Monday, April 11, 2016

Tuna Mac and Cheese Cups

These Tuna Mac and Cheese cups are a creative way to add more seafood to your diet. Current recommendations suggest to include seafood in  at least two meals per week.
Tuna Mac and Cheese Cups

Hi, Friends!

I wanted to share with you one of the recipes my toddler is currently loving.  The recipe happens to be one of the few seafood dishes my little one will actually eat (well that is other than fish sticks).

Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which included recommendations for seafood.   The current recommendations for seafood consumption are eight ounces per week (less for young children), which means including seafood in approximately 2-3 meals per week.  According to the guidelines eating adequate seafood is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity.  Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume 8-12 ounces of seafood per week for improved infant outcomes.

Seafood, specifically fish, is a nutrient-packed food loaded with high-quality protein and minerals.  Adequate protein intake is helpful to maintain lean body bass and help with weight control (helps with metabolism and satiety).  Some types of fish contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help with brain development and heart health.

For many children (and even adults) increasing seafood, intake can be a challenge.  In fact, most Americans are not meeting the current recommendation for seafood intake.  Canned and pouched tuna can be a convenient and affordable way to add seafood into your family's diet.  Seafood can also be added to "All-American" dishes like today's recipe for Tuna Mac and Cheese Cups, fish taco recipes, or many casseroles.  Or think about how to flavor fish with sauces like teriyaki or barbecue, citrus ingredients like lemons, or fresh herbs.  These are just a few suggestions for flavoring fish, the sky is the limit.



Enjoy!

Your Family's Dietitian,



Disclosure: This recipe was created for a television segment I participated in as a consultant for The National Fisheries Institute.  I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

Tuna Mac and Cheese Cups

by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Keywords: appetizer entree side cheese fish pasta
Ingredients (12 cups)
  • 2 cups macaroni, uncooked
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3-4 ounces canned tuna, drained
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • optional seasonings: thyme, paprika, or onion powder
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray
2. Cook macaroni per directions or until still slightly firm; drain, and set aside
3. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and mix well
4. Spoon macaroni into muffin pan, fill to top
5. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes
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