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Little Fishy Salmon Nuggets for baby led weaning

Healthy baked fish nuggets are made using salmon fillets coated in breadcrumbs with a hint of garlic then baked until golden. They are an easy fish recipe for toddlers and also for baby led weaning too!

How do you get children to eat fish?

You put it into a nugget! Sometimes it really is as simple as that. There is nothing more kid-friendly than nuggets. They are easy to hold, easy for kids to eat and they are also the most ideal shape for baby led weaning too! Just perfect for those little hands to pick up all on their own.

So, when Donegal Catch (our Irish frozen fish brand) asked me to come up with some recipes to get kids eating more fish, the first thing I thought is NUGGETS!!!!! I’m biased but honestly this recipe is probably the cutest one I have ever made. This recipe uses their frozen salmon range and each pack comes with 4 fillets which I defrosted before preparing.

We are a pescatarian ‘fish loving’ family, and where I buy my fish matters to me, it should for you too. If you don’t know anything about the state of our seas you should watch Sir David Attenborough – A Life on Our Plant which is available on Netflix. Everyone should be made to watch this and know what we are doing to our planet and more importantly how we can change!

Whether you eat meat, eat fish, or are vegetarian, the quality of the food we buy matters to our planet. That was the thing I loved the most about Donegal Catch who are engaging in a Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) backed Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), which focuses on improving the sustainability of Irish fisheries. They also work closely with fish suppliers and support responsible fishing practices and all of their fish is fully traceable back to the boat where it was caught.

How to Mould the Nuggets (without a mould)

I realised on shoot day that I didn’t have a fish mould! Nightmare when you are about to shoot a recipe for a client. It turns out though, that you don’t actually need a fish mould to make fish shaped nuggets!

  • Add a little flour to a plate.
  • Cover your hands in flour – this will prevent the nugget from sticking to your hands.
  • Take a tablespoon of the mixture and shape it into an oval.
  • Using your finger push the tail end inwards until the nugget end separates.
  • Squeeze the middle slightly to give the fishy body a bit of a realistic shape and voila – fishy nuggets.

Tips for the perfect baked fish nugget

  • Remove the skin from the salmon before adding the processor.
  • Make sure your mixture isn’t too wet, when a little flour is added to a plate and your hands are floured the nuggets should not stick. If they do, just add a little extra flour to the mixture.
  • Spray oil on the baking tray to prevent sticking, but also to ensure that they nuggets crisp up.

How to actually get the kids to eat them!

This is the fun part! Get your kids involved in making their own fish scene! We used tender stem broccoli and chives for the underwater plants. A thin slice of broccoli stem for eyes with a little poppy seed and finally some peas for bubbles.

Our fish told each other jokes –

What party game do fish like to play?’
Salmon Says!

‘Why did the fish blush’?
Because it saw the oceans bottom
(this was Oscars favourite)

When you make food fun, it just works so much better for little kids. Take the pressure off and let your kids experiment with their little nuggets, it really does help.

How to create a stop animation video with your nuggets

Stop animation gives the impression that the objects are moving on their own. This is a great way to bring your fishy nuggets to life and it also brings a lot of joy into your kids life.

  1. I use an app called Stop Motion which is available for both iPhone and Android.
  2. Create your fishy scene, then find a safe place to position your phone. The most important thing is to ensure your camera stays still throughout the entire process.
  3. Make a small change to the scene, then take a photo.
  4. Make another change, then take a photo.
  5. Repeat until you have about 20 photos.
  6. Import them into Stop Motion and press play! It is literally that simple.

I love this as a way to bring food to life on your kids plate. Just you wait and see how

Little Fishy Salmon Nuggets

Prep time

15 Minutes

Cook time

24 Minutes

Servings

10 Nuggets

Freeze me BLW Friendly Lunchbox Quick

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Ingredients

2 Salmon Fillets (defrosted)
Juice 1/2 lemon
4 Sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove crushed)
1 egg
4 tbsp plain flour

To shape

2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg whisked
100g fine breadcrumbs
2-3 tablespoons rapeseed oil

To serve (per child)

90g peas & sweetcorn cooked
2 long stem broccoli steamed
4 chives
Slices spring onion and poppy seeds for eyes

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Remove the skin from the salmon, then place the fillets into a food processor along with the lemon juice, thyme leaves, garlic powder and egg. Whizz up until the mixture is really smooth.
  3. Using a spoon, add in the flour and stir until the salmon starts to resemble a sticky dough.
  4. To make into fish shapes, add 2 tablespoons of flour onto a plate, then rub your hands with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to them. 
  5. Take a tablespoon of the fish mixture and roll into a circle on the plate completely coating it in flour, press down to flatten, then using your finger shape the end into a fish tail. Repeat until the fish mixture is completely used up.
  6. Use a pastry brush to coat the fish pieces with egg, then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs. Then flip them over, coat the opposite side with egg and add breadcrumbs. Place onto a baking dish drizzled with a little rapeseed oil.
  7. Bake the nuggets for 12 minutes, then turn each nugget over, return to oven and bake for a further 12 minutes until both sides are golden.
  8. To make the fish plate – decorate the plate with broccoli, add the peas and sweetcorn to the bottom and a few chives. Place the fishy nuggets in the water then add a slice of spring onion and poppy seed for eyes.
Baby Finger Foods BLW Recipes 12 Months+ BLW Recipes 6-9 Months BLW Recipes 9-12 Months Dairy Free Fish Recipes Freezer Friendly Recipes Lunch Lunchbox Winners Make Ahead Recipes Recipes for Fussy Eaters Toddler Recipes

Writen by Aileen Cox Blundell - number one bestselling author, award winning blogger and Mum of 3 kiddies who all eat their veggies.

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