6 Ideas for Getting Your Children to Eat Fish

Fish is an important part of a healthy diet. Fish offers a number of nutrients, and is rich in iodine. But getting your children to eat fish can often be a challenge. Don't worry, we're here to help.
6 Ideas for Getting Your Children to Eat Fish

Last update: 11 November, 2018

Are you having a hard time getting your children to eat fish? It’s no secret that teaching children to eat well is no easy task.

We always come across picky eaters who have limited preferences and refuse to eat certain foods. This can be frustrating for parents, and lead to problems for children – including poor nutrition.

Parents need to use their imagination and creativity when it comes to preparing attractive meals. This is especially true when it comes to foods that children are more reluctant to eat.

Fish has a reputation of being one of the hardest foods to get little ones to accept. That’s why we want to offer you some tips to help you overcome this challenge.

The benefits of including fish in your child’s diet

A lack of iodine is the main cause of cerebral accidents and injuries during infancy. Fish is high in this important nutrient. If you include fish as part of your children’s diet, this will help assure their proper development.

Consuming fish can reduce triglyceride levels and significantly improve arterial health in adults. If we don’t include fish in our children’s diet, then we won’t be strengthening them against these dangers.

Therefore, eliminating fish from our little one’s diet shouldn’t be an option. It’s a food that has a high nutritional value.

It’s not only an important source of iodine, but it also offers protein and essential fatty acids (it’s rich in omega-3). What’s more, it supplies our bodies with vitamins A, D and E, iron, calcium and zinc.

All of this contributes to the stimulation of growth and development of our children. That’s why we want to provide some tips to help you when it comes to getting your children to eat fish.

6 ideas for getting your children to eat fish

1. Getting babies to eat fish

If you want to prepare fish for your baby, you should always steam it, boil it or bake it. It’s best to wait until your little one is at least 12 months old to introduce fish.

That being said, we recommend offering fish to your baby as soon as your pediatrician gives the okay. This will help your little one get used to the tastes and textures of fish early on.

As a result, your child will already have a taste for fish and seafood when he or she is older.

6 Ideas for Getting Your Children to Eat Fish

2Ground fish

Ground fish is a great ally, since it gives you the option of creating fish nuggets. You can really get creative and create nuggets in the shape of fish, starfish, shells, etc. This will make eating fish a lot more fun for the littlest members of your family.

3. Pizza or pasta with fish

If you’re trying to get your child to accept the new flavor and texture that fish offers, we suggest pizza or pasta. Try adding tuna to a pasta dish, or anchovies to your pizza. This is a subtle way to use foods your child already loves to subtly introduce fish .

Without a doubt, pasta is one of your child’s favorite meal options. Adding a bit of salmon to the mix is an excellent idea. Cut it into small pieces, sauté, and add it to your favorite pasta dish. Without a doubt, your children will love it.

Fish offers protein and essential fatty acids (it’s rich in omega-3). What’s more, it supplies our bodies with vitamins A, D and E, iron, calcium and zinc.”

 4. Avoid bones

Keep this point in mind whenever you offer your child fish. If your little one accidentally bites down on or swallows a fish bone, it could be cause for a very unpleasant memory.

To keep this from happening, we recommend you opt for boneless fish such as tuna or tilapia. Otherwise, be sure to tediously remove all bones yourself.

5. Use variety to your favor

Don’t fall into the trap of always making the same fish the same way. Rather, be creative when planning your meals. Try new sauces and combinations to shake things up. 

Use colors that your children like. All of this will go a long way in getting your children to eat fish, as it will make it look more appealing to them.

6. Flavor and smell

This is a very important point. Some fish have very strong tastes and odors – especially when they’re grilled or boiled.

Therefore, we recommend tenderizing fish with lemon, aromatic herbs and olive oil. You can also add your child’s favorite side dishes to make fish more appetizing.

6 Ideas for Getting Your Children to Eat Fish

Remember that you need to set a good example for your children. This means avoiding junk food yourself, and including fish in your own diet. 

We recommend being organized and planning your family menus ahead of time each week. That way, you’ll have everything under control and won’t have to come up with meal ideas at the last minute.

Cooking with your children also stimulates a love for trying new foodsExplain in a simple way the benefits of different foods.

For example, tell your children that fish helps them grow, carrots help them see better, and broccoli leads to stronger bones.

Your children will see your own passion and enthusiasm for the ingredients that make up their meals.

Good nutritional habits are easy to instill in our children if we ourselves practice them. So remember to make positive choices when it comes to your own lifestyle.

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.

  • Zhou SJ., Condo D., Ryan P., Skeaff SA., et al., Association between maternal iodine intake in pregnancy and childhood neurodevelepment at age 18 months. Am J Epidemiol, 2019. 188 (2): 332-338.
  • Stella AB., Cappellari GG., Barazzoni R., Zanetti M., Update on the impact of omega 3 fatty acids on inflammation, insulin resistance and sarcopenia: a review. Int J Mol Sci, 2018.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.