These Toddlers Love Raw Oysters

Kate and Daddy Eating Raw Oysters

Almost every Saturday Kate and I go to the farmer's market in Santa Monica and eat raw oysters on the half shell. The oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm are so fresh (just harvested a few hours before) and unbelievably delicious. We are so lucky to live in Los Angeles and be able to eat fresh oysters for breakfast at the farmer's market.

Last weekend Seth went with us. He must have eaten at least a dozen oysters. Kate ate about 6 or 7 herself. Every time she finished one, she'd delicately point with her index finger, asking for another.

Our friend Jungleen met us there with her son, Noah. Noah is not really eating an oyster — he's just licking the shell. How cute is he with his blankie and his oyster shell?

Noah Eating Raw Oysters

This is how I got Kate started. She wouldn't eat the oysters at first but I would always let her lick the shell. Eventually she started asking for the oyster — and now she eats them as fast as she can.

Kate and Daddy Eating Raw Oysters

People think it's amazing that Kate loves oysters. She always draws a crowd when we are at the farmer's market. But it's not really that surprising. She sees how much her daddy and I love oysters. Children want to do the things you do. I figure if I can get her started early eating super-nutritious foods like oysters and chicken liver pate and salmon roe, maybe she won't be as picky as she gets older. And of course she is benefiting from all those fat-soluble vitamins and minerals and enzymes.

Oysters are also really important for adrenal health. One of my readers wrote in a comment this week that when you have adrenal exhaustion, your body gets overloaded with copper. The way to combat copper toxicity is to get more zinc. There is no food as high in zinc as fresh oysters — it's off the charts! Not to mention vitamin B12, which many people are deficient in.

If you're in LA, you can visit the Carlsbad Aquafarm stand at the Saturday (and I think Wednesday) Santa Monica farmer's market. In addition to oysters, they have fabulous clams and mussels, and sometimes scallops. All super-nutrient-dense foods. Tell Rob Cheeseslave sent you.

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

21 thoughts on “These Toddlers Love Raw Oysters

  1. They are definitely there on Wednesday, too. 🙂 Cara and AJ both had some this past Weds.! (I went to the FM alone yesterday and kept all of them for myself….teehee.)

  2. Gina –

    Yes, smoked and canned oysters are also very high in zinc. I love making oyster chowder — it’s yummy and you can make it with canned oysters.

    Another good thing I’ve made using oysters from a jar is oyster risotto.

  3. Meagan, if you want to get more zinc into your diet, your very best bet is to cultivate a taste for seafood, particularly oysters.

    Here’s a chart to show you how much higher oysters are in zinc than any other food:

    The very next food on the list is beef liver. If you eat 85 grams of oysters, you get 75-100 mg of zinc. If you eat the same amount of beef liver, you only get 5 mg of zinc.

    Vogue food editor, Jeffrey Steingarten says it takes eating something a minimum of 7-8 times to overcome a food aversion. In his book, “The Man Who Ate Everything” he used this technique (trying something at least 7-8 times) to overcome all sorts of food aversions.

    If you regularly eat a variety of foods with lower amounts of zinc and eat them in larger quantities, you should be able to get plenty of zinc (as long as you’re not eating things like white flour and sugar which contain phytic acid which blocks mineral absorption). Oysters are just super-packed with zinc — an easy way to get a whole lot of zinc (and B12) in one shot.

  4. Wow, I just love seeing little ones eat fresh seafood….our FM here in Sth Australia also has fresh oysters & I am going to try out that great tip with the oyster shell 🙂

  5. Sadly, no fresh oysters in Tennessee. Not that I’d eat them if there were. I’ll have to look for canned or smoked ones. Know of any good brands?

    I was too busy going to concerts in Santa Monica when I lived out that way to even notice there was a farmer’s market, let alone enjoy all that great seafood.

  6. I love eating raw oysters for breakfast!! Not as fresh as those in LA but not canned either. Local “nice” seafood deli is where I buy them here in the mid west.

  7. I’m in the midwest and it’s really hard to get good seafood here. My naturopath told me the midwest is known as the hypothyroid belt, maybe because we don’t eat enough seafood. Almost all the “fresh” seafood available is farm raised, which contains more toxins, right? And even the “fresh” seafood is usually previously frozen, and it’s a good thing because if they didn’t freeze it, it would stink by the time it arrived. The only really fresh fish we can get are catfish from the Mississippi, which are bottomdwellers. Yummy. I’d like to know the same thing as Kristin, do you know if any of the canned brands are better? I love smoked oysters. It’s nice to have another excuse to eat them.

  8. It used to be called the Goiter Belt.

    It’s not specifically due to a lack of seafood, but rather due to a lack of iodine in the drinking water and food supply.

    Here’s a map of the Goiter Belt — it’s actually not the midwest but mainly the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest:

    This is why they introduced iodized salt in the 1920s:

    However, now that people are using less salt, using non-iodized salt, and exposed to more bromide, fluoride, perchlorate and other halogens in their drinking water (and breads, soft drinks, and other foods and personal care products), PLUS there’s a lot of soy in our food supply today (soy is a goitrogen/blocks iodine uptake), I think it’s important to supplement with iodine — especially for women who have been pregnant and who have breastfed. There is a lot of research showing that breast cancer and ovarian cancer may be caused by iodine deficiency.

  9. I don’t know about different brands of canned oysters… check the ingredients and see what’s in them. I would avoid anything with MSG or oils added.

    If you live near a Whole Foods, that’s usually a good place to get oysters. Often they will have fresh oysters (and usually they will even shuck them for you).

    In the Bay Area, Whole Foods carries Drakes Bay Oysters:

    Eventually they are going to ship I think — but I don’t think they are now.

    Whole Foods has lots of other frozen seafoods as well. Frozen is fine. Just look for wild caught. Avoid farmed seafood unless you know the producer & you know it’s sustainably farmed.

    Vital Choice also ships fantastic seafood

  10. Thanks for the links, Ann Marie. I’ll look at canned oysters next time I’m at the grocery. No Whole Foods here….we’re in RURAL Tennessee.

    I’d like to hear more about why women who have been pregnant or have breast fed need extra iodine. I know having many babies and breastfeeding for extended periods of time is correlated with lower breast cancer risk. My mother died in 1999 of breast cancer. I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding since 1999 as well. 😉 Anyway, breast cancer runs in my family….both sides….even back 3 generations!

    So it is a topic of BIG interest to me. Thanks again!

  11. Raw oysters are one of my 3-yo’s favorite foods! That and sushi. He’s been mucking sushi down since 9-mos. I had no idea oysters were so high in zinc, though. I need to figure out a way to get them into our diet more often.

    Nourished Kitchen’s last blog post..Full Moon Feast: Review & Giveaway

  12. Love the pictures! You know how I bought a dozen oysters that day? Well I pretty much had them all to myself. Greg tried one and didn’t like it. I tried giving one to Noah but he crinkled up his nose and said, “No” and swiped it away. I guess just licking the shell will have to do for now. But soon (I hope)! They are soooo good.

  13. My 14 month old love love loves osters. I am having a hard time though finding out on the net if she is allowed to eat them or even how much is ok.

  14. I was searching for images of “raw oyster” as my keywords, and your photos of the toddlers were so adorable that I just had to click on the thumbnail. Made me smile.

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