How to Get Children to Like Fish
Does your child like fish? If not, you should know that the environment around the table has a lot of influence on tastes and habits. So, read on to find out how to get children to like fish.
Benefits of eating fish as a child
First of all, it’s important to know the reasons why fish is beneficial to health. Fish consumption is recommended at least 3 to 4 times a week. It’s a source of high-quality protein, which contributes to maintaining good muscle mass.
In addition, it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which favor the correct functioning of the brain. They intervene in memory and intellectual development, which are so necessary during the school stage. It’s especially noticeable with oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, etc.
At the same time, it provides large amounts of vitamins A and D, which keep the immune system in good condition, especially at the digestive level.
It also contains iodine, a mineral responsible for regulating the production of thyroid hormones that contribute to the proper functioning of energy expenditure. It also contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential for bone formation and preventing the risk of ramps and falls due to fractures.
Key aspects on how to make children like fish
It’s essential that mealtime is a pleasant time and takes place in a place dedicated exclusively for that purpose. For this reason, it’s a good idea to eliminate any kind of distraction that may hinder the enjoyment or alter the feeling of hunger.
You can also take the opportunity to comment on how the day went without getting into arguments. Some of the basic rules, in this sense, are as follows:
- Allow your kids to go shopping with you so they can learn about the wide variety of fish available.
- Let them help you cook or suggest different recipes. They’ll learn new skills and then they’ll want to try it.
- Alternate different types of fish, cooking techniques, and presentations. Remember that there’s life beyond frozen fish sticks.
- Serve them a plate with the amount they’re going to eat, accompanied by some other food they love.
- Forget about trying to disguise it. Otherwise, they’ll never know if they really like it or not.
- Prepare some sauce or use spices and aromatic herbs to enhance their flavor.
- Leave them at least 20-30 minutes to eat calmly without forcing them or offering them any reward at the end. On the contrary, they’ll dislike rejecting it every time, or they’ll eat it in a hurry to get that prize. When they’re older, they’ll have this situation engraved in their memory.
Different ways to include fish in children’s everyday life
Here are some ideas for cooking fish in an appealing and appetizing way. Try to avoid just grilling it or always resorting to salads or serving fish with salads. Some good examples are:
- Baked fish with vegetables and citrus fruits.
- Tilapia or goosefish pie with vegetables.
- Meatballs, as they’re versatile and are usually very well accepted.
- Brandade to use as stuffing or to make croquettes.
- Shrimp scrambled eggs.
- Hot fish cream soup, ideal for combatting the cold. You can garnish it with diced ham, pumpkin seeds, or sprouts, for example.
- Tartar or ceviche with vinaigrette.
- Pasta with salmon sauce, grilled or marinara style.
Finally, remember that fish contributes to their brain development, so it’s highly recommended that you get them to like it by following the above guidelines. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if the fish is fresh or frozen, as it has the same nutritional properties.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad. Bedca (Base de Datos Española de Composición de Alimentos)
- Bee Wilson. (2016). El primer bocado: cómo aprendemos a comer. 1ª ed. España: Turner; 2016.
- El País. ¿Por qué a los niños no les gusta la verdura ni el pescado. (2016)
- Eroski Consumer. Otorgar protagonismo al pescado en la dieta infantil diaria.
- Eroski Consumer. Maneras atractivas de cocinar pescado.