Can I eat seaweed when I am pregnant?
Yes! Seaweed is a natural source of iodine and it is safe to consume as long as you are aware of which seaweed could potential excessive amount of iodine such as kelp therefore kelp supplement is never recommended during pregnancy.
According to a report conducted by Food Standards Australia in 2016, it is estimated that 65% of Australian mothers might not be consuming sufficient iodine during pregnancy and breastfeeding even after mandatory iodine fortification in bread. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should consume 220ug and 270ug of iodine respectively every day since the mineral plays an important role in thyroid function such as thyroid hormone production. Iodine is crucial for the foetus’ brain and nervous system development. Inadequate iodine intake may impact the baby’s mental capacity after birth, and result in intellectual impairment, which are generally irreversible.
Can babies and children eat dry seaweed?
What about children? Young children from 0-13 years old requires 90-120 ug iodine a day which is 60-80% of what an adult is required. To ensure sufficient iodine intake for healthy brain development, small amount of unsalted seaweed flakes could be added in babies’ diet once started solids between 4 to 6 months. For toddlers and young children, the nutritious sea veggies could serve as a natural source for beneficial nutrients such as dietary fibre, calcium, iron, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin C. Including seaweed in children’s diet could ensure ingestion of multiple important vitamins and minerals. Besides, crispy and tasty seaweed snacks could serve as healthy alternatives to the family’s snacking.
Here are 3 tips to add seaweed in your little one’s diets:
#1 Sprinkle Rainbow Seaweed flakes on pasta, rice, eggs, and veggies, sushi
#2 Sprinkle Rainbow Seaweed Rice Seasoning on rice, salad, noodle, sushi and eggs
#3 Include the Rainbow Seaweed Seedy Bites in lunchboxes or afterschool snack
Food Standards Australia New Zealand 2016.
Li, M., Eastman, C. J., Waite, K. V., Ma, G., Byth, K., Zacharin, M. R., … & Mortimer, R. H. (2006). Are Australian children iodine deficient? Results of the Australian national iodine nutrition study. Medical Journal of Australia, 184(4), 165-169.
Monitoring the Australian population’s intake of dietary iodine before and after mandatory fortification