Skip the frozen pre-packaged varieties that are loaded with lots of breading and sodium, and make your own instead!
Fish sticks are a great options for kids who say they won’t eat fish. They look un-intimidating enough (close enough to pass as a chicken finger–or heck, cut ’em in nugget size pieces to pass for chicken nuggets!), and most white fish have a mild-enough taste to appeal to even the pickiest of kids. In fact, one of the most successful ways to introduce picky toddlers and kids to new foods is to prepare the food in ways they are familiar. In this case, breaded and dipped in a little ketchup!
When it comes to buying seafood, we always recommend buying wild caught (yes, even if it’s been previously frozen), since farmed fish tend to be fed antibiotics to prevent infection in fish farms. Cod and flounder are both great choices for this recipe.
Plus, since fish cooks very fast, you can have a healthy dinner on the table in under 15 minutes–and one that the whole family can eat. Even babies can enjoy fish as a first finger food! You can fry them up which will give them a crunchier texture or bake them in the oven for a healthier version. Serve them with ketchup for the toddlers and kids or make a yogurt dip made of plain yogurt, lemon, and tarragon or dill for you.
Fish sticks: 2 ways!
- ½ pound white fish of choice, such as cod, flounder, or tilapia, cut into strips.
- ½ cup unseasoned whole wheat bread crumb (seasoned breadcrumbs contain a ton of sodium, so seasoning them yourself is always ideal!)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil or cooking spray
Method 1: Fried Fish Sticks
- Dip the fish fillets first in egg, shaking off the excess liquid, and then coat in bread crumbs.
- Place a plan over medium heat, and add in two tablespoons oil. Allow oil to heat up so that when you drop in a few breadcrumbs, they start to sizzle
- Gently add the fish into the oil, allowing an inch of space between each piece, and fry until golden brown on each side, around 1-2 minutes per side.
- Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Method 2: Baked Fish Sticks
- Preheat oven to 400°.Dip the fish fillets first in egg, shaking off the excess liquid, and then coat in bread crumbs.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then lay pieces of fish on the baking sheet. Spritz fish filets with cooking sprays, then season with salt and pepper.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork.