Yep, it’s possible to get the youngins to eat their fish, even the picky ones! We’re lucky to live in Jacksonville, where fresh fish is readily available and local chefs have mastered the art of making it yummy. We have a few tricks up our sleeve to make fish not only edible for the kids, but enjoyable. Fish is such a serious brain food, it’s crazy not to introduce it to your little one’s diet. But shhh, they don’t need to know about the abundance of Omega 3s or Vitamin D.
Fry baby, fry
Sorry paleo mamas, but this might be a time to break the diet. Kids often veer away from seafood because of texture, and frying the fish is the perfect solution. The fish will get a crunch similar to a chicken tender, while still giving your kids a glimpse into the unique, light taste of fish.
Let ‘em double-dip
Gasp! Yeah, yeah, we’ve abandoned all sense of manners. But hey, if it makes the kids crave seafood, we’re all for it. Serve up a side of honey mustard, ranch, tartar sauce or ketchup with some fried fish and you’re sure to satisfy the little ones. The idea is to expose them to the flavor of fish in moderation.
Eat up on vacay
Vacation is an awesome time to order a seafood entree and create a memory. Think about it: you’ve been swimming, laughing, exploring and most importantly, eating amazing food. If you order seafood on a tropical vacation where the vibes are great, your children will immediately make a connection between seafood and a trip to paradise. Plenty of studies show that if you can create a connection between fish and a good memory opposed to fish and the seafood aisle of the grocery store, your kids are more inclined to enjoy seafood. A little scientific? Yeah. Worth a try? Definitely.
Whether your kids love tacos, spaghetti or soup, sneak a little seafood in. Instead of chicken tacos, use pan-fried fish. You get the picture. If you want to go a little further, gradually add drops of fish oil into smoothies or on sandwiches. Experiment with entrees like seafood teriyaki, fajitas and quesadillas.
Peer pressure works
Wow, we definitely sound like bad influences! Have a little dinner party and invite some of your friends and their friends who are known seafood lovers. When your kids see their friends eating fish, they’ll want to copy their friends. It’s a fishy little tip, but it’ll do the job.
Channel your inner Lady Gaga
Not with the crazy outfits, silly. We’re talking poker face. It’s tempting to stare the kids down when they take their first bites of fish, but refrain. Try to avoid clapping and cheering, too. And if they don’t like it, hold in your disappointment. If you treat fish like steak or chicken, it won’t seem like a big deal to your kids when they try it. The food fear comes from stigmas, and it’s your job to remove them.
Lucky for you, we offer lots of kid-friendly seafood dishes at Julington Creek Fish Camp. Your kids will love the yummy flavors of the fish and you’ll love the health benefits. We’ve kept our kids menu pretty simple to satisfy everyone, but feel free to let your kids explore our main menu! We have plenty of options, and we’re so excited to be the first stop on their seafood adventure.
What we recommend from our menu:
- Fried Chicken Tenders (Kids Menu)
- Fried Fish Filet with fries, hush puppies and slaw
- Pan Fried Fish Sandwich with French Fries and Turnip Slaw
- Roast Cod Filet with Brown Butter, Garlic & Lemon, Parsley Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables
- Rick’s All Day Seafood Soup