Sushi is a flavorful and nutritious dish many families enjoy, but some rolls can be too overpowering or intimidating for young tastebuds. However, that doesn’t mean your little ones should miss out on the fun! You can easily make delicious, kid-friendly rolls with not-so-traditional sushi ingredients. Don’t limit yourself to raw fish!
Here are 10 sushi roll ingredients to excite and delight curious kids. Find out how to use everything from baked fish and veggies to fresh fruit. Plus, learn three essential tips for making sushi with kids to ensure your culinary adventure is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
10 Kid-Approved Sushi Ingredients for Homemade Rolls
Help your kids become more open to new dishes and cuisines by involving them in the kitchen. Use ingredients that are familiar to them – this makes the experience feel less overwhelming.
1. Baked fish
Baked salmon and tuna are safe and suitable raw fish alternatives for kids. They’re mild in flavor and rich in nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids. To prepare them, season the fish with salt, pepper, and soy sauce before baking them in the oven until tender. Add veggies like carrots and asparagus to the baked fish rolls for extra color, texture, and vitamins.
Everyone loves eggs, so why not include them in sushi? Eggs are a reliable source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that support healthy development in growing kids. Scrambled eggs cook in minutes, are easy to fold into rolls, and are endlessly customizable. They also pair well with other ingredients, including breakfast favorites like cheese, ham, and bacon.
3. Crab sticks
Crab sticks have a sweet-savory flavor and a chewy texture that appeals to kids. They’re also surprisingly versatile: beyond sushi rolls, you can use them in salads, sandwiches, and omelets. Crab sticks are available in most supermarkets at affordable prices, making them a budget-friendly swap for fresh seafood.
You can’t have a sushi ingredients list without avocado! The fruit is naturally buttery, with a mild, nutty taste. It may seem like pure indulgence, but it’s actually rich in healthy fats, fiber, and immunity-boosting vitamins. Use it alongside crunchy veg like cucumber and carrots to make fun-to-eat and nutrient-dense rolls.
Mayonnaise is an essential baked sushi ingredient and a well-loved component of modern makizushi, especially in the West. Because of its richness, it works as a shelf-stable and affordable alternative to avocado, cream cheese, and raw, fatty fish. Try Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise in your rolls for an ultra-creamy bite.
Carrots have tons of vitamins and minerals that support children’s health. Slice them into thin matchsticks and fold them into your rolls for a pop of color and crunch. Tip: enhance their natural sweetness by blanching them until soft (but not mushy!) and vibrant.
Cucumbers add freshness to any dish. They’re also incredibly hydrating, which makes them a perfect summer snack. Dice and combine them with canned tuna or crab sticks, then bind the ingredients with mayo. Ta-da! Now you have a spreadable salad for your sushi rolls.
For a sweeter twist on sushi, add fruits that pair well with savory components, like mangoes, grapes, and strawberries. Local versions of the California maki use mango instead of avocado for juicy sweetness. You can try grapes with cream cheese, or strawberries with baked salmon.
9. Sweet potatoes
These sweet and silky tubers are the perfect sweet-savory ingredient. Roast them to bring out their butteriness, or give them a quick air-fry if you want to add a crunchy element to your rolls. Sweet potatoes offer tons of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants while tasting super indulgent.
Surprise your kids with a few “dessert sushi” options. Bring out the chocolate chips, crispy wafers, and caramel sauce. You can pair them with healthier choices like peanut butter and sliced bananas for balance. Lean into the sweetness with sticky rice cooked in coconut milk (as in Filipino kakanin) instead of vinegary sushi rice.
3 Tips to Remember When Making Sushi with Kids
Ready to roll? Keep these tips in mind for a fun-filled activity!
Tip #1: Safety first.
Always wash your hands before handling food. Teach your kids to handle knives and other sharp objects safely. And lastly, watch them closely at all times.
Tip #2: Keep it simple.
You have to keep recipes simple and easy to follow when cooking with kids. Choose ingredients that require minimal prep and aren’t complicated to handle.
Tip #3: Have fun!
Making food with your kids is a fun bonding opportunity. Encourage them to use their imagination and creativity while enjoying the process.
Get your kids excited about healthy eating by using sushi ingredients they like and playing with flavors they enjoy. Who knows, sushi might become their new favorite food!
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