Children can be fussy eaters at the best of times, but what about when you introduce new foods? Most parents become experts at introducing new foods undetected. Whether that’s sneaking vegetables into pasta sauces or blending soups to disguise some ingredients, there are plenty of ways to introduce seafood without it being a big deal.
The Best Starter Seafood for Kids
Seafood is an excellent source of protein and healthy Omega 3, but it can be tricky knowing where to start with incorporating seafood into their diets. One of our favorites is by offering them lobster pizza, but here are our best picks and top tips for getting children enthused about seafood!
Children Eat with Their Eyes
Just like adults, children eat with their eyes too! If something looks a little dubious, they’re less likely to try something new. Serve alongside something you know they love, so the whole meal isn’t new, just one component.
Perhaps your child has collected shells on the beach before, so having them on their plates makes the dish more exciting. Cook up paella and serve it topped with an assortment of seafood to make it look appealing.
Avoid a Strong Seafood Taste
As we get older, the number of taste buds we have decreases. This is one of the reasons why adults tend to prefer intense flavors such as coffee, mustard, and olives.
It does mean that children have a very acute sense of taste. Some things we consider relatively mild taste much more powerful to children, so consider this as you begin to add seafood into their diets. While we may love a very authentic fishy flavor, children may not!
Red shrimp is a great starting point because of its mild and sweet flavor.
Consider the Texture You’re Serving
Children are often quite particular about certain textures when it comes to food. Stirring a seafood mix into rice or spaghetti is an excellent way to combine those new textures with something more familiar instead of eating seafood solo.
It’s pretty common for children to dislike “slimy” textures, so opt for a firmer, more meaty texture. Octopus has a chunky texture similar to meat or firm fish that children may prefer.
Get Stuck In
Like mussels and clams, Seafood is an excellent carrier for sauce, so prepare your seafood alongside their favorite sauces or dressings and encourage them to scoop it up with the shells!
Seafood is perfect finger food, so try switching out regular snacks for seafood for a more casual approach. Skewers are an excellent way to serve seafood that can feel fun and a novelty for your children.
If your child is a fan of onion rings, try fried calamari rings as an adventurous alternative! Serve with their favorite dips.