Calamari for... kids!? (Yes!)
We spend a lot of time talking about the health benefits of calamari: low in fat, low in sodium, high in protein, and it has a variety of other good nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, several B vitamins, and more. These all make calamari a healthy addition to your diet (remember, the recommendation is to eat seafood twice a week).
What we often don't think of is that the same nutrients that make healthfully-prepared calamari good for adults, also makes it a good choice for younger kids, too.
That's why we were delighted to see an Instagram post from the popular Solid Starts account that detailed how to introduce squid to babies and toddlers.*
Of course, you don't start a kid with a fried calamari ring! Their post includes a recipe that includes quick boiling and tossing with some garlic and lemon. With this cooking method (commonly used in foodservice in traditionally-raw applications, like ceviche) we often use an ice bath to quickly stop the cooking process so your calamari doesn't become overcooked and rubbery. For young kids, it's extra important to ensure your seafood is cooked appropriately.
They advise parents to be mindful of allergens - squid is technically in the shellfish family. Additionally, parents should take care to either cut into very small, bite-sized pieces or - and honestly, this is adorable - to serve the entire tube (or mantle) for baby to practice biting and chewing. Because calamari itself has a mild flavor, it's usually well accepted.
Their recommendations include introducing squid at 6+ months of age, and seeking out frozen calamari that is from the USA, as these are typically sustainably sourced.
We're happy to say that the calamari we offer at retail fits the bill! Click here to find a store near you.
For the full details, and some incredibly cute videos of an 11-month-old and 21-month-old kids enjoying their calamari, you can see the full entry on Solid Start's website here.
* Always check with your child's pediatrician and use common sense when introducing new foods during weaning. No matter how delicious, not every food is right for every baby.