I try to eat fish at least 3 times per week as is recommended by many worldwide health organizations including Health Canada. The lean, delicious protein comes with Omega 3 fats that are not only protecting my heart but also lowering my family’s risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers as well as furnishing eye, brain and joint health improvements. These fats have an anti-inflammatory effect on my body and frontier of health care says that it’s the inflammation that factors in to every disease from eyes to heart to cancer and back again to brain.
It is vitally important to get kids eating fish as early as possible not only to develop a taste for it but also to keep help build their brain cells. Brain building happens at a rapid pace from fetus the adolescence and it really is true what your grandma told you, fish is brain food. The key is to find the sources that have the least amount of mercury yet contains Omega’s. It also has to taste good.
One such source is US Farm Raised Catfish. This organization paid so much attention to its environmental impact that the National Audubon Society, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Environmental Defense all recommend U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish as a safe environmental choice. Plus, it has the lowest mercury level of any commercially available fish and is safe for daily consumption. Even for pregnant women. That’s a pretty big endorsement given how crucial it is to consume Omega 3’s during pregnancy
Most major grocers carry it marinated or plain and it is often the least expensive fish in the cooler. We have tried it each way that it comes and it is a crowd pleaser every time. The marinated versions make for an easy, one step meal.
There are a few tricks to getting kids to eat fish:
- Cook it outside on the BBQ if you can-the smell of it cooking can turn them off before you even get to the table!
- Choose a mild fish that you can season with flavors that you know they like: southwestern, Asian and Mediterranean flavors work well
- Cut it into “fishsticks” before cooking so the pieces are not daunting
- Serve with some kind of condiment or dip that they like
- Don’t give up! It can take many tries for them to learn to love it
- Learn to love it yourself or at least be a really good faker
My quickie fish dish: US Farm Raised Catfish Grill
- 2 pounds US Farm Raised Catfish
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
Lay a slice of aluminum foil on the counter and smear half of the butter onto it. Lay fish on top and smear with other half. Sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper. (sometimes I add cayenne for a kick!)
Place foil directly on the BBQ over high heat and put the lid down. Cook for about 10 minutes or until firm and opaque.