Having trouble with kids eating fish? Make them fans of this nutrient-rich food with these healthy Fish Recipes for Babies and Kids.
If you’re Malayali or Bengali, you’ll understand when I say that for many people in our country, lunch is incomplete without some kind of fish! Whether it’s saltwater fish or freshwater fish, pomfret or crab, we’re not picky as long as it’s seafood!
Fish isn’t just yummy, it’s also incredibly healthy. Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for cognitive development during the early years, as well as for good heart and eye health. There are also studies that show that kids who eat fish regularly have lower chances of developing ADHD. Fish is also an excellent source of other nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine, selenium and Vitamin D.
So with so many health benefits, it’s only natural to introduce fish in your little one’s diet as soon as he or she is ready. However, fish is a food that can cause food allergies. If you’ve been eating fish all your life, your child is unlikely to be allergic to fish, but all the same, it’s best to check with your doctor first.
When choosing fish for your baby, start with white flesh fish and always opt for fresh fish over the canned variety. Avoid high mercury fish like shark or swordfish. Shellfish is best introduced after consulting your doctor since these pose a higher risk for allergic reactions.
Some kids can have trouble eating fish, maybe because of the smell. So today we’ve rounded up the best healthy fish recipes we could find suitable for babies as well as older kids. And it’s not just the kids, we’re sure these are dishes the whole family can enjoy!
30 Healthy Fish Recipes for Babies and Kids
1. Fish Puree
The best way to start fish for your baby has got to be this fish puree recipe! It’s the most basic and neutral way to feed fish, which is great since most fish naturally have an intense flavor of their own.
Once your baby is okay with plain fish puree, go ahead and add a few more ingredients to it. We love this combination from Little Mashies which uses pumpkin and spinach along with fish – a great balanced meal!
This fish dinner from Jenna Helwig is another mild recipe that’s ideal for young babies. The potato offers a neutral and familiar taste to the puree, while the frozen peas give it a lovely color and extra nutrients.
Mackerel is not generally a popular choice for feeding babies fish, but it’s a very healthy option for older babies or toddlers. Mackerel is an oily fish and has loads and loads of Omega-3 fatty acids. Baby Led Feeding has a simple recipe that can be combined with other ingredients in a variety of ways.
If you’re trying out baby led weaning with your little one, we’d suggest going with these yummy salmon cakes from First Step Nutrition. Skip thesalt for babies under one, and you have a nice cake that little hands can comfortably hold!
BBC Good Food has a recipe that works as perfect finger food for babies and young toddlers as well as a fun afternoon snack for older kids! These are chubby enough for little fingers to hold and thick enough to not be a choking hazard.
Frittata is a great recipe for families with kids, since it’s so versatile – you can add pretty much anything to it! Healthy Little Foodies has done this with tuna, giving us a simple but delicious and easy fish recipe for babies and kids!
Think babies can’t have curry? Think again! Baby Led Feeding has a recipe that’s ideal for older babies. You can go easy on the tomatoes if your baby doesn’t take to them well. The curry is quite mild and doesn’t have too many spices like pepper or chilli.
(The recipes listed below are suitable for children over the age of 1 year)
9. Mashed Fish
This mashed fish from Mom Junction also makes a great dish for babies and toddlers. If making for babies under one, be sure to substitute the whole milk with breast milk or formula, and to skip the salt.
Net Mums has a recipe that’s mild enough to serve as a first fish dish for your little one. Poached in milk, this tones down the intense flavor of fish a little, and the pepper gives it a little extra zing.
11. Baked Fish Balls
These fish balls are among our favorite snack recipes, especially since they’re baked and not fried! They’re quite easy to make and also work great as starters for your next party!
Potatoes and fish are a popular combo, but Primavera Kitchen tweaks this a little by combining tuna with sweet potato instead! Get loads of Vitamin A along with fiber and other micro nutrients from this easy snack.
Is there any kid out there who doesn’t like cheese? Mas & Pas know this too well and that’s why they’ve come up with a recipe that uses Parmesan cheese and fish that’s sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
GK Food Diary has a fish curry that’s mild since it’s cooked in coconut milk. This way it isn’t too hot for your little one’s taste buds but is still flavorful and has a bright color that’ll have them salivating just by looking at it!
If your child is the kind who’ll eat anything as long as it’s coated in white sauce and cheese, you should definitely try this recipe from Taste.com! This is also a great way to sneak in more veggies that your child would otherwise pick and throw from his plate.
Fish cakes are often made with salmon and tuna, which is why we love this one from A Mummy Too that uses mackerel instead! Besides Omega-3 fats, mackerel is also rich in protein and Vitamin B12.
Baby Led Feeding takes the most popular kids’ dish globally, and adds fish to it! The result is a beautifully flavored dish that’s sure to be a winner. The broccoli and fish make a great combination, and add loads of nutrition to the dish.
Fish fingers are a big hit with the kids, but if you’re worried about feeding them fried food, go with this baked recipe from Food 4 Tots. This recipe uses basic ingredients and you can go with any cheese you like.
Kitchen Simmer gives us a unique recipe for Sri Lankan fish cutlets which look and taste great! You can make the balls as big as you like or as small as you like, and can also try out different shapes like discs or sticks.
Here’s another baked fish recipe from The Cookie Rookie. These would also make great finger food for your toddler, especially if you’re trying to encourage self feeding. The shape makes it easy for little fingers to grasp and eat.
Yes, chicken nuggets are every child’s go-to dish when dining out or ordering in, but why not make it a little healthier by making fish nuggets instead? Check out the full recipe over at Chili to Choc.
Whether you’re sending out lunchboxes out now or not, these tuna puffs from Bento Lunch are a must try! The name of the dish may sound complicated, but they actually use easily available ingredients.
The most common fried rice recipes we’ve tried are with chicken, egg or vegetables, but BBC Good Food has something a little more unique – salmon fried rice! A great, healthy recipe to try when you have some good fish at home.
Kidgredients gives us a recipe that’s so cute no one will refuse them! Kids tend to love miniature versions of everything, and that will apply to these delicious mini quiches as well!
25. Tasty Fish Tacos
With kids getting more and more exposed to foreign cuisines these days, parents are trying their best to recreate their favorites at home. Prayani comes to the rescue with a healthy fish tacos recipe, which includes Indian elements like a raitha dip!
Kids love garlic bread? Then they’re sure to love this garlic butter fish recipe from Rasa Malaysia! This is an incredibly easy recipe and sure to taste great, especially during cold weather!
Need a quick lunch idea that’s also filling and nutritious? Try out this tuna salad sandwich from Eating on a Dime. If you’re using canned tuna, go for fish that’s canned in water and not brine, so you can avoid all the excess salt.
These tuna melts from Dizzy Busy and Hungry are another alternative to tuna sandwiches, and are also a good option for those who’re trying to cut carbs and increase their protein intake. You can also skip the mayo if you like.
We love this recipe from Stay Snatched that is a great alternative to a meat burger! The best part is that it’s made in an air fryer, but has still turned out perfectly crispy on the outside and well cooked on the inside!
Having fried food once in a while is fine, and even better if you make it at home. Tastes of Lizzy T has a recipe to indulge those cravings, which is also made healthier by including some healthy fats and vitamins from the fish!