Kids can eat cuisine, like fish, even from a young age! Start them off with this baked salmon and watch them fall in love with fish!
Many people think of fish as an adult food, or just for grown ups. But the truth is, kids can (and should) be eating the same food as their parents. The only exception to this is shellfish if your family has a tendency toward allergies. Other fish like tuna, halibut, salmon and sardines not only have amazing health benefits for young kids, but can also help them enjoy the flavor and texture of fish.
Health Benefits of Baked Salmon:
Fish, like salmon, is one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids are already deficient in the standard American diet, so salmon is a great choice for kids. Other benefits of including salmon in your diet, beyond the essential fatty acids they provide are:
- Tryptophan (an excellent source)
- Selenium (53 mcg per 4 ounces- excellent source)
- Protein (29 grams per 4 ounces!)
- Vitamin B 12 (3.3 mcg per 4 ounces)
- Niacin (11 mcg per 4 ounces)
Types of Salmon
There are a few types of salmon you’ve likely heard of when shopping. Wild caught and farm raised are two designations that salmon are sold with. Here’s a break down of what you need to know:
- Wild caught salmon- This is the ideal choice, as the fish has been living in the “wild”. This fish tastes better and has a higher omega-3 to omega-6 ration, meaning there is more of the good fat present in the fish.
- Farm raised salmon- many concerns have been raised about farm raised salmon. They are raised in pens, and are fed pellets that skew their fatty acid profile to be higher in omega-6 than omega-3. They are also fed artificial color so their flesh is more pink, to look more like wild caught. The farm raised fish could be treated with antibiotics, because they live in such close proximity to each other. The fish itself is lower in protein (20% lower) because they don’t exercise the same as wild salmon.
- Canned salmon- this can be a good choice if the label says the salmon is wild caught (for reasons noted above). But this isn’t always the case. Read the label to be sure.
So, get yourself some salmon today. Buy wild caught if your kids are new to fish, because it will definitely taste better and you’ll have the most opportunity for them to like the taste. For a few different fish recipes your kids will like, check out these below:
- 2 cup rice pilaf
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 cup pineapple
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse fish; pat dry. Zest 1 teaspoon of peel from lemon; set aside. Cut lemon in half; juice half the lemon.
- In a small bowl combine the lemon peel, herbs, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Spread evenly over the salmon.
- Heat butter in a 12-inch nonstick oven-going skillet over medium heat. Add salmon, herb side down. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip salmon; drizzle with lemon juice. Place pan in oven and bake for 3 to 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
- While salmon is baking, prepare the rice according to package directions.
- Saute or steam asparagus.
- Transfer salmon to serving plates; drizzle with pan juices.
- Serve salmon with rice pilaf, asparagus and pineapple.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie