Kids & sushi: Healthy eating
There are almost 4,000 sushi restaurants in the U.S., and the Japanese dish continues to gain popularity, even with kids.
If your child is one who does like sushi, it’s important to be safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that children under 5 don’t consume raw fish or shellfish, and Susan Mitchell, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND, agrees.
“In children, their immune system is not completely developed until they’re about 5 years old. So, if a child younger than 5 eats raw fish and gets food poisoning, it could really be catastrophic,” Mitchell said.
Eating cooked sushi is the best option at a young age.
“Sushi in itself, if it’s using lean fish and vegetables and avocado, can be very healthy,” she said.
Ryan Leto, executive chef partner at Roy’s Restaurant in Tampa, believes cooking sushi at home is a good way to introduce children to healthy eating.
“We’re going to be demoing our shrimp and avocado roll,” Leto said.
“First thing you’re going to do is take your soy paper, which is an alternative to the seaweed that you would usually use,” explained Joshua Vandenberg, sushi chef at Roy’s Restaurant in Tampa.
Keep your fingers wet because the sushi rice can be sticky.
“Take a ball of rice, a little bit smaller than a baseball, and you would spread it out across the top,” continued Vandenberg.
Lay the avocado down across the soy paper and then the fully cooked shrimp.
“We’re just going to fold it over and make it touch on that backside, and then come up, and roll it all the way over,” Vandenberg continued.
Once everything’s on there, pat the ends, and sprinkle sesame seeds, and make sure an adult does the cutting.
“Anything you make at home and you get your family involved in the kitchen, mix tradition, is a wonderful way to bring the family around the table,” Mitchell said.
Tuna is considered to be one of the easiest fish to digest and is normally safe for children. Like any seafood, beware of consuming too much mercury. Raw shellfish is considered the most dangerous to eat because it’s most likely to be contaminated.