How to get Kids to Eat Fish?!
Fish is an important source of a number of key nutrients but it can be tricky convincing little ones of this! Benefits of Fish Protein - Fish is very high in protein, which supplies the body with necessary building blocks for physical and mental health. In addition, protein creates the feeling of satiety (feeling full). Minerals - Essential minerals of iodine, selenium, zinc and potassium are all found in fish. Riboflavin and vitamins B2 and D are also found in fish which help transport calcium into the bones. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Perhaps the most important advantage of eating seafood is that it is an important source of our omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's are essential for brain function, great skin, anti-inflammatory protection and reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Amount? It is recommended to have at least 2 servings of seafood a week, that's children and adults alike. Fish which contain the highest levels of omega-3s are your oily fish including salmon, tuna and sardines so ideally have at least one meal a week containing these. Involve! Involving children in the preparation of seafood is a sure way to engage them in eating it and teaching them about this crucial food source. Here in Auckland (NZ) the Auckland Fish Market is a great place to visit with lots of different fish (straight from the sea) and plenty of options to taste, try and buy! We go there a lot as the raw fish salad is amazing at it is right next to the play ground at Wyndard Quarter. One of these pics was from an earlier visit when Arjun had broken his arm and one is Smushie sharing a raw fish salad with me! Opportunity With something like fish kids may need quite a few opportunities to try and taste before they really develop a liking to it. Keep experiment with different types of fish and with different recipes. There are some ideas below but also do not forget sometimes fish does not need to be a full meal. We often take smoked fish with us to the beach as it is something it can be eaten cold and is super fast to prepare. The boys have generally worked up quite an appetite and want to get back playing quickly so do not fuss as much about what they are eating (#mumwin). Meal Ideas So just how to get fish in your family meals in a way that the little ones will eat? Here are some ideas for you including recipes from Vanessa Baxter and Jamie Oliver (I happen to have 3 fish recipes in my cook book Healthy Easy Dinners for Busy Mums, some pics below for you too):
- Fish Cakes - Jamie Oliver
- Jools Crunchy Fish - Jamie Oliver
- Fish Pie (recipe in Healthy Easy Dinners for Busy Mums)
- Fish 'n' Chips and Pea Smash (recipe also in my cook book)
- Easy Crab Curry - thanks to my hubby!
- Grilled Fish for the Family Table - Vanessa Baxter
- Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf - Vanessa Baxter