Toddlers & raw fish: Earliest age to start?

One of our most favorite cuisine is Japanese!  We can’t get enough of it and to satisfy our constant cravings, we need to get a dose of Japanese food (any type really!) at least once a week!  Mostly, this would be on the weekends when we take the boys out for lunch.

Of course there are cooked items on the menu that are suitable for kids – like udon, tempura, ramen, teriyaki chicken, yakisoba, yakitori etc.  But when the boys see the beautifully presented sushi and sashimi or the colourful bowls of chirashi, they are begging to try.   They already love maki rolls, Tamago (egg omelet), cooked prawns and seared fish sushi items – but what about the raw ones?   Is it appropriate for them to try raw fish at their age?  What is the earliest age they can start eating sashimi?

Well, I thought the best way was to ask the locals themselves.  I messaged my Japanese friends in Tokyo straight away, and asked them when the Japanese normally start allowing their kids to eat raw fish.

“Normally, from 2 years old, but start with the common fish first – like Tuna, Salmon, Hamachi and Kanpachi.  Make sure the restaurants are trustworthy and have a regular supply of fresh fish from good sources.  Leave shellfish until a bit later.  Avoid the conveyor belt sushi restaurants!”

We have taken on this great advice!   With so many great Japanese restaurants in Hong Kong that have fresh seafood flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market multiple times a week, we are spoilt for choice.

Since then, the boys have been more and more adventurous with their palates.  We have now moved onto Ikura (salmon roe), Scallops and different varieties / cuts of Tuna, and the boys are more than happy to try (and take!) all the goodies from Mommy and Daddy’s plates!!

Author: yousillymommy

Mommy blogger. Writer. Avid Traveler with children in tow. Lover of great foods, wines & adventures.

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