NORWAY has turned to the kindergarten in an attempt to halt a decline in fish consumption among its young people.
The country may be the world’s largest cod and salmon producer, but youngsters are turning away from seafood in worrying numbers.
‘Now the Nofima Research Institute, based in Tromsø, has launched a project called Future Fish Chefs, with the purpose of teaching children how to prepare and cook seafood.
International studies show that children in nurseries often like fruit and vegetables that they have prepared themselves. Nofima is looking to see if the same strategy can work with seafood.
Nofima researcher Siril Alm, who has been investigating young people’s attitude to food for a number of years, said many of them do not have the right cooking skills any more. They also think that preparing and cooking fish is both time consuming and boring.
Over recent weeks, she and her team have visited a number of kindergartens in the Tromsø region, offering inspirational ideas on how to cook fish.
She said it is still too early in the project to draw conclusions from the research, but the children, who have been given fish recipe cards, now find it is fun to cook with others. Fish is also featuring more frequently on nursery lunch menus.
The latest government figures show that fish consumption by Norwegians has dropped from 94,000 tonnes six years ago to 77,000 tonnes in the past 12 months, with the decline appreciably higher among people under 30.