You don’t need me to bang on about how hard it is to get your kids eating healthy foods. When they grow up, they’ll soon realize how silly they were to avoid their greens and demand things like chicken nuggets and chips every night!
As a parent, you must ensure that your children grow up with a healthy diet that’s packed full of nutrition and points them towards a healthier life in the future. So, today’s recipes are all going to focus around one particular food that’s so beneficial for children; fish.
Why do kids need fish?
Naturally, most children hate fish as it can smell strange and they get scared when they walk past the fresh stuff in the grocery store. Plus, it doesn’t taste that great when you don’t cook it in ways that children will enjoy. There’s no point serving them up a fresh cod fillet as they just won’t eat it at all!
However, they need to start eating more fish as it’s packed full of so many beneficial things for you. There is a lot of protein in fish, which helps your children grow up stronger – and it’s one of the best sources of Vitamin D, an essential nutrient to protect against diseases and promote overall health. Then, you have the omega-3 fatty acids, which are the main reason people associate fish with being good for your brain. There are loads of other health benefits of eating fish, but these are the main ones that should concern you.
So, how do you get your children eating this food? Well, here are some recipes you can try that will change the way they feel about fish:
You can’t really go wrong with fishcakes as they cram a lot of good ingredients into a simple patty that’s easy to cook. Plus, the word cake will always strike a chord with children, so it’s a great way to try and get them to eat more fish.
There are plenty of ways you can make fishcakes, and you can include any type of cooked fish in them. As you can see on www.Citarella.com, it’s easy to find and buy any kind of fish these days – but I recommend getting your hands on some good quality salmon or crab. These work so well in fishcakes, and they combine with other ingredients to really mask the fishy taste.
That’s the key here; you want to add loads of flavors and textures, so your children don’t really feel like they’re eating fish at all. For this recipe, you’ll need 2 medium-sized potatoes, some lemon juice, black pepper, and something to use as the breadcrumbs. You can use actual breadcrumbs if you have them, or substitute some cream crackers instead. To garnish, chop up a few spring onions and grate over a bit of cheese.
They’re so incredibly easy for you to make; start by cooking the fish and boiling your potatoes for around 25 minutes until they’re soft. Let them cool down, then mash your potatoes and add in your fish. You want to really mash everything up and mix it all together – then season with vinegar and pepper. The addition of the potatoes really takes a lot away from the fish, it almost makes it taste like a potato cake rather than something with fish inside.
When you’re satisfied with the seasoning, you need to mold the mixture into small balls that can be flattened into burger-size patties. Then, get ready to coat them with your breadcrumb mixture! If you really want to spice things up, then mix in a dash of cajun seasoning into the breadcrumbs. This will just give an extra punch of flavor that your kids will enjoy. Cover each patty in the breadcrumbs, then get ready to bake them.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 425F oven, turning over halfway through. While they cook, you can chop up the spring onions and grate your cheese ready to sprinkle over the fishcakes when they’re out. Seeing as there is already some potatoes inside these cakes, you should serve them with something light like a bit of salad.
And that’s it; some delicious fishcakes that your kids will absolutely love! You can find the full ingredients listed below:
- 2 medium potatoes
- Around 200g of cooked salmon or crab
- The juice of one lemon
- Black pepper to season
- 100g of breadcrumbs or mashed up crackers/cornflakes
- Vegetable oil to coat the baking tray
- 1 spring onion
- Cheddar cheese
Fish Fingers & Chips
For decades, fish fingers have been every parent’s savior when it comes to getting fish into your children’s diet. There are frozen options available that aren’t really too bad, but nothing is ever as good as the homemade stuff! So, here’s a recipe for some beautiful homemade fish fingers, served with some equally delicious chips:
To start, you need to get some really good quality white fish fillets. Cod or haddock are the two main choices, and I find that kids tend to prefer cod. But, you can definitely use whichever one you want, so don’t feel obliged to go out of your way to get cod! You can see it says on www.ehow.com that cod has a milder flavor – which means adults often prefer haddock, but cod is better for kids that are a bit iffy about fish!
Either way, start by prepping your fish. Now, you can buy frozen cod fillets if you prefer to do that, just make sure they’re from a good source and don’t contain any additional things. If you do opt for frozen ones, then defrost overnight before you begin. Then, cut your cod into small finger shapes. These should be around 2cm wide, but you can go bigger if you want them to be chunkier. Don’t worry about them all being perfectly the same in shape – your kids won’t care!
Once this is done, you need to create a flour mixture that will coat the fish initially. This is part of the three-step coating stage known as pane. Here, you can get a little bit creative by adding some flavors to the flour mixture. Firstly, you need to start with regular flour, then season with some salt and pepper. Don’t put too much salt in as cod is already a bit salty! Now, you can add some lemon zest if you want, and some people add in either turmeric or paprika. They both add an extra dimension of flavor while making the fish fingers look cooler and crisp up nicely too.
When you have this flour mixture, you need to get another bowel and beat a couple of eggs in it. Then, get a third bowel and fill with breadcrumbs of your choice. Panko works really well, as do crushed up cornflakes for some extra crunch. But, you can use whatever breadcrumbs are readily available to you.
Now, you have your pane station set up, and you begin by passing your fish through the flour mixture, ensuring it’s fully coated. Then, dip it in the egg mixture to coat it some more, before finally covering it in the breadcrumbs. The flour helps add seasoning and allows the egg to stick to the fish finger, and the egg is there to let the breadcrumbs stick – it’s the perfect combo.
That’s literally all you need to do to make these, the only thing that’s left is cooking them and making your chips. To cook, heat some vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Then, add your fish fingers and fry for around 3 minutes on each side. You’ll know when they’re done because the coating turns nice and crispy with a golden color. Remove from the pan and leave on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
For the chips, par-boil some potatoes, so they soften up. Then, delicately cut them into chip shapes and toss with a smidge of oil and season with salt, pepper, and a bit of rosemary. Then, you can bake these in a 435F oven for around 30 or so minutes, turning midway through. Keep an eye on them as oven temperatures can vary! Obviously, it makes sense to prepare your chips in advance so you can cook them while you’re getting the fish fingers ready as well.
Then, you can serve the two together with some ketchup or mayo on the side. Believe me when I say this will go down a treat with your kids! The full ingredients list can be found below:
For the fish fingers:
- 450 – 500g cod fillets (preferably not frozen as you can then freeze your fish fingers before cooking them)
- 5 tbs regular flour
- (Optional) 1pbs paprika or turmeric
- ½ lemon
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- 2 eggs
- Breadcrumbs of choice
- Oil for frying
For the chips:
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 tbs oil
- Sea salt
- Dried rosemary
Hopefully, these two recipe ideas will go down a treat with your kids. They’re excellent ways of bringing more fish into their diets, and having either one at least once per week will be brilliant. They’re tasty, and your kids can even join in mixing the fishcakes together or coating the fish fingers!