It’s no secret that omega fatty acids are one of the most important sources of fuel for growing little people. DHA and EPA are the most optimal sources of omegas (needed for brain development, emotional development and concentration), and are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Although plant-based oils, which are high in omega 6 – including avocado, flaxseed, soy and canola oil – offer a number of health benefits and are converted to DHA and EPA by the body, it remains far more beneficial to consume fatty fish sources when it comes to brain development.
So, exactly how much of this fatty acid should children be consuming?
Experts recommend at least two servings of fish per week, where fatty fish is preferable. If you plan on giving your child more than two servings a week, then it is best to avoid high mercury options (high levels of mercury can be toxic to the body when consumed in high quantities).
In an attempt to get my son to eat more salmon, and the omega 3’s that come along with it, I wanted to make a delicious salmon dish that would get him excited at the prospect of eating fish. The parmesan creates a subtle saltiness in this dish and the crumbled feta adds some creamy texture. Although I opted for almond flour because it adds a delicious flavour to the herb crust (amongst an added kick of omega 6), wholewheat flour could totally work in this recipe too.
What I really love about this recipe is that it is a healthy and flavour-packed dinner option that the entire family could enjoy. If your child is lactose intolerant or has a dairy allergy, then look out for lactose-free or dairy-free alternatives (a fantastic one is Nutritional Yeast Flakes that can be found in most health stores, and can replace the parmesan in this recipe).
What you’ll need:
- 4 small-medium fillets fresh salmon
- 1 handful fresh mint
- 1 handful fresh basil
- 3 heaped Tbs parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 heaped Tbs almond flour
- 2-3 cracks black pepper
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 Tbs water
- 1/4 cup feta, drained, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Place the salmon fillets on a greased baking tray.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients, apart from the feta, in a food processor and process until semi-smooth.
- Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto each salmon fillet and spread to coat the surface (you will need roughly a heaped tablespoon per fillet).
- Sprinkle over the crumbled feta.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Serve with wholewheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potato fries or vegetables of your choice.