Fish is one the best foods to include as a part of a healthy daily diet as it is packed with necessary nutrients like vitamin D and protein. On top of that, oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, the "good" fat that our bodies and brains need. Unfortunately, children aren't often convinced to try things just because they know that what they're being asked to try is good for the body. In fact, this approach often has the opposite effect to the one you'd like. So, how exactly do you go about getting your kids to try fish other than trusty old fishfingers? Read on for some tried and tested approaches that should work on even the pickiest eaters.
You don't want to start your venture by serving your children moules marinières or lobster! Start slow by chopping up bits of salmon or tuna steak and mixing them in with your children's favourite foods, whether that be mashed potatoes, risotto or pasta. Even if your children refuse to eat the fish the first time, if you keep serving the food this way they'll eventually give it a try.
Serve it with a dip
If you want kids to try a new food, a lot of the time making the food dippable makes it a lot of exciting and attractive. So, give this a go with fish. Try bits of salmon burgers chopped up small and served on cocktail sticks alongside some prawns and serve them with tartar sauce, tomato sauce and mayo.
Take your kids to a seafood restaurant
Many kids tend to be a little more adventurous when they eat out and will try dishes at a restaurant that they wouldn't necessarily try at home, so take your children to a seafood restaurant and hopefully they'll leave with an appreciation for fish. If one of your children has a friend who is a fish-eater, consider taking him or her along with you... a bit of peer pressure could work wonders here! If your child sees a friend chomping down on some rainbow trout or a dish of sumptuous scallops tossed with tagliatelle, they may be tempted to follow suit.
Get them involved
Let your children get involved in the preparation of the dish, from buying the fish at the supermarket or fishmongers to making the fish into a delicious meal. By the time the fish is ready to eat, your children will no doubt be ready to give it a try. Go for a simple fish like salmon or cod and decide on a recipe with your children. A great start is something simple like homemade fish and chips or even homemade fishfingers, which are a vast improvement on the store-bought variety.
And don't worry if your kids don't fall in love with fish overnight. Keep at it, be patient, and hopefully your children will develop a love for seafood that will last a lifetime.