When kids eat at least two servings of seafood each week, the benefits are big. Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy immune and cardiovascular systems. As the new school year begins, the Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) offers suggestions for helping your children do their best in the classroom and beyond.
“Fish is a delicious source of lean protein that is perfect for busy students -- and their parents,” says Linda Cornish, president of Seafood Nutrition Partnership. “Eating seafood regularly can help increase energy, improve memory, and aid in sports performance and recovery.”
Seafood is a good source of lean protein, low in saturated fat and rich in vitamins and minerals, most notably the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. But there are many more fun facts as to why kids benefit from seafood:
Janine Faber, MEd, RD, LD, as a dietitian and a mother, works to debunk the myth that children won’t like seafood. She says there are three ways to increase your child’s interest in seafood: exposure, up to 12-15 tries before a child accepts any new food; be a positive role model, eating healthy foods yourself; and including kids in the kitchen to excite them about the dish they are about to eat. Learn more in her recent article, 3 Ways to Increase Your Child’s Interest in Seafood.
Between the soft texture and the delicious taste, fish could be every kid’s favorite food! Here are some tips for helping kids enjoy fish:
More Kid Friendly Recipes:
Read the press release here.
Thirteen of the nation’s top chefs represented their home state and battled for the prestigious title of America’s Best Seafood Dish at the 14th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Saturday, August 5. Seafood Nutrition Partnership ambassador and seafood sustainability pioneer, Chef Ryan Nelson, was chosen to represent Indiana.
GASCO, hosted by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, was created to showcase the superior quality of domestic seafood. During the grueling culinary face-off, each chef prepared a dish that best promoted the use of U.S. seafood while interacting with a live audience, celebrity hosts and the panel of nationally acclaimed judges.
Each chef was encouraged to build a dish around regional foods from his or her state, which is something Nelson does daily at his Indianapolis restaurant, Late Harvest Kitchen. In Indiana, that means featuring seafood from the Great Lakes or from one of 40 local aquaculture and aquaponics farms that provide delicious options including shrimp, salmon, hybrid striped bass, tilapia, and yellow perch.
“It’s great to represent Indiana, a (mostly) land-locked state, and showcase what is available to us in the middle of the country,” he said.
The 45 miles of coastline in Indiana is that of Lake Michigan, which offers a decidedly different bounty than GASCO competing chefs from states such as Alaska, Florida and Louisiana. At his restaurant, Chef Nelson, who is an avid fisherman, features lake trout and walleye frequently, and smelt is a surprising menu favorite.
For the competition, in which he had just one hour to cook, he made Lake Michigan Whitefish Rossejat. The Spanish-style dish uses toasted dried pasta to offer a unique flavor profile, which also included local Fowler, Indiana-raised shrimp along with Spanish chorizo, aioli, and a tomato and saffron sofrito sauce.
“I felt proud of the dish we did,” said Nelson, who was aided at the competition by his wife, Laurie, who is co-owner of their two restaurants. Despite not taking home the crown, Nelson said he would definitely do it again in the future. “We had fun competing and met some great people,” he said, adding that he enjoyed educating fellow chefs and the audience on the virtues of lake fish.
“This year’s competition was one of the toughest yet,” said Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser as he crowned the winning chef from Alaska.
In recent years, there has been a revolution in the sports world on how important nutrition is in an athlete’s life. Proper nutrition allows for better performance during competition as well as a quick recovery afterward. Athletes now know that a well-balanced diet is important in allowing your body to rebuild muscle tissue and get ready for the next competition.
A study from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which analyzed 74,000 adults over 24 years, found improving the quality of your diet to include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and less red and processed meats and sugary beverages, may significantly reduce risk of premature death.
The study, which looked at diet over a 12-year period (1986-1998) and the subject’s risk of dying over the next 12 years (1998-2010), found that increasing healthy foods in your diet is associated with lower risk of total and cardiovascular death. The Mediterranean Diet or DASH Diet were considered to be best examples.
The researchers found that swapping one serving of red or processed meat daily for a better option was linked to an 8% to 17% decrease in risk of death. Among those who had relatively unhealthy diets at the beginning of the study but whose diet scores improved the most, the risk of death in subsequent years was also significantly reduced.
Lead author Mercedes Sotos-Priet says that, “Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk.”
The study was published in the July 13, 2017 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
By Janine Faber, MEd, RD, LD, Registered Dietitian and President of Janine Faber Nutrition, LLC
Introducing seafood to children may seem intimidating. I know it was for me, especially growing up in the Midwest and not having a lot of seafood when I was younger. But as a dietitian, I know there are a variety of heart-healthy benefits to seafood – the unsaturated fat and lean protein – so I experimented and found recipes that helped me love seafood. Then, I also got my 3-year-old excited about it, too!
