Smart Food: Delve into 12, Consuming 12 oz of Seafood a Week!
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Fish Tacos, Ceviche, Tuna Salad, Baked Halibut, Linguine with Clam Sauce, Pasta with Shrimp…all are delicious. Do you make them? Are they ever part of your family’s weekly menu? Do you know that many of these meals take as much time and often less time that the traditional spaghetti and meatballs or chicken nuggets? Yet, each of these seafood dishes provides us with a bountiful amount of vitamins and minerals without overdoing it on the calories. As Smart Mamas we need to make sure to incorporate seafood dishes into the daily menu of our children and ourselves. 12 ounces a week is the recommendation by many leading nutritional authorities, including the Food and Drug Administration, The Perinatal Nutrition Working Group and Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies. They each recommend that pregnant women, women who are planning to become pregnant, nursing mothers, and very young children to eat 12 ounce of seafood a week and avoid shark, tilefish, king mackerel and swordfish. Those who are not in these categories (men, not pregnant women and older children) are encouraged to eat all seafood varieties.
How often do you include seafood in your weekly menu, whether for lunch or dinner? Really think about it. Was it just a tuna fish sandwich last week, or one night of fish sticks? In my home, Shrimp Teriyaki is my daughter’s favorite. It’s a dish I make a couple times a month. Salmon is my husband’s favorite and a dish of fish tacos is my absolute favorite! I make an honest effort to serve a seafood entrée at least twice a week, with 4 ounce portions the most common size. Lunchtime also includes seafood. An occasional tuna salad, or shrimp salad fills my plate and my husband takes the seafood dinner leftovers for his lunch. This makes up the remaining 4 ounces to meet the 12 ounce weekly guidelines. I will be honest and mention that my daughter (nearly 4) is more of a challenge to get the seafood consumption as I haven’t found as many seafood dishes that she enjoys. Working on it.
I want you to Delve into 12 over the next 7 days. I want you and your family to reap the nutritional rewards of consuming 12
ounces of seafood this week. The Omega-3 DHA that we find in salmon and trout has been shown to help build a baby’s brain and eyes and may even prevent pre-term labor. When I spoke to Dr. Harris,member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Colorado Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, whose current research projects include the DHA content of farmed versus wild fish as well as progesterone and DHA in the prevention of preterm labor, she shared how fish oil capsules provide great nutritional value, yet the impact of natural consumption of seafood on the unborn child is superior. Why would a Smart Pregnant Mama not want to provide this to her bun in the oven? Consumption of some types of seafood have even been shown to help protect against many diseases such as cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, strokes and heart disease. Again, why would a Smart Mama not want to provide this benefit to her family?
“A Seafood Lover’s Guide to Eating during Pregnancy” that has been put together by The Perinatal Nutrition Working Group, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies and the National Fisheries Institute is an excellent resource for moms-to-be and is available for download at: http://www.healthytuna.com/health-nutrition/seafood-lovers-guide.
I have also found HowMuchFish.com, authored by the Center for Consumer Freedom, to be a great source of information on fish consumption.
The Delve into 12 Challenge: Consume 12 ounces of Seafood from Sept. 22-28
Over the next 7 days, I encourage you to incorporate 12 ounces of seafood in each family member’s diet. I will share each day a different recipe that you can use to help achieve this goal, so be sure to return to learn a new seafood dish to try.
On September 29, 2010, return to SmartyPantsMama.com to share your results of your Delve into 12 Challenge! I want you to be honest. I will be too. I will then ask each of you who participated in the challenge to not only share how you and the family did but to also enter a fabulous giveaway to win a Delve into 12 Gift Basket worth over $60 that includes:
- A variety of fish and seafood samples
- Recipe cards for fish and seafood meals
- A durable melamine mixing bowl to use while cooking
- One stainless steel fish turner
- Delicious fish seasoning from Penzey’s Spices
- A lunch box container for on-the-go fish favorites
- One copy of A Seafood Lover’s Guide to Eating During Pregnancy
- One copy of Nancy Piho’s book, “My Two-Year-Old Eats Octopus: Raising Children Who Love to Eat Everything
To participate in the Challenge, please answer the poll question below and share a comment sharing your commitment to consume 12 ounces of seafood this week, maybe even share a recipe you’ll use! Be sure to return on Tuesday, September 29, 2010 to share your results and enter the Delve into 12 giveaway!
Disclosure: A sample Delve into 12 gift basket was provided to me (Smarty Pants Mama), however the opinions above are my own.
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