Ahoy Fish Fixe Family! 

Melissa here.  If you don’t know me yet, I am co-founder and CEO of Fish Fixe and the proud resident chef of the  Fish Fixe Kitchen.  Today I’m coming to you as a mom of three.  And despite me having a Bachelor’s  in Nutrition and owning a seafood company, my kids are still regular kids who have food aversions, struggle to always sit at the dinner table, and eat a variety of foods, including fish

When my business partner Emily  and I  started Fish Fixe, I had been in the seafood industry for a decade, yet my husband and I were completely inconsistent about eating seafood and especially inconsistent about incorporating seafood into our kids’ dinner rotation.  We were in a chicken nugget rut despite having access to seafood AND my better judgment stemming from my degree that taught me about the health benefits of seafood.  So what did I do – I made the decision to be intentional about seafood and over the course of a year began introducing a variety of seafoods (in a variety of ways) to my kids.  Today, I’m here to share my tips and tricks!

Get Them Involved 

I’ve learned the messier my kids can get,  the more “into” it they become.  Here are some of the most popular “cooking” classes with my kids:

Fish Stick Friday

Da-Dip Fish Sticks  (I put my hand upon your hip, When I dip you dip we dip, You put your hand upon my hip, When you dip I dip we dip)

Ingredients:

Wet Dip:

Dry Dip:

Directions:

  1. Slice the fish into strips or chunks depending on whether you have a nugget or tender lover
  2. Combine the ingredients for the wet dip
  3. Combine the ingredients for the dry dip
  4. Season fish with salt and pepper
  5. Dip the fish first into the wet dip, followed by dry dip
  6. Shake off any excess dry dip 

If you want to get that crispy chicken nugget or fish stick texture, it’s best to use your air fryer.  Not to mention it’s the fastest technique. 

  1. Pre-heat your airfryer to 400º 
  2. Spray your basket with olive oil or avocado oil to ensure the fish does not stick 
  3. Add the breaded fish pieces into the basket for 3  minutes then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until you get a nice golden brown crisp on the fish sticks.

We’ve learned over the years that if the entire family is eating the same thing, the kids are more likely to try what you’ve served.  Yes, the adults may have to sacrifice their favorite way of eating fish a few times, but the end result  will be worth it!

Shrimp & Scallops on a Stick

Ka-Ching Ka-Bobs

This one can be daunting depending on the age and dexterity of your kids so use your best judgment.  Kids over the age of four tend to love to stab the fish onto the stick.

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  1. On 6 in. skewers, have your kids alternate sliding shrimp, scallops, peppers, onions on the skewers (Best to pick a vegetable you know your kids will eat)
  2. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder or Fish Fixe Seasoning 
  3. Add butter or avocado oil to a heated pan and saute the skewers until the shrimp turn pink and the scallops turn opaque

I usually have my kids make a fruit kabob with their favorite fruits as well.  I do this before the seafood kabob to limit hand washing!

The Infamous Sudden Food Aversion

When my son was 2 years old, he loved Salmon.  He could put down a 4 oz. portion like nobody’s business, yet there was about a month period where he would look me dead in the eye and say “I no like Saman.”  Oh, my heart.  After I wrapped the umpteenth untouched portion up and placed it in the refrigerator – a light went off in my head.  Salmon patties! The next night I transformed his salmon into bite sized patties and he scarfed it down.

If you want to try this (sneaky) method:

Salmon Patties

Directions:

  1. Cook the Salmon per the instructions on the reverse side of the packaging or use a leftover cooked piece
  2. Once cooked, break up the salmon using a fork into small pieces that can easily be “hidden” in the pattie 
  3. In a large bowl, add the first 8 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Form into evenly-sized patties
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil
  6. Cook patties in batches until golden and crispy, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
  7. Serve on a slider bun or over a bed of rice

The Air Fryer Version

We recommend preheating your air fryer to 400° and cooking your patties for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Just make sure to spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray before you add the patties. We’d also recommend brushing or spraying the patties with a little avocado oil as well, for the crispiest, tastiest results!

 Other ways I’ve reintroduced:

Educate Them

One night, during my two-year olds Salmon boycott, his older brother looked at him with the most condescending face and said, “Brother, if you don’t eat your Salmon your brain is not going to grow big and strong.” 

I could hardly contain my laughter, yet it hit me – they ARE listening to me – even if some things are lost in translation.  Hopefully my presentation is 99% less condescending than my four- year olds, but his little brain was discerning the decision to eat or not eat salmon based on the health benefits that I had continually shared with him.  How cool!

We hope these tips and tricks can be of help to you while feeding your little fishies.  We’ll continue to experiment in the Fish Fixe Kitchen to bring you more kids-cooking ideas.  Until then, bon voyage!

Hugs + Fishes,
Melissa