PROTEIN: What foods are in the Protein Foods Group? All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group. For more information on beans and peas, see Beans and Peas Are Unique Foods.
Select a variety of protein foods to improve nutrient intake and health benefits, including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Young children need less, depending on their age and calories needs. The advice to consume seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat.
Some commonly eaten choices in the Protein Foods Group, with selection tips, are:
- Meat such as lean beef, pork, venison, bison, lamb (this includes ground meats, just be sure it is LEAN). Be sure to look at fat content, how the meat is prepared and recommended serving portions.
- Poultry such as chicken, turkey and duck. Again, preparation is key. Duck is a higher fat meat than say, chicken breast. Darker poultry meat is higher in fat as well, that is why white chicken or turkey is the most recommended.
- Nuts and seeds such as peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. Following recommended serving is best and nuts in their natural state are better than roasted or salted nuts.
- Seafood comes in several forms: fin fish, shell fish and canned. Salmon, tuna, trout, catfish are all examples of fin fish with salmon giving you the highest benefit. Shellfish are just that, fish with a shell. So things like crab, lobster, shrimp and crayfish. And then canned fish such as tuna, salmon, and anchovies. Again, grilled, not fried, cooking methods are best.
- Eggs When eaten in moderation, no more than 2 every other day or so, eggs add a great protein to your diet. Prepared poached, hard boiled, soft boiled or fried (in olive oil or a lightly sprayed pan) and then paired with black beans, whole grain English muffin or fruit, eggs a delicious variation to meat.
- Beans and Peas make a great substitution to meat and are great for vegetarian diets. Just remember to pair them with fruits and veggies. Black, pinto, kidney, and garbanzo beans are often found in CFA menu. Sometimes they are out in the open and other times they are within a dish adding a nice punch of protein. Did you know beans make a great thickener for soups and chilies as they give off starch?
As with most foods, protein is an essential part of your daily diet, but must be eaten in moderation and be low in fat.
- 2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
- 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pinch paprika
This is a great recipe that can be enjoyed alone, as a dip (as shown) or a spread for various sandwiches.
Black Bean and Corn SalsaMix first 8 ingredients in a bowl, lightly toss. Chill until ready to serve. If adding avocado, add just before serving as it will brown. Serve with Baja Fish Tacos (found in Camp Kitchen Magic cookbook), with chips, Mexican dishes or how you prefer.
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 C onion
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
- 2 T line juice
- Garlic salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Avocado, chopped (optional)
Eat well and be healthy. Remember to check out www.myplate.gov for more information.
In the Spirit of Camp,
Join us for the Youth Empowerment / Ragger Retreat Dec 9-11, 2011