As a mom and a Seafood Nutrition Partnership Indianapolis Coalition member, I want to debunk the myth that children won’t like seafood. I encourage you to try these three ways to increase your child’s interest in seafood:
1. Exposure. Don’t give up if your child doesn’t seem interested in seafood when you first introduce it. Research shows it can take 12-15 tries before a child accepts any new food. And try mixing it up! Instead of offering one seafood option like salmon, try shrimp or tuna to add variety. Also, look for different ways to prepare seafood. Try grilling shrimp, including fish in tacos or making fish cakes.
2. Be a Positive Role Model. Kids look up to us as parents and notice everything - from what we say to what we don’t say. This includes watching the foods we eat. If we are eating and enjoying seafood, our children are more likely to eat and enjoy seafood too!
3. Include Kids in the Kitchen. When making seafood dishes – or any food – invite your child to join you in the preparation. The more involved they are in the preparation, the more likely they will be to eat the food. And just think how proud they will be when they see their work on the kitchen table!
One of our current favorite family seafood recipes is this Fresh & Light Tuna salad. My toddler always asks for seconds
Fresh & Light Tuna Salad
Approximate nutrition information per serving: Calories: 247, Fat: 14.5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 8.5g, Fiber: 0.8g, Protein: 22g, Sodium: 507mg.
Adapted from: Target to Table: Healthy and Delicious Meals One Superfood at a Time by Kristen Johnson and Matt Johnson.
Insider tip: Soft corn tortillas are very low in sodium and don’t crumble with your first bite.
Makes 10 tacos
FROM THE HEART
Looking for heart-healthy recipes that excite your taste buds and expand your palate? Nutrition Action’s Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwood, delivers with this collection of dishes that help you follow the top-rated DASH diet. Get healthy while enjoying Tropical Black Beans, Mediterranean Fish Stew, Turkish-Spiced Chicken, Quinoa & Winter Fruit Salad, and dozens of other scrumptious dishes.
All-Star’s Personal Chef Talks About Eating to Fuel Performance
Prior to scoring 39 points, leading his team to the national championship and being named MVP, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant had a nice lunch of pan-seared salmon topped with homemade tzatziki sauce, served with wild rice and a medley of zucchini and squash. He eats fish – a lean protein that sustains his energy levels without weighing him down – before nearly every game.
In fact, Durant eats seafood at least six times a week – 8-ounce servings of some of his favorites, including salmon, sea bass, scallops and shrimp, says the man who cooks these all-star dishes for him, chef Ryan Lopez.
“In order for me to perform the way I want to perform,” the two-time Olympian says, “I need some good energy in my body and [Lopez] provides that for me.”
Lopez says, “I need to make sure he’s fueled for the game,” and seafood is light, easy to digest, offers energy and helps with muscle recovery. Adding, “as a trained chef, it needs to be healthy but I make sure it tastes good, too.” He takes classic comfort food dishes and puts a healthy spin on them.
Lopez has cooked for Durant for nearly six years, moving to Oklahoma City and then to the Bay Area when he transferred from the Thunder to the Warriors this season. And, this season while Durant was out with a knee injury, he needed to focus even more on nutrition to get him toward his goals of recovery.
Lopez works with six other athletes, as well, including professional boxers and Oakland Raiders players, and personalizes meal plans for each of them based on blood work to get to peak performance through measures of inflammation, cholesterol, glucose, omega-3s, and gluten.
To decrease inflammation and to aid in muscle recovery for his athletes, Lopez encourages them to get a significant amount of omega-3s a day, with a goal of an omega-3 blood level of 10% to 15%. He acknowledges this can sometimes mean they need to supplement with fish oil.
For Durant, Lopez prepares balanced meals that rely on lean protein, minimally processed carbs (plus he’s been gluten free for three months) and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
A typical day includes:
One of Durant’s favorites is the miso-glazed sea bass. “I fell in love with sea bass when [Lopez] started cooking for me,” he says. “That’s like the one thing I have to have all the time.”
Lopez tries to cook seasonally, so currently halibut and soft shell crab are favorites right now.
Find Lopez on Facebook or Instagram to follow along with his kitchen creations.
Pro Cooking Tip:
When cooking a fish filet without the skin, Chef Ryan Lopez prefers pan searing in a little avocado oil. On high heat, sear for 3 to 4 minutes until it starts to release off the pan and has a brown crust, then pop into the oven for a few minutes to cook to medium. Then let it rest for a couple minutes before serving for a nice crust.
If the filet has skin, start with skin side down in the pan and, while searing, push it down for 30 seconds so it doesn’t curl. Then the last step is to flip it over, flesh side down, for the last step of cooling. You’ll get crispy skin.
Seafood Nutrition Partnership created a new one-page resource highlighting best choices when it comes to omega-3 in various species.
Health organizations suggest an intake of at least 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3 EPA+DHA per day. Find out which seafood has the most omega-3s:
Meet Shauna Nosler, managing editor of Edible Indy
and read her latest article, Getting Hooked on Salmon
Tell us a little about what you do?
