Parents are always looking for ways to get their kids to eat more protein. I have found the perfect hands-on recipe solution that kids love while providing them with a lean protein source and healthy fat to boost their brain power — Tilapia Fish Sticks!
Remember those frozen fish sticks circa 1975? Well skip the frozen stuff and try these fresh Tilapia Fish Sticks! Your kids will love being part of the process in dipping, coating and baking their “sticks.”
You can feel great about serving them because they are high in protein offering 23 grams per serving, a good source of iron with an added dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Muscles and brains, what more could you ask for?
Ingredients: ¾ cup panko bread crumbs ¼ cup parmesan cheese ¼ cup parsley, chopped ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2 egg whites 1 pound tilapia fillets
Preheat oven to 475°. Grease a 13 x 9 inch rimmed baking sheet.
Combine panko, parmesan, parsley, garlic and onion powders, and sea salt in a medium bowl. Add egg whites into a separate small bowl, and beat lightly.
Slice first tilapia fillet in half, width-wise, then cut each half into 1-inch strips. Repeat with remaining fillets.
One at a time, dip each strip into egg whites, allowing excess to drip off. Then dip in panko mixture and toss to coat each strip in the mixture.
Place coated strips on prepared baking sheets and spread out to allow for even cooking.
Bake 18 – 20 minutes until crust is golden brown and fish is opaque.
Makes 5 servings (6 fish sticks per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 160 calories; 2.5g fat (1g sat fat, 1g mono, 0.5g poly, 0g trans fat); 50mg cholesterol; 10g carbohydrate (0g fiber, 0g sugar); 23g protein; 230mg sodium; 6% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 6% DV vitamin C; 6% DV calcium; 10% DV iron. TIP: These homemade delicious Tilapia Fish Sticks freeze well. Make an extra batch and place on a flat baking sheet in the freezer, then wait 2-3 hours, and transfer to a Zip-Lock Freezer bag.
BONUS: Tilapia fish have a low impact on the environment and minimal mercury levels, for more information on safe fish selection visit Seafood Watch.
Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.