Nutrition Corner: Grilled fish tacos and peach salsa make for an excellent Mother’s Day Meal

May 11th, 2017 11:11 am

Happy Mother’s Day. Whether you are a mom, grandma or a soon-to-be mom, it is a day to relax and reflect upon yourself. If you can, delegate the normal mom responsibilities and kick back.

Moms can be influential in family eating patterns. We are strong role models for our children and team players in parenting. Choosing the right foods to serve our families can be tough. As part of the family team, we are influential; however, spouses or significant others play a part in mealtime, as well.

My mom’s favorite fish was breaded and fried and purchased ready-to-eat from a local fish store. Growing up, I ate fish but didn’t like it unless it was the kind from the fish store. My dad was a fisherman. Trout, perch and smelt were the normal catch. But, when they were served, I wasn’t looking forward to dinner. Knowing what I know today, and how important it is to eat fish often, I wish we tried a few different recipes to make fish taste better. Here is why.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest adding more fish to our diets. Fish is a good high quality protein, usually low in fat and a good source of DHA and EPA. It also contains many different vitamins and minerals. Important minerals found in fish include selenium, zinc, iodine, and iron. Fish naturally provides B vitamins and oily fish help provide Vitamins A and D. Studies have shown that consuming certain types of fish during pregnancy, it benefits the child’s growth and development.

Fish comes with some caution. Because fish live in the water and water can contain harmful substances, FDA has a chart that lists a variety of fish and categorizes them into “Best Choices,” “Good Choices” and “Choices to Avoid.” The “Best Choices” should be eaten about two to three times a week, with the appropriate serving size, and include fish like tilapia, clam, cod, haddock, shrimp and salmon. The “Good Choices” should be eaten about once a week and include fish like bluefish, halibut and monkfish. The “Choices to Avoid” list contains the highest amount of mercury levels and includes fish like shark, king mackerel, marlin, and swordfish. When it comes to tuna, it can be found within the three categories. Canned light tuna is suggested to be the greatest option and can be found in the “Best Choices” category.

A serving size for adults is 4 ounces of fish, about the size and thickness of an adult’s palm. The servings and how many times per week for adults includes pregnant women. For children, ages 4-7, a serving size is 2 ounces. Fish is not recommended for infants under the age 6 months because of potential allergen risk.

Fresh fish may be a little pricy; however, canned and frozen are just as nutritious. Look for recipes that use canned and frozen types. To keep food safe to eat, follow the cooking directions and cook to the proper temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Are you “fishing” to try a new recipe to introduce to the dinner table? Check this one out.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa (Makes 4 servings)

For the salsa:

• 1 can or 15.25 ounces peach halves (drained, rinsed, and chopped, about 1 cup)

• ½ red bell pepper (finely chopped, about ½ cup)

• ¼ red onion (finely chopped, about ¼ cup)

• 1 whole jalapeno pepper (rinsed, seeded, and finely chopped)

• 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (finely chopped)

• 2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the fish:

• 4 tilapia fillets (about 1 pound)

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• ¼ teaspoon low-sodium adobo seasoning

• 1 package low-sodium sazon seasoning

• 8 6” flour whole wheat tortillas (warmed)

For the salsa:

In a medium bowl, stir together chopped peaches, bell pepper, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lemon juice; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the fish:

Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using paper towels, pat fish dry, transfer to plate. In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, low-sodium adobo and sazon packet. Rub fish with spice mixture to coat completely. Place fish on hot greased grill grates. Cook, flipping once until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork (145 degrees Fahrenheit), about 8 minutes. Thinly slice fish. To serve, fill each tortilla with ½ fish fillet and about 1/3 cup of salsa.

Nutrition Corner Mary R. Ehret Corner Mary R. Ehret

Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at