whether you are pregnant or not, the Heart Foundation recommends people eat fish or seafood twice a week,” said Seafood New Zealand’s Seafood Standards Manager, Cathy Webb.
Seafood is a great source of protein and many species are low in saturated fat. A number of species are a good source of Omega-3, which contributes to heart health. Seafood also contains other vitamins and nutrients crucial for babies’ growth and development.
Seafood New Zealand has created a variety of education tools for students and teachers and hopes to encourage young people to get to know our industry and why it is important to New Zealander’s livelihoods and diets.
These resources are available at the Seafood New Zealand consumer website www.seafood.co.nz.