How to Raise a Sushi-Lover

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As a sushi-lover, I’ve encountered plenty of people who give me the ick face when I suggest we go out for sushi. “Raw fish?” they scoff. “Why would anyone eat that?”

“Some of it is raw, sometimes,” I try and explain “but there’s a lot of cooked stuff too. And veggies!”

I usually give up somewhere around “I hate veggies too. Can’t we just get a burger?” Or the classic, “let’s get Chinese! That’s kind of the same, right?”

The hate that sushi gets from my adult friends makes me worry that once my kid is old enough to eat some, it’ll be impossible to get them to even try just a little bite and I’ll be resigned to my life of solo sushi eating. But don’t worry, I have a plan. If I surround them with beautiful, yummy sushi things from the start, they’ve gotta love it just as much as I do, right?

Let’s start at the beginning. As soon as I bring my baby home, I’m going to slap on one of these amazingly detailed sushi onesies. It even has ginger and wasabi, and that plastic grass stuff that comes underneath! I feel like this one will be a two-for-one, since seeing my adorable newborn in this getup is sure to convince some of my stubborn friends too.

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And what do babies love more than looking adorable? Touching everything, of course. Touching the different textures of sushi in this Touch-and-Feel Stroller Card book is a great way to get them used to the different components of sushi.

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Of course, kids are going to need sushi toys to play with. This Melissa and Doug Sushi Slicing Playset captures the beauty of sushi on blocks of wood, but they’ll probably just be into the cool chopping sound the knife makes when they cut.

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As kids get older, it’s probably time to get them used to sushi as food. Why not use candy like Kim Becker of Mommy Knows? My husband, who takes me for sushi on my birthday and orders garlic bread for himself, saw this sweet sushi when I was doing my research and exclaimed “if my mom had made me that, I would probably love sushi  now.”

There you have it.

(Also, yep: I found a sushi place that also has garlic bread. So if all else fails, my kids can eat that instead.)

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If you’re looking for something a little more savory, how about a lunch meat and white bread sushi roll like these from Lisa Cabanes of Social Couture?

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After eating some kid sushi, it might be fun to play a sushi game like Wasabi or Sushi Roll to make things even a little more interesting.

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If your family digs sushi and doesn’t mind subtitles, you might be as excited as I am about watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Independent Lens this coming Monday, December 23rd. It looks like it’ll be a great little film about fatherhood, sushi and seeking out life’s little perfections.

The documentary even has an accompanying interactive website.

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