My daughter doesn’t like salmon. She also doesn’t like chicken or any vegetable apart from carrots.
When I started the weaning process she had an obsession with green food so I had to add spinach to every single meal otherwise she wouldn’t eat it. She used to love salmon pasta or salmon risotto. She used to pick steamed green beans and carrots sticks and eat with passion. She was a very good eater and I was a very happy and proud mum.
Then I went back to work and she moved into full time nursery. Things have changed dramatically since then. She has become a girl with high level of pickiness.
At home we try to eat at the same time as her to encourage her to eat a variety of food but sometimes this is not possible.
I have spent more and more time in the kitchen making sure her tiny tummy gets a balanced and healthy diet and is also colourful and attractive to her eyes.
At the nursery she is one of the best eaters but green vegetables and salad don’t pass her lips at all. I imagine this is because at the nursery she sees other children eating the same food and this makes her gain confidence by watching them eat the food she is unsure of.
At home she still eats a very narrow range of foods and refuses mixed dishes, apart from rice and black beans.
What am I doing wrong? Is my food not tasty? I ask my husband.
I guess picky eating is a normal stage for any toddler and is part of their development process but I wasn’t prepared for this and I hope it is only a phase. I can’t wait to see her grow out of these fussy habits because it is very frustrating to see her refusing to eat what I have spent hours to make.
I don’t want to cook the same thing for every meal and I also don’t want dinner time to turn into a food battle. Breakfast, lunch and dinner have become times that make me very anxious and I feel this shouldn’t be, so I am trying to see a nutritionally-balanced week, not a balanced day. Since I have found out that Michael Pollan’s son was also very picky I feel more relaxed. I am sure little by little we will make some progress.
So… Two weeks ago I was determined to make my daughter eat salmon again. I have made fish cakes without salmon before but she didn’t like them so I decided to try again, but this time with salmon and increase the quantity of mashed potatoes. The result was positive.
As you know, salmon has good quality protein which children need for proper growth, and essential fatty acids that are important for brain development and heart health.
I must say that seeing my daughter eating my fish cakes was a very rewarding experience.
- 2 large potatoes (300g)
- 150g salmon
- 4 tbsp milk
- 30g grated carrot
- 30g grated courgette
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 slightly beaten egg
- Chopped parsley to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Gluten free breadcrumbs
- Steam the peeled potatoes for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove the potatoes from the steamer and put them in a pan. Dry the potatoes out on a medium heat for 5 minutes
- Place the salmon in a small saucepan, pour the milk and cook on a low heat for 4 minutes or until it flakes easily with a fork. Alternatively, place the salmon in a suitable dish, pour over 2 tbsp of milk, cover with clingfilm but leave an air vent and microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork. Remove and allow to cool on a plate.
- Flake the salmon with a fork and carefully remove any bones.
- Mix the mashed potato with salmon flakes. Add the grated carrots and courgette, parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- Shape the salmon mixture into small cakes.
- Whisk the egg and dip the cakes in the egg and then coat in the gluten free breadcrumbs. Finally make sure the salmon cakes are in perfect shape.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in nonstick frying pan.
- Add 2-3 salmon cakes and sautee for 5 minutes, turning halfway through until golden on both sides.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with wedges of lemon.
- The uncooked mixture can be refrigerated for a day.
- You can replace the salmon with other fish or canned tuna.
- Freeze: freeze them without frying in individual portions.