Want to turn fish sticks into an entire meal? Here are the best side dishes to serve with fish sticks for kids!
When you’re busy, it can feel like a huge task to put together a meal for your kids. Seriously, when did meal times get so stressful?
I try to serve my kids 3 items at each meal – a main dish, a fruit (or veggie), and a crunchy or carby side.
Fish sticks are a favorite among kids, thanks to their crispy texture and mild flavor. But, a fish stick does not make a whole meal.
To make mealtime even more exciting and nutritious, we’ve compiled a list of the best side dishes that complement fish sticks perfectly. These options are not only delicious but also provide a balanced and wholesome meal for your children.
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Free printable side dish planner!
Make sure to download our free printable side dish planner! This checklist gives you ideas for side dishes for your kids every day of the week!
Understanding the Importance of Balanced Meals
Before we dive into the specific side dishes, let’s discuss the importance of serving balanced meals to your kids.
Fish sticks are a great source of protein, but incorporating other food groups is essential for their growth and development.
Pairing fish sticks with well-rounded sides ensures a diverse range of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.
Incorporating Veggies for Added Nutrition
Vegetables play a vital role in your child’s diet. They provide essential nutrients, contribute to a balanced meal, and help develop healthy eating habits.
When serving fish sticks, consider pairing them with colorful vegetable options such as:
- Steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets
- Oven-roasted carrots or sweet potatoes
- Sautéed zucchini or yellow squash
- Green beans with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
- Creamed spinach or kale for added creaminess
Wholesome Whole Grains
Whole grains are an excellent addition to any meal, and they can bring a touch of heartiness to fish sticks.
These options not only provide energy but also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Consider serving fish sticks with:
- Brown rice or wild rice pilaf
- Quinoa salad with vegetables
- Whole wheat couscous or pasta
- Cornbread muffins or corn on the cob
- Whole grain bread or rolls for mini fish stick sandwiches
Fresh and Flavorful Salads
Salads can be a refreshing and nutritious addition to your child’s meal. Opt for salads with kid-friendly ingredients and flavors.
Here are some ideas:
- Crispy green salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette
- Colorful fruit salad with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Kid-friendly coleslaw with a creamy dressing
- Pasta salad with vegetables and a light dressing
- Caprese salad with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil
Dipping Sauces for Fun and Variety
Kids love dipping sauces! Pairing fish sticks with flavorful and nutritious dips can elevate their mealtime experience. Consider offering these options:
- Classic ketchup or marinara sauce
- Tartar sauce or mayonnaise mixed with a touch of lemon juice
- Greek yogurt-based cucumber and dill sauce
- Sweet and sour sauce or teriyaki sauce
- Homemade honey mustard or barbecue sauce
When serving fish sticks to your little ones, it’s important to provide a well-rounded meal that includes a variety of food groups.
By pairing fish sticks with colorful vegetables, wholesome whole grains, fresh salads, and flavorful dipping sauces, you can create an enjoyable and nutritious dining experience for your busy preschoolers.
The best side dish recipes to serve with fish sticks for kids
Here are some specific recipes for side dishes that go great with fish sticks!
What’s your favorite fish stick side dish?
Thanks for reading!