Reel in Tonight's Dinner

Now that you know the guidelines for safe seafood, your next step is getting your toddler to eat it! “Start with fish that doesn’t have a strong smell,” suggests O’Leary. “Exposing your toddler to fish is like exposure to any other food—it needs to be in a form that’s friendly and manageable for a child.” Here are O’Leary’s fish tips for tots:

» Pick-up sticks. Fish sticks are made of cod (a safe seafood) and they look like French fries. Served with ketchup, what toddler could possibly resist?

» Build burgers. Create a hamburger out of canned salmon. Serve it with ketchup, mustard or a store-bought yogurt-based dip and your tot may not notice the difference!

» Shun sushi. Opt for teriyaki chicken or tempura at sushi restaurants. A toddler’s gastrointestinal tract isn’t as developed as an adult’s. Raw foods may contain microbes that an adult system can handle, but a toddler’s may not.

» Flake it. Fish is the perfect finger food because it’s easy to flake into bite-size pieces. Try wild salmon, cod and chunk light tuna to start.

» Opt for the old standby. When in doubt, go with a universal tot-pleaser: chunk light tuna sandwiches. They’re easy to pick up and chew—and they don’t smell!

For great toddler and adult-friendly recipes, click here.

Nancy Gottesman and her son Robby enjoy fish tacos every chance they get in Santa Monica, Calif.