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Annabel Karmel
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How to get kids eating fish

Fish is a fantastic food for the whole family – it’s packed with essential nutrients such as protein and vitamin D. Fish is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.

But how do you sell it to the younger crowd without the cries of ‘I don’t like the fishy taste’ and ‘it’s got bones in it’?  Here are my simple hacks for packing in their 2-a-week.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Serving fish consistently every week allows your child the opportunity to establish familiarity with its taste, texture and smell. The more familiar your child is with a food the more likely they are to eat it or try it prepared in a different way.  It can take children up to 15 attempts to accept a new food, so patience is a virtue!

 

Time-saving twists

Saving time doesn’t have to mean compromising on goodness. When you need a quick midweek meal up your sleeve, pre-prepared fish that you can pop in the microwave is a saviour. Check out my 5 Veggie Rainbow Rice using pre-prepared cod steaks in a butter sauce. Add a rainbow of veggies, and voila!  A family pleaser in under 15 minutes.

Make it mild

Crispy Baked Cod with Sweet Potato Chips recipe by Annabel Karmel

When first introducing fish, try a milder type. Cod, salmon and plaice are great choices. I love to serve a healthy twist on traditional fish and chips with cod in a Rice Krispie coating with baked sweet potato wedges. Fishcakes are also really child friendly, so keep a stash in the freezer for midweek meals.

 

Add the fun-factor

Kids love to play with their food, and that’s ok if it means they are more likely to try new foods. Using fish as your meal centre, look at what you can serve it with to feed little imaginations.  Pop colourful veggies into separate bowls and challenge them to make their own work of art. Deep Sea Flipper Dinner is a great idea for some underwater dinner fun!

 

Natural sweetness

Sometimes adding a slight sweetness to fish can make it even more appealing to children.

Flavour exploration is so important in a child’s food journey, so adding something like grated apple to a recipe, or a sweet dipping sauce is a good way to entice them to discover new tastes. This is one of my favourite recipes trending right now – Popcorn Scampi with Fruity Curry Dipping Sauce.

 

DIY with fish

Kids love a bit of DIY dining…building tacos, fajitas, pizzas. So why not switch it up and swap out your meat for fish next time?  These are the perfect dishes to bring the whole family together, so set out a toppings bar full of fresh cut veggies to accompany the fish, plus some saucy toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

From making the morning toast and rolling the lunchtime wraps, to having a hand in making dinner, helping to preparing tasty, good food should be part of daily life.

Discover some great fish recipes to cook with the kids here.