Brainy ideas to get the kids to eat more fish

Wed 10th September 2014
Brain 1

Uniform bought, pencils sharpened, alarms set and bags packed - it seems like just yesterday that the kids were on summer holidays. As the nights get darker quicker, it's a little comforting to knuckle down and get back into our normal routines after the summer. Structure = sanity!

When it comes to setting kids off to school we know that breakfast is important to feed their bodies and minds but what about when they come home in the evening?

Do you have the challenge of feeding them quick, healthy meals that won't break the budget? Often it's just an actual battle to get them to eat anything healthy at all. What they want to eat seems to be getting less and less or your time is constantly being squeezed between meal times and their after school activities, work and looking after the rest of the family.

What about fish? Many of us have been brought up on the old wives tail that fish is brain food. Well it actually is! Fish and seafood are great sources of vitamins, minerals and omega-3, the latter of which the human body can't make on its own. Our brain needs omega-3 to be healthy and it's not only brain power that fish is good for, it's also good for helping us have a strong heart, bones, muscles, not to mention healthy skin and hair.

So why wouldn't you cook more fish at home? It's probably because it's difficult, expensive and will stink your house out, right? Fish is the Dish, a campaign run by Seafish, is designed to help mums and dads, grans and granddads find out how easy, quick and inexpensive fish can be. As for stinking out the house, fresh fish doesn't smell and by simply oven cooking your fish it means you won't be reaching for the air freshener!

Are your kids really fussy? All of us have certain foods we dont like but one good way of getting kids to eat more variety is actually getting them to help in the kitchen and prepare their meals. Making fish fingers is great for this - you can keep the little ones occupied at the weekend by making a batch of fish fingers and you can freeze and bring them out when you need them during the week. You can even ask your fish monger or fish counter if they have any broken fish which is perfect for fish fingers and might even be cheaper than whole fillets.

If you don't have the time or energy at the end of the day, don't worry, your kids can still get some of the great nutritional benefits from fish from your freezer. Our friends, including Birdseye, Young's, Whitby Seafood, Saucy Fish and Lyons, have a great range of products to choose from.  Don't forget tinned fish either - and it doesn't have to be salmon or tuna - give sardines or mackerel a try. Tinned mackerel, costing well under £1 per tin, can be used in baked potatoes, pittas, sandwiches or even just flaked on a pizza. You can have a healthy meal in minutes that won't break the bank and we challenge you to see how tasty it is and how far it can stretch.

When it comes to the end of the week, it's often time for a takeaway treat! It's worth remembering that the fat and calories in the average portion of fish and chips is far less than in pizzas, curries or other takeaway options. So, a takeaway treat doesn't have to be as sinful as you think. What's more, we have a fantasic fish and chips competition that will see 20 winners from around the UK winning £50 worth of fish and chips to treat their family and friends. You've got to be 'in it to win it' so simply check it out here. Our Back 2 Skool book is brimming with brainy ideas to help you get little ones to eat seafood. It also has plenty to encourage big kids too so it's even more helpful for you when you are trying to cram the most into your day.

How would you encourage kids to eat more seafood? Tweet us @fishisthedish Heather xx