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Go fish and squeamish in the supermarket

Oh dear. There was me thinking N’s never thought twice about eating cow, sheep or pig.

Living on a livestock farm, we’ve always been very open about what food N is eating.  Exactly the same as his older cousins who we used to joke with about the piglets being called bacon and sausages.  N’s always been encouraged to understand where the food on his plate is from, and he’s never batted an eyelid – although he does sometimes get it wrong when asked.  Everything seems to be chicken, even salmon!

He’s always loved his food, and fish is one of his favourites.  I’m not a particular fan of fish but N will eat any given to him.  Salmon, haddock, tuna, mackerel, sardines on toast, fish pie, salmon risotto.  He gets lots of different types at nursery.

But the other day, we went to buy another seabass fillet for tea and went to the supermarket fish counter.  We were looking at the different fish – fillets, shellfish, and then whole fish.  He took quite a long look at the sprats, then asked

‘They’ve got eyes?’

‘Well yes, that’s what a fish is, and we have fillets’…I’m getting a hint he’s not too sure about seeing the whole fish.

We bought the prepacked fillets and I didn’t think much of it.  Until I dished up tea, cut up his fish and put it in front of him.  It’s not often that N pushes food around his plate, but this time he definitely wasn’t sure.  Strange, as he usually steals seabass off his dad’s plate.

‘Has this fish got eyes?’.  My heart sank.

‘No, it’s like meat, just the fillet part of a fish’.

I could see he wasn’t convinced.  For the first time I recall, he refused to eat his fish.  I’m hoping that he’s now forgotten it and over time he’ll go back to eating fish with no problem.

Do your children have any worries about their food and what it looks like?

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  1. Whenever we go to supermarkets, my son would stare at the live fishes being sold there. He knows that the fish in the aquarium is also the fish that he’s eating.

  2. My neighbor caught a bunch of fish that he gave to us and the kids wanted to touch the eyes. They ate the fish afterwards w/a few questions about where the fish came from.

  3. aww so sorry your little one is going through this! My little cousin went through this phase to where she wouldn’t eat any type of meat after she learned that beef comes from cows and in order for her mommy to buy the beef they first had to kill the cow. She was terrified for such a long time to eat any type of meat but she soon grew out of it and now she’s such a meat lover.

    1. I think with meat it’s easier as we’re on a livestock farm. Might have to refer to fish with its actual name for a while. He ate salmon the other day with no worries, so hopefully he’s over it now.

  4. When I learned that fish had eyes I refused to eat fish for the longest time. I still can’t go in the grocery store near the area that has the fish heads still. Freaks me out way too much.

  5. Your little N is like me. I don’t like fish at all and don’t really like much seafood either. The thought of seeing a fish in the store or on my plate for the matter, with eyes just makes my appetite go away.

    1. I’m with you on that one too. I’m not keen on fish,and I hate the idea of deboning and scales etc on a whole fish. Fillets I can just about deal with, although I’m not fussed on most of the taste either.

  6. My youngest two won’t touch lobster because they see them in the tanks. The older two were like that too, but they’ve long since gotten over it. 😉

  7. I was like that as a kid for a short time I didn’t even want to eat plants because they were a living thing. He may or may not forget. My kids never questioned it because they would watch their dad cut up a deer and them cook the meat. Good luck thanks for sharing.

    1. I think when you see the process and it’s all matter of fact, eating meat makes more sense to children. We’re on a livestock farm, so it’s fact that they’re for beef (although not sure if N realises how we actually get the meat from the animal)

  8. my daughter did that long time ago too! whenever i cook she prefer not to watch as she dont want to see the bloody meat i am cooking hhaa

  9. I haven’t experienced that from my children but my son is a picky eater so I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes up one day.

  10. I think you need to talk to him about where food comes from. Not only about meats but plants too. He needs to understand that it is natural to eat plants and animals and that ALL animals do it too.

  11. Not my kids, just me. It took me a long time to eat shrimp. This is a good important lesson to teach children; they become better and healthier eaters in the future.

  12. My son never really asked about it. He will eat meat and fish. I had an issue getting him to eat vegetables when he was little.

  13. It’s great that he likes fish as most kids are meat lovers. I hope he forgets about the incident and resume eating fish again since it’s a lot healthier.

  14. My daughter is very sensitive to animals and fish and won’t eat fish because of that. She will eat small amounts of meat but isn’t crazy about it.

    1. We’d struggle with that in our house as the OH’s a farmer. No veggies here, and we’re just lucky n’s not generally a fussy eater either

  15. That is really cute. My boys love to go to the supermarket and look at the lobsters in the tank. We don’t eat seafood, so I am not even sure they know that people take them home and eat them.

  16. Most children are difficult to feed because they have picky tastes and also some food can’t be eaten because they are very sensitive. For example, eating fish may get some kids prone to allergies.

  17. Kids are so ruddy clever aren’t they? You can tell them something and thing nothing of it and then the next thing they are bringing it up again! Let’s hope he’s back on the fish v soon x

  18. Oh bless…. I do sympathise. I’ve only recently go over the fish head (and eye) phobia. For ages it put me off fish altogether, and later on when I finally decided I could eat fish again, I’d always ensure it was filleted or cover up the head on my plate … Still a little bit funny about it even now, truth be told. Hope he gets over it though. One of my friends children (similar age) loves fish with heads included as he has a gory fascination with them… Do you think N might come round to thinking that way. I don’t think Thomas has made the connection yet. His only thing with fish is peeled (without batter) …

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