We all know that making your children try on new things is quite the adventure. Toddlers can be very picky and, even though you may have the best intentions, they will end up refusing various foods until you finally find a way around their stubbornness. Fish is definitely one of the toughest foods you can give to your children as most of them will refuse eating it.
So how can you make sure your kid receives all the necessary nutrients from fish meat? The easiest way to start diversifying your toddler’s diet is by integrating each food at a time. Choose your baby’s favorite dish and add a new ingredient every couple of days and see if he or she gets used to it. Don’t force them into trying entirely new recipes at once as you may encounter a firm refusal.
But, although it takes a lot of time and patience, with the right ingredients and combination of tastes, you too can help your child get used to fish. Here are some of the recipes we recommend for starters.
If you don’t have all day long, you can skip your fishing game using a new fishing rod and reel and head to the farmer’s market for some fresh sea ingredients. We suggest choosing trout, tuna or salmon and avoiding freshwater fish since their meat is fatter.
Make sure to thoroughly clean each piece of fish and to get rid of all the skin and bones. Cut the fish into small pieces and put these into a large bowl with boiling water. Add one small diced carrot, a finely chopped tomato, and red bell pepper. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper and some lemon juice. Instead of regular water, you can use chicken stock.
Let the soup cook at low heat for about an hour and gently mix using a wooden spoon from time to time. Serve with freshly chopped parsley on top. Again, if you choose this type of food for your toddler, make sure there are no bones, and that all the fish pieces are small and easy to swallow.
Pan-fried tuna and guacamole sauce
Children are in love with meatballs so now is your chance to make them try new ingredients. You can make both veggie and fish meatballs and serve them alone or with delicious mashed potatoes, depending on your child’s preferences.
For this simple recipe of pan-fried tuna, you are going to need about one ounce of drained tuna, chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan, breadcrumbs, one egg, and high-quality olive oil.
Mix the tuna with freshly ground salt, pepper, parsley, and the grated parmesan until you obtain a thick paste. Add one whisked egg into the composition and use your hands to mix some more.
Make medium-sized meatballs and place them in a pan with frying olive oil. We don’t suggest making the meatballs too small as they may represent a choking hazard. Moreover, closely watch the quantity of salt and pepper you use since toddlers have sensitive stomachs. Use pink Himalayan salt or low-sodium salt. Optionally, you can replace the pepper with freshly ground oregano.
Cook the tuna meatballs for 1-2 minutes on both sides and don’t forget to remove any excess oil or fat by patting them with a paper towel. Serve the meatballs with fresh guacamole sauce or mashed potatoes.
Fish & chips
If you truly want to make things more interesting for your kid, why not take him or her to a nice fishing game and a day off spent in one of the safe inflatable fishing boats? This way your kid will learn from a young age that one should make an effort to cook dinner every night. Hopefully, this way your child will also learn to appreciate a good portion of fish and chips.
If you don’t have time for catching the fish yourself, we suggest opting for salmon as it is extremely rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is a reliable source of proteins and minerals. Also, make sure to choose quality potatoes. Serve these fish fingers with oven baked potatoes instead of the regular fried wedges.