I’m excited to launch my first blog post series, which I’m calling “What Is It and Will My Kid Eat It?” As you know, I’m passionate about encouraging kids to readily eat a wide variety of nutritious foods from the start. That means there is no such thing as “adult” and “kid” food. It’s all just food, so if you can eat it, your kid can eat it too!
With this series, I hope to inspire you to offer your kid(s) foods you might not otherwise think to offer. Or maybe some of the foods I feature are staples in your house and your kids love them…if so, please let me know and share how you serve them!
I’m kicking off the series with shrimp. Although shrimp isn’t an especially foreign food, I didn’t eat a whole lot of it growing up. And while I like it a lot now, it’s not one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of what to make for dinner. But I order it in restaurants often and in the spirit of feeding my daughter the same foods I’m eating, I discovered that she LOVES it! Seriously. With chicken, she’s touch and go. With shrimp, she’s inhaling her portion and then stealing from my plate. You just never know!
I’m not saying your kid will like shrimp right away. But it’s nutritious and pretty easy to prepare, so why not give it a shot? Shrimp’s nutritional attributes include:
They’re almost pure protein.
They’re full of some of the harder-to-find nutrients including selenium, choline, copper and iodine.
They’re a good source of antioxidants (their red color comes from one called astaxanthin.)
If you haven’t served shrimp before, track your child’s progress with accepting it on my free Food Exposure Chart.
Of course, shrimp have a reputation for being high in cholesterol. But I encourage you not to worry about this. In 2015, the USDA reversed its stance on limiting dietary cholesterol owing to research that indicates that the cholesterol we eat does not have as much impact on blood cholesterol as we once thought. Shrimp cocktails for everyone!
Shrimp are also a common allergen. And while I don’t subscribe to the “introduce each food one at a time and wait three days to check for signs of an allergic reaction” school of introducing solids, I do recommend that parents pay special attention when introducing the common allergens. In addition to shellfish like shrimp, the others are eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat.
I don’t actually have any of my own shrimp recipes (yet!) but I encourage you to check out these other RD-approved shrimp recipes if you’re thinking about introducing it to your family:
Coconut Roasted Shrimp with Mango Sauce from Marisa Moore Nutrition
Garlic Baked Shrimp from Nutritious Eats
Greek Shrimp and Farro from The Lean Green Bean
Easy Creamy Polenta, Shrimp, and Vegetable Bowls from Better is the New Perfect
Shrimp, Zucchini & Corn Pancakes from The Meal Makeover Moms
And did you know: You can add six grilled shrimp to any meal at Chili’s for $2.99. So instead of ordering off of the kids menu, that’s what we did for my daughter when we recently dined there, along with a $1.99 side of broccoli and random food from the adults’ plates. She loved it and I thought it was a great deal!
How do you like to serve your family shrimp?