In our previous blog posts, we have discussed the health benefits that come with incorporating fish into your diet. Today, let’s cover the health benefits that are significantly beneficial to children who consume fish on a regular basis, as they grow and change into adults.
The Nutrition Facts
A healthy protein option, fattier fish offer kids a great dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to the body’s processes, especially in development. Playing a large role in brain health, omega-3’s are great for development of the nervous system and vision.
In addition to healthy fats, fish are packed with loads of vitamins and minerals that aid in a healthy child’s development, such as iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
What Fish Should Kids Eat?
As good as fish can be, it is also important that kids are eating the right kind and amount of fish. In the delicate state of development, some fish can contain higher traces of mercury that may be harmful to growing brains. For this reason, it’s best to avoid fish such as swordfish and blue fin tuna.
Instead, opt for fish that are lower in mercury and higher in brain boosting fats, vitamins, and minerals such as Salmon, Trout, Herring, Tilapia, Pollock, Shrimp, Lobster, Clams, and others that are similar.
The recommended healthy serving of fish for kids depends on their age. In general kids aged two to three should have about one ounce, ages four to seven should have two, ages eight to ten should have three, and ages 11 and up should have 4. The healthy recommended frequency of fish for kids to consume is about one to two times per week.
How Do I Get My Kids to Eat Fish?
One of the main reasons that kids do not get enough fish is largely the stigma surrounding its taste and also the common phenomena of picky eaters. Although it can be difficult to get kids to eat fish, there are sneaky ways and recipes you can try and incorporate into the weekly menu.
One of the tried-and-true methods of getting kids to eat fish is via fish sticks or nuggets. A delicious finger food, fish sticks are breaded goodness that can be dipped in any sauce that might appeal to your little one. Most of the time, the child may not even realize that they are eating fish, but perhaps just another form of their beloved chicken nugget.
If you are looking for an option that is more appealing to the entire family, it may be best to opt for lighter, white fish, who’s flavor is not overwhelming and easily seasoned. Baked haddock or fried cod, in combination with buttery seasoned potatoes and other veggies are hard options for even the pickiest of eaters to resist.
When first introducing kids to fish, be sure to do an allergy test prior to consuming a large amount and be aware of potential indications of an allergic reaction.