The days are growing shorter, the weather is cooling down, and fall has fast approached! Amidst the morning shuffle of backpacks, lunchboxes, and supplies, we’re easing back into our normal meal routines. If you’re anything like us, you’re thinking about putting together simple, nutritious meals for the family.
It’s hard to keep up with all the latest from the experts on what we should or shouldn’t be feeding our families. But there is one food where experts agree: fish. The jury is in, and the healthy benefits of regularly eating fish are undeniable. Even the USDA is so convinced on the benefits of seafood that their updated guidelines suggest we consume even more seafood.
So, keep it simple. Feed them fish.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you should consider getting more fish into your family’s diet:
1. Fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids
Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, a group of nutrients that are vital for maintaining a healthy heart, brain function, and vision. Omega-3 fats are particularly important for kids because they play an essential role in the early development of the brain and nerves. Our bodies can’t produce these awesome fats, so it’s important that we get them from the food we eat. DHA and EPC, two omega-3s that are especially important for cognitive development, are particularly difficult to find in foods other than fish. Not only are these amazing fats critical to development, some studies have found that omega-3s have the potential to protect memory and prevent conditions like dyslexia and ADHD.
2. Fish is high in nutrients
Fish is a great source for many of the important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed by kids both to grow bodies and to prevent future onset of disease. Fish are rich in selenium, an antioxidant that helps to protect the body from toxins and potentially cancer prevention; iodine, essential for a healthy metabolism; and zinc, which serves to bolster the immune system and ward off colds (speaking of back to school!) Some fish, particularly oily fish including salmon, even contain vitamins A and D, which can be hard to get through food. Vitamin A is needed for healthy skin and eyes and vitamin D is important in helping the body to absorb the calcium needed for growing bones. Fish also contain B and B12 vitamins that help the body grow and release energy from food!
3. Fish is rich in protein
Between recess, soccer practice, and the occasional (ok, more than occasional) sibling wrestling match, kids just can’t get enough of the protein that they need to build strong, healthy muscles and bones. In fact, kids need protein for just about every part of their growing body – skin, hair, nails, heart, and lungs. Fish is a great way to get them the protein they need for healthy development any time of the day. Fish is a lean, healthy source of protein that can fuel active bodies and minds both pre- and post athletics without weighing them down.
Fish is one of the best foods we can eat to fuel our bodies and minds - and because of that, we want it to be a part of our family’s culinary experience for generations to come. So when choosing seafood for you and your family, always make sure you know where it comes from, and that it’s sustainably sourced!