Are you a mom or a dad and also a big sushi fan? If so, you might be itching to share your favorite treat with your kids. With that, you might be asking: when can kids eat sushi?
You came to the right place! Today, we will answer this question, talk about sushi safety, and so much more. As you can see, there’s so much in store for us today! If you’re ready, let’s get right into it!
When Can Kids Eat Sushi?
The answer is not that straightforward.
As you might already know, there are many different kinds of sushi. Not every sushi is the same. Some are bigger than others. On the other hand, some are tastier than others. Of course, we can’t forget that some are safer than others.
To answer this question, we have grouped the different types of sushi into three categories: vegetarian, cooked, and uncooked.
When Can Kids Eat Vegetarian Sushi?
First, we have vegetarian sushi. As you might have guessed, this sushi would not have any meat. Fruits and vegetables would be the star of the show here. So, think avocados, mangos, and cucumbers, to name a few.
Generally, you don’t want to give sushi to a kid that is not yet on solid food. If your little eater has been munching for some time now, you can let your kid have this kind of sushi around the time the little one turns six months old.
If your future sushi lover is still having trouble with solid food, you might want to hold off until the little eater turns nine months old or when you think the little one can manage.
With this sushi, the main concern is that it could be a choking hazard.
When Can Kids Eat Sushi with Cooked Toppings?
There are two main concerns with this kind of sushi. The first is that it could be a choking hazard.
All cooked toppings could be a choking hazard as with any other solid food. There is one you might want to keep a close eye on, though. That is shellfish.
If done wrong, shellfish could be rubbery. If done right, it could still have a somewhat chewy texture. As you can imagine, it’s not the easiest thing to eat for someone who is still getting used to the whole ordeal.
On the other hand, many are worried about allergies and allergic reactions.
Again, all cooked toppings could be allergens as with any other food. However, you might want to keep a close eye on shellfish again.
Around 6.6 million Americans are allergic to seafood, making it one of the top allergens on the list.
With that, along with shellfish being one of the most common sushi toppings, many suggest holding off on seafood and, in turn, sushi in general until later on.
At least until when the immune system of your little one is stronger and more developed.
Now, you might wonder about the other toppings. Let’s go back to the question. You want to wait between six months to three years before giving sushi with cooked toppings to your little one.
For sushi topped with cooked chicken, beef, and pork, you might want to wait until the 6th month. On the other hand, you might want to wait until the 9th month before letting your kid have sushi topped with cooked fish.
Finally, it might be best to wait until your little one turns three years old before giving the little eater sushi topped with cooked shellfish.
Not every sushi is the same. Not every kid is the same either. It is possible to let your kid have sushi with cooked toppings earlier than these suggested ages.
On the other hand, your little eater might have to wait longer. It might be best to consult with the little one’s pediatrician.
When Can Kids Eat Sushi with Uncooked Toppings?
Now we go to sushi with uncooked toppings. This one is a little more straightforward than the last set of sushi.
You might want to wait until your kid turns five years old before giving the little one sushi with uncooked toppings. There are many risks with giving your kid this kind of sushi earlier.
For one, it is still a choking hazard. On the other hand, there is still the worry of allergies and allergic reactions. Additionally, there is also the risk of bacterial and parasitic contamination.
A kid’s immune system should have matured enough to handle potential dangers from raw food when they turn five.
Their immune system, of course, is still not like that of an adult. However, by this age, their immune system should be able to handle some possible threats better.
It might be the best time to note that the risks we’ve listed also apply to adults. As you might already know, while the immune system of adults is a lot stronger, they could still get sick.
So, even if a five-year-old’s immune system has matured at this age already, they, too, could still get sick. You would still need to watch their diet and how much sushi they eat. Of course, that goes for you too!
Is Sushi Good for Kids?
With all that we’ve talked about, you might be wondering if sushi could be any good for kids.
Yes, they could! Generally speaking, sushi could offer many nutrients such as omega-3 and various vitamins. On the flip side, it only has small amounts of unhealthy things such as sodium.
Yes, contrary to what some say, sushi doesn’t often have much salt and seasoning. If you take a quick look at the authentic way to make sushi, you will see that it only uses minimal salt.
Again, sushi could be good for kids. However, of course, they can’t have too much of it! Like with any other food, you still need to watch how much of it you and your kid will consume.
Sushi might be a tasty treat, but the best way to enjoy it is to eat it in moderation. You know what they say, after all. Too much of a good thing could become a bad thing!
Sushi Recipes You Might Want to Make With and for Your Kid
One way to ensure your child only eats safe sushi is to make sure you only eat at reputable places. You don’t have to worry, though. There are tons of sushi places from which you can take your pick.
Here’s another great idea, though. Why not make sushi with your little one at home! This way, you and your kid could have fun and have a safe and healthy meal in the comfort of your own home.
Let’s not delay any further, and let’s start making some sushi!
First up, we have the Tamago sushi!
Tamago sushi has this sweet and savory flavor that we believe kids will enjoy. With its ingredients, you won’t also have to worry. So, if you’re still not sure where to start your kid’s sushi journey, you might want to check this one out.
Also, you don’t have to worry. Tamago sushi is pretty easy to make!
Teriyaki Chicken Sushi
Chicken is not a common sushi topping, but it does exist!
Are you still hesitant about giving your little one sushi topped with fish or shellfish, cooked or uncooked? Well, you don’t have to worry. They don’t have to miss out on the fun! You can make this teriyaki chicken sushi with and for them!
Again, it’s easy to make. You can check this recipe by Taste to check it out for yourself!
Here is another sushi you might want to try out with your little one – cucumber sushi!
One of the ingredients of this sushi is smoked salmon. However, you can skip it if you are going for vegan sushi. This sushi is not only tasty but also unique!
Want to try it out? Well, you can check the recipe over at Feel Good Foodie!
Today, we talked about kids and sushi.
First, we answered when can kids eat sushi? Here, we found out that the answer is a little complicated. There are many types of sushi, and to answer the question, we would need to know what sushi is in question.
Depending on the type of sushi, a child could eat it as early as six months or as late as five years.
To add, we also discussed sushi safety. Here, we learned that different types of sushi have different levels of concern. While all sushi could be a choking hazard, not all sushi poses other health issues.
We also talked about if sushi could be good for your little one, where we learned that it could! Finally, we got to know some tasty sushi recipes that you can try at home with your kid.
We hope we got to help you and your kid with this concern!
Hiroshi Nakamura, a Tokyo-born sushi chef turned US-based writer and critic, is the voice behind ichisushi.com, blending traditional sushi wisdom with modern insights.