Easter is Sunday, which means Hy-Vee stores are filled with flowers, fun crafts and supplies to make colorful decorations. This year, you may still be considering social-distancing-safe backyard adventures for Easter. One idea is to make scavenger hunts a “glow-in-the-dark” evening activity using flameless tea light candles inside the hidden prizes for kids.
Easter approaching also means that this is the last week of Lent. During Lent, many Christians (especially in Catholic traditions) choose to fast on designated days. The practice serves two main purposes: 1) to shift the focus of those who fast off of their surroundings to hope in Christ and 2) to remind them that faith is a process – the continual renewing of the heart and mind. One of the foods people often fast from during Lent is meat, which makes seafood a popular source of protein this time of year.
As a dietitian, I love that this time of year means more people are open to increasing seafood intake. Seafood (especially salmon and tuna) offers omega-3 fats, and research shows that these types of fat promote heart health. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating at least two servings of fish per week. Keep in mind, four ounces is typically considered one serving for fish; visually, that’s about the size of one deck of cards. It’s also noteworthy that deep-fried fish options wouldn’t count towards the AHA’s recommendation (delicious as deep-fried fish may be).
To reach two servings of seafood per week, break it down to one seafood option with lunch and one seafood option with dinner each week. For example, choose salmon as your protein with dinner one evening, and include tuna in a sandwich or wrap with lunch (my favorites are the “infused” tuna varieties, with flavors like sundried tomato or basil). Whether or not you’re avoiding meat on Fridays for this last week of Lent, it’s a great time to add seafood to your menu.
One thing to consider when purchasing seafood is sustainability. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the source of seafood you’re buying. “Responsible Choice” is a label given to seafood that indicates it’s from sources that can maintain or increase production in the long-term without jeopardizing the environment or other marine life. Hy-Vee has made great efforts to ensure that sustainable seafood options are available and are labeled as such in its seafood cases. Making responsible seafood purchases can play a role in ensuring a healthy supply of seafood for generations down the road. Whatever your beliefs are and whatever spring traditions you celebrate, I think we can all get behind the idea of making informed decisions to set up for a better tomorrow while promoting heart health today. Use the recipe below to add to your Easter celebration!