By now, you must have heard about poke (if not already tried it), but what you may not have considered is that it’s a really good meal option for your children. Well firstly, it’s quick, easy and healthy, but secondly, it’s a great way to diversify your kids’ palates for a more varied diet.
Although poke has been around for centuries, it has recently gone through a bit of a revival period and has piggybacked onto the global success of sushi.
What exactly is poke?
Pronounced POH-KAY, this virtually no-cook dish (mums, consider that a parenting win right there!) is essentially small bits of raw fish served over rice with some fresh salad ingredients arranged in a pretty bowl. The word poke originates from Hawaii and directly translates to “chunk” or “cut into small pieces” and while there are thousands of different recipes for poke, traditional recipes call on ahi tuna seasoned with sesame oil and soy sauce.
Can kids eat raw fish?
There are varying recommendations on when a child can safely eat raw fish, which ranges anywhere from 3-6 years of age (the general consensus is to wait until they have graduated from toddlerhood). But it’s of utmost importance that you always buy sushi-grade fish, and that generally means heading out to a specialty fishmonger who can advise you on the best and freshest cuts for eating raw – just like any other animal protein, if you choose well, raw fish can be healthy and delicious. So many nutrients!
And if the kids end up disagreeing on the delicious part, well, that’s why this is such a family friendly meal… just leave the fish out and kids can still enjoy a big bowl of rice with veggie fixings like edamame, cucumber, and carrots, while you dive into your delicious bowl of poke with extra fish!
Time to get stuck into a poke bowl!
Although ahi tuna is preferred for its firmness and deep pink colour, you can use any raw sushi-grade fish of your choice or even some grilled chicken. You can also swap the rice for kid-friendly noodles or a grain-alternative (think quinoa, cauliflower rice, or spiralized zucchini!). The beauty of poke bowls is that they are so customizable, making them the perfect family-friendly dinner – you can even up the fun level by allowing your kids to “play” with their food by creating their own poke bowls 🙂
- Steam some fresh rice.
- Wash and prepare a variety of veggies (some of our favourites include avo, kale, carrot, purple cabbage, radish, cucumber, and corn).
- Cut up and marinate the fish (or grill some yummy chicken bits).
- Let your kids pick their own colourful bowl and let them go wild on creating their own delicious poke!
- Enjoy together as a family 🙂
This is also a great parenting hack if you have a fussy eater on your hands, as kids who are given the choice of what to serve themselves often have a better relationship with food and tend to explore more flavours.