Research finds this species still the favorite among UK youth

Published on
September 29, 2015

Children in the United Kingdom are becoming more adventurous when they eat, especially when it comes to seafood.

According to new research from Seafish, children between the ages of seven and 11 are taking chances on different types of seafood species – 40 percent have tried crab, 33 percent have sampled squid and roughly 20 percent have given lobster a try, Seafish found.

Cod remains the most commonly consumed fish among the U.K’s youth, with 87 percent having eaten the fish. Other species, including tuna (80 percent), haddock (73.3 percent) and salmon (60 percent) have also frequently graced the palates of this growing generation.

"It's fantastic to see kids consuming different varieties of fish. The health benefits of eating more fish are well-documented – and each type of fish provides a different culinary experience and a unique flavor. We'd like to help grow that enthusiasm and get more people eating more fish more often,” said Mel Groundsell, Corporate Relations Director at Seafish.

But while children are being more adventurous when it comes to the seafood dinner plate, Seafish data finds that they aren’t venturing out as often as is recommended. Only 24.3 percent of seven to 11-year olds in the United Kingdom are consuming two pieces of fish per week to align with the recommended minimum. What’s more, the research notes that almost 30 percent of U.K. youngsters have never participated in eating fish and chips by the seaside either.

This latest data has been revealed by Seafish in conjunction with the launch of a student chef-led pilot education program, which looks to teach children about seafood, its variety and how to deliver it from the ocean to the dinner table. “It is hoped that the initiative will encourage children to eat a greater variety of fish more often, as well as inspire the Chefs of tomorrow,” said Seafish.

Over the course of the next year, the education program will welcome 50 groups of young chefs from colleges throughout the United Kingdom to Billingsgate fish market to show them the ins and outs of seafood – from sourcing and handling, to fish-mongering and cooking. Thereafter, the young chefs will compose an education program for U.K. children relaying some of the main things they’ve learned about seafood.

"Through our education programme we're aiming to motivate both parents and children by celebrating and exploring the variety of fish available and inspiring the next generation of chefs to broaden their culinary horizons and help expand family tea time menus," explained Groundsell.

The launch of the education program occurred on 25 September in Coventry. Find more information about the program here: http://www.fishisthedish.co.uk/education

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