How to Cook Seafood They’ll Eat

by Shaun Dreisbach

How to Cook Seafood They’ll Eat

4 tricks to get them to take a bite out of brain-boosting fish dishes

You already know how healthy seafood can be — it’s an excellent source of lean protein, low in unhealthy fats, and high in beneficial ones that have been shown to enhance brain development and may even improve ADHD symptoms. But how the heck do you get your kid to eat it? “The key is to fix fish in a way that feels familiar — or incorporate it into dishes you know she already likes. Then there’s a much greater chance she’ll go for it. I’ve seen total fish haters turn around and love it,”says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D. Try these quick serving suggestions and your kid just might bite:

1. Mix canned salmon, bread crumbs, whatever veggies and seasonings your child likes, and an egg to hold it all together. Form into a patty, and bake it or panfry with olive oil. It will look like something your child is used to and already loves (ooh — a burger!), so she’ll be more willing to try it.

2. Slice any firm white fish (such as cod) into strips, bread them, and pop ’em into the oven to crisp. Voilà, fish fingers! Pass the ketchup, please. 

3. Add pieces of sautéed scallops or shrimp to pasta noodles with your kid’s preferred veggies, and give her a big lemon wedge to squirt over the top.

4. Flavor fish dishes with your child’s favorite condiments or sauces. Try grilled salmon with honey-mustard dressing on top, or sauté seafood with low-sodium soy sauce and orange juice concentrate. Sweet teriyaki sauce is another go-to fish condiment that often appeals to younger palates.