From Crop to Consumption

Seafood Nutrition Partnership encourages parents to add seafood in new school year

With a new school year beginning, Seafood Nutrition Partnership encourages parents to be prepared and help their children start forming good habits, like eating nutritious foods that fuel their body and promote growth.

Since most kids function better on a routine, incorporating the right foods at the start of the year sets a foundation for months to come. One healthy option for kids is seafood.

When kids eat at least two servings of seafood each week, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they can receive big benefits. Fish and shellfish supply nutrients such as vitamins B and D, choline and essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are all needed for strong bones, brain development, healthy immune systems and cardiovascular systems.

“Serving seafood in familiar dishes like tacos, enchiladas, soups, salads, burgers and baked dishes can be a beneficial way for kids to eat more seafood,” said Joe Urban, SNP Ambassador and director of food and nutrition services for Greenville County Schools. “Mild fish like cod, pollock and haddock are easily substituted in most dishes that call for chicken, pork, or beef and also provide a good stepping stone for stronger-tasting seafood like salmon or tuna.”

In addition to being one of the healthiest proteins available, seafood is quick to prepare, which allows parents to get a nutritious meal on the table on any night of the week. For example, thin, frozen fish fillets and shrimp can be defrosted and cooked in under 20 minutes, making them ideal for a weeknight dinner in a rush. Another affordable seafood option is canned seafood, such as salmon and tuna. These are even faster, coming out of the package ready to eat, and have the added benefit of being some of the most budget-friendly seafood options around.