Fish is a healthy and tasty choice for all ages! Including kids!
It’s well known that wild salmon includes lots of beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. The great news is that other seafood options are also rich in nutrients - which makes it easier to find favorites that kids will enjoy.
In addition to wild salmon, whitefish is a healthy option, and that helps kids experience the benefits of wild fish - regardless of their taste preferences!
Benefits of Eating Wild Fish
Eating wild fish is linked to a host of benefits including:
- Lower risk for heart disease, diabetes and autoimmune disorder
- Nutrients that support mental health and well being as well as brain health
- Wild seafood is high in protein, minerals, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids
- Wild fish have been shown to reduce childhood asthma, and aid in improving sleep and memory
No matter how your family is preparing to return to school this fall, keeping kids focused is likely on your mind. Focus and attention can gain a lot of support from a healthy diet. To help kids be “present” in class, try including at least one fish meal per week for an optimal health approach.
Not sure where to start when thinking of seafood lunch ideas for kids? We’re here to help! We’ve gathered four great recipes for fish meals kids will love. And remember, tuna, salmon, and affordable and tasty whitefish like cod, are all great wild fish options for kids.
The Challenges with Kids Eating Healthy
Kids are a big part of the community at Wild for Salmon. We know how challenging it can be to get kids to eat well! Those sugary, “fast” and processed foods are just so enticing! To help you out we’ve rounded up a few fish recipes for kids that we’ve personally tested and found will earn the kid seal of approval The Omega-3s found in these fish recipes are the healthy fatty acids linked to good brain functioning and energy. Think healthy meals kids enjoy - packed with seafood protein and low fuss.
Also … fish is fast and easy to cook, we promise! It can be as fast as boiling pasta or frying an egg. There are many different ways to prepare fish. If a baked fish with lemon on top isn’t doing it for your kids, what about a school lunch option of wild-caught smoked salmon ravioli or a salmon burger that takes just a few minutes to cook?
Get Fun and Creative
If the fun and simple presentation of a burger or pasta still isn’t doing it, it may be time to pull out a few more stops and get creative when brainstorming your school lunch ideas. We have some wild fish options, with the same salmon health benefits your kids need, that can be used to decoratively present the food. Food art is a fun way to get your family exploring new foods without immediately dismissing a plain vegetable or a fish portion. Try cutting a piece of lettuce to look like seaweed or slicing carrots in the shape of seastars! If this is the right type of fun for you and your family - we’d love to see what you come up with! Be sure to tag us in your posts on Instagram!
The following recipes will really get the kids excited about healthy lunch.
Cod Bites: Back to School!
Similarly to traditional fish sticks, this healthy kids’ lunch is made from wild-caught Pacific Cod loins, which are packed with protein. You don’t need the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish to make whitefish delicious and a first choice for the kids. The flavor is mild and buttery - perfect for the kids in your family who like their pasta plain with butter.
Baked Salmon Meatballs
Our ground sockeye salmon is super versatile to cook with and offers you the option to substitute wild-caught salmon in any dish that calls for ground meat.
What’s our ground sockeye salmon choice for a healthy kids meal? Baked Salmon Meatballs. Such a fun finger food with all the benefits you’ve expect from salmon. And quite the favorite in the homes of Wild for Salmon’s staff.
This meal is low-maintenance to make and easy to clean up! Add veggies to the same pan and easily turn it into a one-pan meal! Our friend Emma Frisch is often reminding us to include kids in meal prep - and this recipe is definitely one the kids can help with.
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops and Black Garlic Sauce
You do not need to stick to fish in order to add nutritious seafood to your school lunch ideas. Shellfish like scallops are often popular with kids. Especially when paired with an ingredient like bacon - which, just like us adults, many kids love.
Which brings us to Bacon Wrapped Scallops and Garlic Sauce. This flavor-packed recipe is always a home run when it comes to serving seafood to kids. This dish pairs perfectly with just about any vegetables and can be served as a school lunch idea that’s fun - on kebabs! For the pickier kids, skip the garlic sauce and let the wild-caught scallops and bacon take care of the flavor.
Fish Sticks Made Healthy - Homemade with the Air Fryer
Traditionally fish sticks are fried. While we believe in moderation and enjoying fried food once in a while, we know that for some you need a more health-focused option. We recommend you try this Air Fryer Fish Stick version; with this method, you can skip the grease but keep the flaky crunchiness that makes these a winner for the whole family!
For this lunch idea for kids, we turned to Show Me the Yummy and their Homemade Healthy Air Fryer Fish Sticks. Thanks Trevor, Jennifer and SMTY!
Keeping our Fish Wild and Your Kids Healthy
It’s always helpful to remember that there are a lot of ways to adapt and modify recipes. Don’t have panko? Try crackers or breadcrumbs. Don’t like cilantro in your meatballs? Skip it.
That being said, we believe kids' health is so important and we want to see more kids eating seafood as they go back to school in one safe way or another. Keep your eyes peeled for ways to include seafood on their lunch or dinner plate - and strive to keep that seafood “wild”. Subbing farmed salmon for the meatballs will add dyes and antibiotics to your kids’ diet that wild-caught salmon won’t.
Steve and Jenn Kurian are with you in this endeavor! Jenn wanted you to know that: “We’re three years into helping our own kids pack healthy lunches for school. We know it can be a challenge to find healthy food they will enjoy. It’s all part of the reason we founded our business - to provide families like yours with high quality, healthy, protein-packed, wild-caught fish. To learn more about why we trust our seafood enough to help feed your families, read more about our quality standards here.”