Coming up with weeknight meals sometimes feels like a full-time job, but Parents is about to change that. In our three-part series, "What's for Dinner?," we help you shop, prep, and cook faster, easier, and healthier than before. First up: no more wondering which food labels to pay attention to, or when it's best to go organic (or not!). We take you aisle by aisle, helping you select everything you need for dinner. Get ready to spend way less time at the supermarket!
These choices tend to be lower in contaminants and have higher levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids than other fish, says the Seafood Watch Program.
Beef Opt for sirloin, eye of round roasts, and tenderloinPork Go for tenderloin, loin roasts, and loin or rib chopsGround beef Choose 90 to 95 percent leanGround poultry Get lean (which usually contains less than 10 grams of fat per serving) or extra lean (which has less than 5).Note: As of January 1, 2012, all fresh meat and poultry that is sold in supermarkets in the United States will have a nutrition label.
When you see that meat and poultry has been labeled as certified organic, it means that the animals were not administered antibiotics and were treated more humanely. Of course, this doesn't guarantee that it's healthier than its conventional counterparts. Organic poultry does offer one clear benefit, though: no arsenic--approved by the government as a dietary supplement and used in small amounts in commercial chicken feed, says Cindy Burke, author of To Buy or Not to Buy Organic.
Milk (dairy or fortified non-dairy). Toddlers younger than 2 should drink whole milk, because the fat is needed for brain development (your pediatrician may suggest 2 percent if there's a high risk for obesity).
While brown eggs may look more wholesome, they offer no nutritional advantage. Also, don't be swayed by labels like "cage-free," "all-natural," and "farm fresh"--the terms aren't regulated and therefore don't mean much.
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