Fish in the children’s diet
Fish and seafood are an important component of the diet of my sons. Why and what kind of fish is useful, I tell below.
First of all, not all fish is useful: many common types of fish sold in our stores and markets are not entirely safe for health, especially for children. I want to immediately draw your attention to this! What kind of fish is better to choose, I will tell further, but for now briefly list why a child should eat fish at all:
1. Omega-3. These are fatty acids that are necessary for the functioning of our body. You can get them from food and their content is famous fish. Omega-3 is a structural component of cell membranes, and a variety of body processes depend on the properties of the membranes: the transition of signals from one nerve cell to another, the efficiency of organs such as the brain, heart, eyes. For example, omega-3 fatty acids help establish a connection between brain cells, which makes it easier to learn new things and helps to avoid depressive states. Inadequate intake of omega-3s can cause problems such as depression, poor memory, learning disabilities, dyslexia, schizophrenia, early aging, Alzheimer’s disease, degenerative nervous diseases, irritability, hostility, inattention, lack of concentration, aggressiveness.
Eating fish is more beneficial than taking medications (capsules), because omega-3 gives the maximum effect in combination with other nutrients that are rich in fish. Here is some of them.
1. Phosphorus regulates the acid-base balance, necessary for the mineralization of bones and teeth. Deficiency leads to anorexia, anemia, rickets.
2. For the skeletal system, fish is needed primarily as a source of vitamin D, it contributes to the development of bone tissue. Its functions are not limited to this: vitamin D, in particular, is important for the prevention of type II diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
3. Vitamin A strengthens vision and supports the immune system.
4. The vitamins of group B are rich in different types of fish, especially Atlantic salmon. The functions of the vitamins of this group are so numerous that I see no reason to list them. I only mention that B12 is necessary for the formation of new cells in the body, its deficiency can lead to the development of anemia. Wild Atlantic salmon is extremely rich in B vitamins (as well as potassium, phosphorus, copper, selenium). Carp contains less B vitamins, but is rich in chromium, cobalt and zinc.
5. Iodine is necessary for normal metabolism.
6. Selenium strengthens the immune system and protects against harmful environmental substances, such as heavy metals.
What types of fish are most suitable for children
From the diet, and especially from the children’s, it is better to exclude artificially grown fish. Firstly, such a fish does not move much, its fat is useless. Secondly, hormones and antibiotics are used for its growth and protection. Thirdly, the feed of these fish contains substances hazardous to humans (for example, pesticides). All this enters our body along with baked salmon or dorado.
Focus on wild fish, but choose it carefully: it absorbs toxic and radioactive substances (heavy metals and mercury), most of them accumulate in large fish (marlin, tile, swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tuna). Choose salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, river trout – this fish is safer.
This fish is recommended to be consumed no more than once a month: Chilean sea bass, bluefish, sea bass, Spanish mackerel, yellowtail tuna.
Fish from this list can also be eaten in small portions no more than 6 times a month: striped perch and black perch, carp, Pacific cod, white croaker, Pacific and Atlantic halibut, lobster, dorado, monkfish, freshwater perch, charcoal fish, stingray, snapper, gray croaker, striped tuna.
Finally, they recommend eating fish from this list no more than twice a week: anchovy, butterfish, catfish, bivalves, crabs, crayfish, croaker, haddock, hake, herring, Atlantic mackerel and Japanese mackerel, mullet, oysters, river and sea flounder, salmon, sardines, scallops, shrimp, sea tongue, squid, telapia, freshwater trout, “white” fish, hake.
Avoid canned fish and any industrially processed fish.
How to cook fish for kids
In my mobile app with recipes Live up! There is a separate category of recipes for children, so everyone who is looking for inspiration and ideas for home cooking, I invite you to download this application for your phones and ipads, and here I want to share my two favorite fish recipes for my sons:
Simple fish fingers
Fish fingers are a very simple option for dinner or a snack. They can be eaten cold and easily put in a container with lunch for school. It is best to cook from solid white fish (for example, pollock, pollock, haddock, cod) and experiment each time.