I’m the managing editor of Edible Indy, which means I’m involved in all aspects of the editorial process: helping to plan future issues, assigning stories to writers, editing articles (over and over and over again), writing features, etc. I also freelance (both as a writer and editor) for a number of other organizations including U.S.A. Track & Field, The Indianapolis Star, U.S. News and World Report and others. When I’m not on a deadline I try and keep up with posting on my blog, The Flavored Word (note the word “try”).
How did you get involved with the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Indianapolis?
Through the magazine … I heard SNP wanted to work with people who share a love for seafood, and who want to educate others on why they need to eat more seafood -- I’m looking forward to our partnership. And I’m looking forward to posting more Instagram shots of all the awesome seafood available in this landlocked state of ours : )
Why do you think it’s important to educate Hoosiers about the health benefits of seafood?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest -- which means I grew up eating seafood. A lot of seafood. Here in Indiana, and I suspect much of the Midwest, seafood isn’t necessarily something people consume on a regular basis. But they need to.
Of course, it takes more than just telling them what the USDA recommends. And it takes more than simply relaying the nutritional information. People need to be taught how to buy seafood, what to buy, where to buy it, and what to do with it when they get it home.
Recently, I worked with SNP President Linda Cornish and fellow coalition member Nick Caplinger on a story specifically about salmon. The article’s full of great information on sustainable fishing practices and includes a guide to the species (the different kinds of salmon available) as well as suggestions on how to prepare it at home.
What’s your favorite seafood dish?
I’m a sucker for seafood paella and order it at any restaurant brave enough to attempt the Spanish dish. At home, we eat fish, or some type of seafood, at least five nights a week. I’m a big fan of salmon, lingcod (which is nearly impossible to get in the Midwest but pretty easy to fish for in the PNW), king crab, scallops, and most shellfish -- especially mussels and raw oysters, which oddly I didn’t become a fan of until I moved here. Go figure!
Whether it’s on the basketball court or on the sidewalks of your neighborhood, regular physical activity is imperative to living a healthy life. Paired with a balanced diet, it can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer – and give you more energy, focus and drive.
In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Seafood Nutrition Partnership has asked some star basketball players how they eat to play their best – because they know that training must go hand-in-hand with healthy eating and proper nutrition.
“We have huge challenges ahead of us to get healthy as a nation,” said Detlef Schrempf, three-time NBA All-Star and founding board member of non-profit Seafood Nutrition Partnership. “When we were raising our two boys we were very busy, but took the time to educate ourselves on what the right food choices were. It took a conscious effort not settling for the convenient fast food option, because we’re all tired at the end of the day, but rather to plan ahead to prepare nutritious meals for our kids.”
“When I was playing,” said the 16-year NBA veteran, “part of my success, was really living a healthy lifestyle and eating well. I hope I can inspire young people to make healthy choices that will have lasting impacts.”
Through his foundation and volunteering with Jr. NBA and NBA Cares, Schrempf tours the country speaking with students about the importance of physical activity and good nutrition, because it takes both to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Research shows that when children are physically active, they do better – they achieve higher grades, don’t get sick as frequently and have a more positive outlook.
An inspiration for the future All-Stars, Schrempf also speaks with athletes to instill the importance of nutrition paired with training for optimal performance. College basketball standout Dedric Lawson, who led the Memphis Tigers scoring this year and heads to the Kansas Jayhawks, said Schrempf inspired him to eat seafood twice a week.
“I’m trying to cut my body fat down,” Lawson told The Commercial Appeal newspaper, “cutting back on sweets, cutting back on a lot of fried foods and I’m eating a lot of seafood, things that will help my body.”
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter has also realized that good nutrition impacts performance.
“My first year in the NBA I was a really bad eater,” said Kanter, who helped bring his team to the NBA finals this year. “I was up to over 280, so I started a diet of just seafood and vegetables, and I lost over 40 pounds in one summer. I came back in my second season and I felt just so much better. I was running down the floor better, I was moving better. It impacted my performance, too.”
He is putting that life lesson to use impacting the community through his work with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, where he works to bring healthy food to those in need. To raise funds for the food bank, he’s combined his passions and created an online cooking show, Kitchen 11.
Also taking it digital, Schrempf recently paired with NBA Cares to create a series of videos encouraging healthy eating choices and for people to take the Healthy Heart Pledge.
“Take it from an athlete,” he starts in one video, “maintaining a healthy heart and brain is easy when you add seafood to your diet. Seafood is rich in healthy fats known as Omega-3s and full of lean protein.”
The staff, Board of Directors, and chef ambassadors of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership invite the public to join us in sharing the health impacts they have achieved through the Healthy Heart Pledge. We invite you to share your story!
Seafood Nutrition Partnership is a 501(c)3 with a mission to inspire a healthier America through partnerships and outreach to raise awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood.
© 2018 Seafood Nutrition Partnership. All Rights Reserved.