By Ren Behan
Getting little ones to enjoy different types of fish can sometimes be tricky, especially if fish fingers are usually at the top of the request list. A good way of getting the kids to eat more fish is to get them involved in the menu planning and to include it on the menu regularly, trying a few simple recipes first.
Jamie’s Grilled cod with pancetta & pea mash is a lovely, easy recipe to try for the whole family. You can also use haddock instead of cod. The fish will be soft enough for little ones to manage, just remember to check for any small bones once cooked.
Most kids seem to love food on a stick, so you could try some simple fish kebabs, with some cherry tomatoes added onto each skewer along with cubes of fish. Pan-fry, griddle or add the kebabs to the barbeque and serve with plenty of salad and warmed pitta bread.
Children also love ‘building’ their own food or choosing bits from a small selection of things on offer – it gives them a little bit of choice and independence in a fun way. Set out some cooked fillets of fish as well as some buns or wraps, cucumber slices, grated carrot, shredded lettuce and some cheese. See what they come up with – a towering fish burger or maybe a fish taco. It could be a bit messy, but the aim is to make them think that eating fish is fun!
Jamie’s 15-minute recipe for The best fish baps with mushy peas & tartare sauce is something to move on to, using flat-fish fillets such as such as plaice, lemon sole, or dab. We like to add slices of cheese and plenty of ketchup for dipping into.
When it comes to salmon, splashing a little soy and honey onto the fish is tasty. You could also try adding a few flakes of plain baked or poached salmon into their favourite dishes, such as macaroni cheese or spaghetti with tomato sauce. Tuna fish pasta, with tinned tuna, tinned tomatoes and a quick cheesy sauce poured over the top is a winner, too.
A fish pie can also be popular with kids – the creaminess of the mashed potato and a flavourful sauce can help things along. Here’s a video showing you how to make an easy Fish pie with hardly any chopping involved at all.
Ren Behan is a food writer and mum of two – find out more at www.renbehan.com