Monday, August 16, 2010

Don't Skimp on the Shrimp

As families around the country start winding down their summer vacations and winding up their alarm clocks, menu planning winds up as does the hustle and bustle of busy back to school schedules. As you may remember, I represent The Shrimp Council. During this time of year, the conundrum of what to feed the children strikes mothers across the country who are searching for the perfect combination of quick and easy and delicious and nutritious snacks, mini-meals and dinners. We say, “Don’t skimp on the shrimp!”

A study last fall indicated that 91% of parents with children ages 12 years and under are not eating the recommended two servings of seafood each week. This study confirmed data suggesting the critical need for children to develop and maintain healthy eating habits. Nearly one half of the parents surveyed confessed that they were unaware that seafood was a good source of protein for their children.

Shrimp, the most popular seafood among children, is the perfect answer for tired, starving kids at the end of the school day. No sooner have the book bags hit the floor than the hunger pangs have taken over and the kids are clamoring in the kitchen. We recommend serving a shrimp pizza panini or shrimp-stuffed quesadilla to help keep their hands out of the cookie jar! These simple recipes showcase nutrient-rich and mild, sweet shrimp, full of vitamins and minerals with far fewer calories than many popular after school sweets and treats. And, the great thing is that shrimp can be boiled, sautéed, or grilled in under five minutes!

As our country fights what top nutrition experts recently called “the single greatest threat to public health in this century,” obesity, after school snacks present an opportunity to teach our children how to make good food choices. According to a report issued by Christine Williams, MD, MPH, Member, Energy Balance Subcommittee of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the prevalence of overweight and obese individuals has approximately doubled among 2-5 and 6-11 year-old children and tripled among 12-19 years old adolescents. Four large shrimp have fewer than 100 calories and pack approximately 2/3 the recommended daily intake of protein for a 10-year-old child. And, as you may know, protein staves off hunger pangs and can “power” kids through a busy afternoon of homework and activities.

BBQ Shrimp Quesadillas

Serves: 4

8 ounces cooked shrimp, diced
1 orange bell pepper, roasted or grilled and finely diced
2/3 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons all-natural barbecue sauce
Four 10-inch flour tortillas
2 teaspoons canola oil

Combine the shrimp, bell pepper, corn kernels, cheese, and barbecue sauce in a bowl. Divide the mixture evenly and spread over half of each tortilla. Fold over, press down gently, and set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add two of the quesadillas and cook until the tortillas become crisp and golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the tortillas and cook an additional 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining oil and quesadillas. Cut into quarters and serve.

Nutrition Information:
380 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated, 0.5g omega-3s), 780mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 23g protein, 25% vitamin A, 70% vitamin C, 20% calcium, 25% iron

Recipe Courtesy of: The Shrimp Council and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD & Liz Weiss, MS, RD, Cofounders, Meal Makeover

Photo Courtesy of: © Susan Stevenson –

Shrimp Pizza Panini

Serves: 2

1 can (6-oz.) tiny shrimp, drained
½ cup pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons pasta sauce
1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Four slices (1/2-inch-thick) Italian bread (about 5 x 2 ½ inches)

Preheat the Panini grill on high heat. Combine the shrimp, cheese, pasta sauce, and pesto in a bowl and set aside. Lightly brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Place two slices of bread on the work surface, oiled side down. Divide the shrimp mixture evenly between the bread. Top with the remaining slices of bread, oiled side up. Place sandwiches in the Panini press and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Slice each sandwich in half and serve.

Recipe Courtesy of: The Shrimp Council and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD & Liz Weiss, MS, RD Cofounders, Meal Makeover

Image Courtesy of: © Sandra van der Steen -

Nutrition Information:
290 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated, 0.5g omega-3), 730mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 22g protein, 35% calcium, 15% iron

No comments: