For this month’s Kid-Friendly Eats we’re featuring… fish! Brimming with healthy fats that fuel your children’s brains and bodies, our resident foodie, Melissa shares how to take the humble piece of salmon and turn it into a fam-friendly dish that will have your little gourmands begging for more!
Not all fats are bad, in fact some are necessary. Small children especially, should not follow a low fat diet. Around 40% of their energy intake should come from fats and oils. As well as contributing to the calories that a child needs they are crucial for cell development.
In the first 2 years of a child’s life neurological development is particularly rapid. Research studies have shown that restriction of fat intake during this time may interfere with optimal energy intake and thus reduce the supply of essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 fatty acids that are needed for developing nervous tissue.
One of the richest sources of these essential fatty acids is fish, especially oily fish like salmon. As well as being delicious, it is nutritious, providing energy, protein, selenium, zinc, iodine and vitamins A and D (some species only) as well as those omega-3 fatty acids.
Try these Thai-inspired salmon patties to get some more essential fatty acids into your family’s diet. I quite often divide the mixture into 2 portions. The first portion is cooked “as is” for my young son and to the second portion I add 2 birds eye chillis and 2 large red chillis, finely chopped, spicing it up into a more grown up version for my husband and I.
Thai-Inspired Salmon Fish Cakes
These are fantastic served warm with a light salad but are equally as good served cold as leftovers in your child’s lunch box the next day. Cooked portions also freeze well and can be kept for up to 3 months in the freezer.
500g potatoes, boiled until tender then mashed
1 egg, beaten
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ginger, 2.5cm piece chopped
400g salmon, roasted and flaked
2 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
2 tbsp lime juice
1 cup coriander, including roots, finely chopped
1 cup Thai basil, finely chopped
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1. For this recipe you can either prepare all ingredients first, except the sesame seeds and then combine in a large bowl and mix until well combined OR add the ingredients “as is” to a food processer and process to combine. Form into patties of desired size and a thickness of 2-3cm and roll in sesame seeds.
2. Heat a cast iron pan on a medium heat, gently fry each patty in olive oil for 3-4 minutes each side until golden.
3. For a tasty dipping sauce combine 2 parts lime juice with 2 parts fish sauce and some chopped fresh herbs, such as lemongrass, coriander and thai basil. Works equally well as a salad dressing.
** For information on recommended dietary intake of essential fatty acid containing foods visit this website.