Long-Term Health Benefits of Family Meals (and How to Make Them Fast!)
September is National Family Meals Month, a nationwide celebration designed to underscore the benefits of family meals. Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and weight, and less risky behavior.
Numerous studies underscore the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of consistently eating together as a family, yet, according to a 2013 Harris poll, only 30 percent of American families share dinner every night.
Juggling the demands of a busy, modern life often comes at the expense of family mealtime at home. Research shows family meals support positive impacts on health and wellness, including reduced obesity rates, fewer eating disorders, less risky behaviors among teens and lower rates of diabetes among adults.
Making and eating dinner at home is one way families can stay connected and share their daily experiences while enjoying a nutritious meal. Getting kids involved in cooking makes them feel proud of helping and more likely to eat wholesome foods.
Fish and shellfish are good options for busy nights. Most seafood can be cooked in 15 minutes or less. Additionally, fish and shellfish are sources of lean protein, low in saturated fat and rich in vitamins and minerals, most notably the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association both recommend at least two serving of seafood per week to support heart and brain health.
Easy Seafood Cooking Tips for Busy Families
- Cook it from frozen: the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute offers whole series of tasty recipes called Cook It Frozen!®. Most frozen seafood can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes. You can also stock up on frozen seafood when it’s on sale.
- Stock up on canned seafood: When you’re at the grocery store, grab canned, tin or pouch seafood (especially when on sale). Canned seafood often offers a more reasonably priced alternative and can be tossed into salads or pastas for an easy meal.
- Cook it once, eat it twice: Try doubling recipes to get ahead on cooking and have a dinner or lunch ready for later in the week. Recipes that freeze well, such as stews and casseroles, are great to double. Also, consider cooking an extra piece of fish to use on a salad or in a sandwich later in the week.
- Grab-and-go options: the easiest cooking tip of all is to grab pre-prepped seafood from your local Food Lion to just bring home and heat!
Food Lion’s Ready-to-Cook Offerings
We offer several delicious, fresh items in our fresh seafood case that are ready to go, quick and easy meals. The Flavor Sensations items we’re offering this September and October are:
Candied Apple Salmon: For this limited time offering, our chefs start with the finest Atlantic Salmon. We baste the freshest fish with our unique and seasonal candied apple glaze. Mixing sweet and savory creates a decadent and flavorful combination that will impress your guests. Bake and pair with caramelized brussel sprouts, butternut squash and apple slices for the ideal Autumn meal.
Maple Crusted Salmon: For this limited time offering, we begin with the finest Atlantic Salmon. Our chefs have created a delicious autumn crust brimming with harvest flavors. Brown sugar, toasted pumpkin seeds and crispy breadcrumbs all combine with the flavors of pecan, maple and vanilla to capture the season perfectly. Simply bake or pan sauté and pair with seasonal veggies. Your guests and family will enjoy this flavor profile beautifully suited for the fall weather.
And these tasty options are available year-round:
- Cedar Plank Garlic Herb Salmon
- Go Wild Cedar Plank Sockeye with Chipotle Seasoning
- Go Wild Lemon Herb Scallops
- Sea Cuisine Almond Crusted Flounder
- Sea Cuisine Honey Chipotle Salmon
- Bourbon Salmon
- Salmon with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Enjoy an Easy, Fresh, Affordable Seafood meal today!