CENTENNIAL, Colo., Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- School is back in session, which means families are juggling academics, extracurricular activities, and time with loved ones. While schedules are ramping up, the Beef Checkoff is helping stretched families by providing batch cooking tips and tricks to ensure meal planning is stress-free and packs a nutritious punch:
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Big Benefits with Batch Cooking
To fuel the mind, you must first fuel the body. Batch cooking with nutrient-rich beef can help do just that. The protein, iron, and zinc found in nutrient-rich beef support brain health and cognitive development in little ones1, all while keeping tummies full. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hunger in the classroom is associated with lower grades and an inability to focus.2
"It can be difficult to focus when hunger strikes, especially for adolescents transitioning from summer vacation to the classroom," said Toby Amidor, nutrition expert, registered dietitian and cookbook author. "Setting up students for success starts with getting the necessary nutrients to stay focused, and batch cooking is a simple way to ensure they're eating healthy throughout the school week. Beef is an excellent source of iron and protein which may keep students fuller longer, keeping their concentration in the classroom."
Batch cooking with beef not only saves time and money -- it can also help busy families reach daily nutrition goals by planning meals ahead of time versus rushed meals on-the-fly. Pairing a high-quality protein like beef with vegetables and whole grains provides students (and the whole family!) with vital nutrients3 needed to tackle the jam-packed school week.
Satisfying the Whole Family
Beef can be a beneficial dietary addition for even the youngest family members, even if they're not yet school-aged. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, introducing beef as an early solid food for infants can provide nutrition critical to physical and cognitive development while supporting a healthy immune system and encouraging infants to accept the taste of healthy foods as they grow older.4,5,6 Try a recipe with pureed or ground beef like this Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce that little ones are sure to love.
Not "One and Done"
Keep batch-cooked meals "new" by turning leftovers into "planned-overs" with this delicious batch cooking-friendly recipe for Beefy Sweet Potato Hash. It's the perfect way to give last night's steak or roast new life – all while providing vital nutrients for a budding brain and pleasing picky palates.
"Batch cooking with beef takes the guesswork out of weekday meals," said Chef Laura Hagen, senior director, Culinary Innovations for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. "With beef batch cooking, families don't need to stress about navigating their busy back-to-school schedules and spending hours in the kitchen. It's a simple technique that ensures everyone in the family is eating both nutritious and delicious meals as they get back into the school year groove."
For additional batch cooking recipes and nutrition information, visit www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Check out @beefitswhatsfordinner on Instagram to get more inspiration and see popular Instagram foodies sharing how beef fits into their busy, back-to-school schedules.
About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
About NCBA, a Contractor to the Beef Checkoff
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen's Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hillary Makens | Director of Media Relations | National Cattlemen's Beef Association | Direct: 303-850-3383
1 Nyaradi A, et al. The role of nutrition in children's neurocognitive development, from pregnancy through childhood. Front Hum Neurosci 2013;7:97.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and Academic Achievement Overview. Atlanta, GA: CDC;2014.p.3. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/health_and_academics/pdf/health-academic-achievement.pdf
3 US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (Slightly revised). Version Current: May 2016. Available at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl
4 American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatric Nutrition Handbook. 7th ed. Elk Grove, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014.
5 Mennella JA, Trabulsi JC. Complementary foods and flavor experiences: setting the foundation. Ann Nutr Metab 2012;60(Suppl 2):40-50.
6 Lim KHC, et al. Iron and zinc nutrition in the economically-developed world: a review. Nutrients 2013;5:3184-211.
SOURCE National Cattlemen's Beef Association