I’m a huge fan of fish whether it be in a salad, grilled on a bbq or smooth in a yummy paté. I try to eat oily fish at least a couple of times each week and Oscar loves it especially mackerel which is great because it is one of the most nutritious fish you can eat.
What makes mackerel so good?
Ask any fisherman on a pier what they are throwing their lines in for and they will mostly say mackerel. They are plentiful in Irish waters and super cheap to buy too making it a great option for dinner times.
Mackerel is an oily fish related to tuna and it is an amazing source of Omega-3’s which help boost heart health. Mackerel is also high in protein and an excellent source of B vitamins in particular vitamin B12. This vitamin is so important to our diet because besides being great for brain health, bones, nerves and energy it also keeps us in a good mood.
As if this all wasn’t good enough (yes there is more), mackerel is also high in vitamin D which is important for healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium in your body and without enough our bones weaken and become brittle. Low levels of vitamin D are common in Irish and UK people especially in winter months when we don’t tend to see much sunshine. So mackerel cooked in any way is a great addition to our diets. Even if as a parent you don’t really fancy eating this fish yourself try to include it into your children’s diets. You can even buy it pre-cooked (although look out for salt content of smoked fish for little ones).
How do I get my child to eat salad?
Having a child who eats salad really is the holy grail of healthy eating. So how do you encourage your child to be a little salad muncher? Even for me, this didn’t happen overnight, it took time and patience and a lot of encouragement.
- You need to eat salad too! – If you are trying to get your baby to eat salad, then it needs to be on your plate and every else around the tables plate too. Let your baby see that you are eating healthy as it encourages them to do the same.
- Start slow – Just add 3/4 leaves to your babies plate along with 1 quartered cherry tomato. When they start eating that you can add more if they like it.
- Don’t be a salad pusher! – don’t force your baby to eat salad, be positive about the way you eat it instead. Say things like ‘this salad is so yummy’ and ‘salad is making me super strong!’.
- Encourage just one bite – not in a dramatic way or pleading way. In a positive and encouraging way say ‘ouuu try just one bite o.k?’ Hopefully they will but if they don’t want to just leave it and try again a few days after.
- Don’t give up! – It took a LONG time for Oscar to like salad. At first, he would take a leaf of lettuce, chew for a moment then spit out but I kept giving it to him, on the side of his lunches most days. A few leaves, a bit of encouragement and each time he tried it and didn’t like it, I would simply say ‘it’s o.k, you might like it tomorrow’.
- If you keep giving it to them they will eventually eat it! – This is true! It was true for my 3 children who all love salad. They always saw it on their plates, as a Mum, I always ate it in front of them and eventually one day they all turned around and said they liked salad.
I would love to hear if these tips work for you. Just leave a comment below or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy weekend and I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine.
Aileen & Oscar xoxoxxo