Happy September, Seafoodies!
‘Tis the season! Shopping, new outfits and food planning galore. Sounds a lot like December, but as parents know, back-to-school season makes the holidays look like child’s play! If you’ve got school-age kids at home, you’re familiar with the drill. Maybe you’ve already stocked up on supplies, labeled everything in sight and tamed those goat-rodeo mornings into seamless out-the-door routines. But, there’s one more thing to add to the list to keep the family humming along—stock the fridge, freezer and pantry with seafood! The brain-boosting recipes in our September Meal Plan will support your little Seafoodies’ learning, focus and memory while helping you stay at the head of the parenting class!
Seafood is brain food, literally! In fact, it’s one of the best sources of the essential omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which makes up about half of the gray matter in the brain. To ensure optimal brain and eye development, it’s critical for young children to regularly eat foods rich in DHA. This is one of the reasons the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) advises introducing easy-to-eat seafood–liked flaked salmon–to children as young as 6 months. Of course, it’s never too late to incorporate more seafood into our kids’ diets! The DGA encourage adults and children alike to aim for two to three servings of seafood a week.
On its own, seafood earns high marks for nutrition. But for extra credit, our September Meal Plan pairs seafood with another brain-boosting ingredient. To start, how about some easy-to-whip-up Chinese “takeout”? This delectable and golden-brown honey walnut shrimp has less fat and sodium than the classic recipe while delivering a double dose of omega-3s, so it’s a dish you can feel good about serving your kids.
Perhaps a nutrient-packed sheet-pan dish for your busy weeknight schedule? Plus, sheet pan dinners make cooking—and cleaning up—protein and veggies a cinch. We’re featuring one-dish salmon two ways—with antioxidant-rich asparagus and garlic or in a tangy orange-pomegranate glaze guaranteed to help little Seafoodies eat their Brussels sprouts! Or try this one-pot tuna orzo casserole… sure to please your smaller—and bigger—Seafoodies! And for a no-cook light meal or anytime snack, this tuna avocado salad gets an A+.
These kid-approved dishes offer the full alphabet of nutrients—from vitamins A, B and C to omega-3s! And make no mistake: the adults will enjoy these meals as much as the kids.
P.S. Lessons learned: If you have a picky eater in your family, be sure to check out these tips for helping kids learn to love seafood!
This walnut-shrimp combo is a textbook case for dishes loaded with protein and omega-3s. It’s also rich in B vitamins, which promote brain health.
Enhance your little Seafoodies’ reading abilities with some ABCs. In addition to omega-3-rich salmon, the asparagus provides vitamin A, which promotes eye health, vitamin B-9 (folate), which converts food to energy, and vitamin C, which helps improve focus and attention.
Young Seafoodies will love this cheesy, comfort-food casserole. And you’ll love the dynamic duo of tuna and broccoli, which provides omega-3s and vitamin C, as well as vitamin K, which supports memory and cognitive status, and iron, which supports brain development and health.
Seafoodie arithmetic: Salmon, pomegranate and Brussels sprouts add up to a brain-boosting meal rich in antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C and K.
It’s never too early for little Seafoodies to learn that seafood and avocado are the perfect pair! With cilantro, red onion and lemon, this innovative tuna guac serves up an impressive amount of omega-3s as well as vitamins B-9, C and K.