Today’s guest-post is written by a friend of mine Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child, who is a qualified nutritionist specialising in children’s health.
As a busy mother of 3 young children (8, 5 and 4 years old) who are very fussy eaters, I struggle to come up with healthy and varied options at mealtimes that actually get enjoyed. As Mandy explains in her article below, Salmon is a wonderful super food that can really benefit the health of our children. She has shares some great tips on how to include more salmon into your family’s diet. You will also find below my recipe for The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon and Noodles our go-to favourite salmon recipe – one of the few dinners that gets demolished every time. I hope you enjoy this post!
How To Get Your Kids To Eat More Brain Boosting Salmon
By Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child
Salmon is a super brain boosting food for babies and children. It is rich in omega-3-fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are essential for developing brains. These types of oils are found in breast milk and are always added to infant and follow-on-formulas. Recent studies show that children whose diets are rich in these essential fatty acids achieve better results at school – especially in the areas of reading and memory performance. Evidence has also shown that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behaviour/learning disabilities are more likely to have diets which are low in omega-3’s and would benefit from increasing their DHA levels.
Not only are these essential oils important for brain health, they are also crucial for healthy eye development and strong immune systems as they ward off inflammatory childhood diseases. One of the best ways to ensure they are getting enough of these fatty acids in their diets is to bump up their salmon intake. However, when choosing salmon – especially for babies and small children – it is important to take note of where it comes from and how it is fed. Many farmed salmon are fed pellets which contain genetically-modified grains and fats such as soy, corn and canola oil. Synthetic dyes may also be added to their feed to give their flesh that attractive pink colour and there is a widespread use of antibiotics and other chemicals which are not found in high quality premium grade salmon such as wild salmon or organic salmon.
Most parents reading this article are thinking “I am aware of the health benefits of salmon but how do I get my children to eat more of it?” Here are Wholesome Child’s Top 10 ways to get kids to eat more salmon. Many of these recipes are perfect for healthy lunchbox meals.
- The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon with Noodles (see below or click here for recipe)
- Coconut crumbed salmon nuggets with dipping sauces such as home-made tomato sauce, tzatziki or beetroot hummus.
- Spelt pasta spirals with creamy salmon and cheese sauce (great for winter, if your school does not heat food up send in a thermos).
- Tasty salmon hamburger patties served on a sourdough spelt bun or in a wrap.
- Savoury salmon and veggie mini- muffins.
- Home-made cooked salmon sushi rolls.
- Goat cheese, pumpkin and salmon mini-quiches
- Rice paper rolls with cooked salmon and buckwheat soba noodles.
- Salmon sandwich: layer sandwich with flaked salmon, crème fraiche, Dijon mustard and sweet potato puree
- Salmon Shepherd pies are a great alternative to meat.
- Salmon lasagne with plenty of vegetables.
So which is the best salmon for kids? Many parents who are concerned about mercury levels, taste (compliance – getting their kids to eat it) prefer organic salmon to commercially farmed salmon and wild salmon.
Organic Norwegian Salmon is reared in the ocean in their natural habitat and there are 50% less salmon per habitat than non-organic salmon. They are free to eat natural occurring food sources within the ocean that flow into their estuaries and they are reared on 100% organic feed, which is fit for human consumption (100% sustainable). There are no pesticides, no chemicals, no synthetic dyes and no nitrates. It’s really important when recommending fish for pregnant women, infants and children that we know exactly what the mercury, dioxin and PCB levels are and where our salmon come from.
About The Author:
Mandy Sacher is a paediatric nutritionist and health writer, who sources quality products for her clients. She has had over 15 years of experience in the health industry and is the founder of Wholesome Child – helping parents to feed their children RIGHT from the start!
Mandy stocks the best quality organic salmon and is located in Rose Bay, Rozelle and delivers to St Ives on Tuesday.
The Shrinking Hubby’s Miso Poached Salmon With Noodles
What you will need:
- 1-2 fillets organic salmon
- 1/3 cup of good quality brown rice miso paste (found from organic health food shops or whole food shops)
- 1 packet Vietnamese Rice Pad Thai Noodles (or you can use buckwheat or soba noodles – adjust cooking time according to instructions.)
- A couple handfuls green beans (topped and tailed)
How to pull it together:
- Bring a medium-sized saucepan to the boil.
- Add the miso paste and using a whisk mix together well.
- Add the rice noodles (which generally take around 8 minutes to cook or if using different noodles adjust cooking time accordingly). Cook for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, add the salmon fillet/s to the miso and noodles. Cook for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes add the beans and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Dish out into bowls, ensure to add a couple of ladlefuls of nutritious miso broth to the mixture and serve.
Notes: For a more grown up version – this is delicious drizzled with some tamari, a little sesame oil and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. You could also add some chilli oil for a kick.