My family does not eat enough fish. I get lots of complaints when I do make it resulting in picked at plates and a frustrated mommy who has wasted valuable time and money on a dinner that ended up in the garbage can. BUT…Fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen the immune system, aid in neurological and brain development, and is good for the heart (according to a 2006 Harvard study). Seafood is high in lean protein and very low in saturated fats. Children need lean protein to maintain their high energy levels and help restore muscle tissue.
I have some picky eaters. No, they don’t want to eat cauliflower. No, they don’t want to eat broccoli. No, they don’t WANT to eat their vegetables (at all). But they will. They need to. It is Mike's and my job, as parents, to model and foster healthy eating habits on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes my kids up to 10 or 15 times of trying something (and I mean teeny tiny bites) until they actually commit to LIKING it. This is why I have psyched myself up, prepared myself for wasted time and money and WILL serve some kind of healthy fish dinner once a week.
I started with these fish sticks. I won’t lie and tell you that they cleared their plates and jumped for joy at the sight of me slicing up cod filets but they admitted to liking them and didn’t gag or cry at the dinner table. Success!!!! I loved them and plan on making them again and again! I would love to hear what your kids think!
Prep Ahead Plan: I made these the night before and left them on the pan in the fridge, covered with foil, ready to baked the next evening.
Homemade Baked Fish Sticks
adapted by Giada de Laurentiis
2 Atlantic cod fillet(s), cut into strips, 1/2 inch X 3 inch (The filets I used were large and equaled about 1 ½ pounds total. I got about 24 fish sticks out of them.)
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
4 egg white(s)
Olive oil cooking spray
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp lemon pepper
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp tartar sauce, for serving (I used store bought)
1. Wash and dry cod filets and cut into strips.
2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Mix the flour, salt, pepper and lemon pepper in a small bowl.
4. Whisk the egg whites for 30 seconds.
5. Mix the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a bowl.
6. Dip each piece of cod in flour making sure to shake off the excess.
7. Dip in egg white and then in breadcrumb /Parmesan mixture and place on the baking sheet.
8. Repeat with each piece of cod. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes! Serve with tartar sauce if desired.