Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kid Superfood: Salmon

I have a confession to make: I don't cook seafood very often. Lately I realized this means the kids are hardly exposed to seafood. Since I know how healthful it is, I often order seafood in restaurants. How do I expect my children to like it if they never get a chance to try it? As the last of the ten Superfoods for Kids, I was determined to cook up salmon for my family.

Many types of fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids that increase good cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and lower the risk of developing heart disease. Fish with a higher fat content like salmon, tuna, and mackerel have the highest amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources include walnuts, canola or soybean oil, and flaxseed.

I found Trader Joe's Premium Salmon Patties and thought they looked like a good first introduction to salmon for the kids. The patties are hamburger-shaped and kid friendly and contain no additives -- just salmon. I brought them home and excitedly cooked them up for lunch.

I served the salmon burgers on hamburger rolls with lettuce and a choice of ketchup or a sauce I made from low-fat Greek yogurt (another superfood!) mixed with chopped basil (and another!), lemon zest and juice, and salt/pepper. It was no surprise that the kids opted for ketchup. The picture is of my burger with the yogurt sauce.

I think salmon is delicious but I also understand that it has a strong fish flavor. The kids took tentative bites, then decided they didn't want to finish the burgers. I'm so proud they tried something new. Keep in mind that it can take MANY introductions before children accept a new food, so this was a good first step. I thought the burgers were delicious and will definitely serve them again soon, along with other types of seafood.

How do you serve salmon (or any other fish) to your children?

Today's tip: Serve something new – it may be an instant hit or take several tries to become a winner.


  1. My daughter loves fish. I can hardly pass the seafood counter at the grocery store without her asking for something. Her tastes have changed though- she used to love shrimp and now says she doesn't like it. However, salmon has been a favorite. I've always called it the pink fish- anything to excite a little girl who loves pink and princesses into liking a healthy food. I just grill a piece with a little olive oil/salt and pepper and crumble it over couscous or rice with wilted spinach and a squirt of lemon juice. It's one of my favorite meals too.

  2. Erin Green KellyJuly 12, 2010 at 3:42 AM

    Maddie is a HUGE fish fan. When we go to Whole Foods, we always grab a 'to go' container from the salad bar of the cold, poached salmon. She will chow down on that for lunch, dinner, anytime. She also loves tuna and she has had fish sticks but I try to stay away from the fried stuff. She will actually remove the breaded part and eat the fish! Crazy girl. We have done fish on the grill or in the oven and she has taken part of that as well.