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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Lighter Fried Fish Fillet

Teach Kids About Nutrition

I have recently discovered Pinterest, or in other words, another social site that has inevitably sucked up all of the few hours of free time I once had. That being said, I love it! There are many recipes, ideas, creative projects, etc. to feed your own personal interest. And of course, with my interest being nutrition, I was immediately sucked into the recipes. But I also noticed all the creative projects, including ones you can do with your children. That got me thinking about other projects that you can do with your children to teach them about nutrition.

To learn new fruits and vegetables, make Creative Kebabs

You'll need long wooden skewers and chunks of fruits or vegetables. (May also use cookie cutters to cut out chunks of fruit).

Simply thread fruit, such as banana, kiwi, apple, pineapple, melon, star fruit, papaya or strawberries on skewers. (To keep fruit from turning brown, dip in lemon juice or Fruit Fresh® first). Slice a watermelon or cantaloupe in half, place flat side down, and make a bouquet-type display by inserting kebabs into one of the rind of one of the melon halves. Try a vegetable kebab by skewering chunks of radishes, cherry tomatoes, summer squash, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or mushrooms. Insert skewers into a raw potato half for a nice display.

To introduce fish, the benefits of fish, and how people catch fish, play the game: Let's Go Fishing

You'll need a wooden pole, 27", string, 54", small magnet, fish cut outs, 4-6" from construction paper, large paper clips (one for each fish) and a blue tablecloth or sheet.

Assemble fishing pole; attach a small magnet to the end of the string. Tie opposite end of string to one end of the wooden pole. Attach paper clips to fish cut outs. Set up the fishing center. Pick an area that is not in the main flow of traffic. Lay out a blue sheet for water, place fish on sheet and place pole nearby. Talk to your kids about how fish is a great source of protein to help them grow big and strong. Demonstrate how to cast and try and hook a fish (try to land magnet on paper clip of fish). Serve the fish recipe below for dinner. Happy fishing!

For more ideas on teaching nutrition to children check out University of Illinois' website Food for Thought.

Lighter Fried Fish Fillets (Printable PDF)

Nonstick cooking spray

1 pound fish fillets

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1½ tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1½ tablespoons whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika (optional)

1 tablespoon olive or canola oil

  1. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 400º.
  3. Rinse fillets under cold water, pat dry.
  4. Combine Parmesan cheese, cornmeal, flour, pepper and paprika in plastic bag.
  5. Shake fillets one at a time in bag to coat with cheese mixture.
  6. Place fillets in baking dish. Drizzle oil over fillets. Bake about 10 minutes per inch thickness of fish or until fish is opaque when flaked. Fillets may need to be turned half way through baking.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 190 Calories, 3 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat, 220 milligrams sodium, 22 grams protein

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