Are Fish Sticks a Healthy Alternative to Grilled Fish?
— Christina White, Agawam, Massachusetts
A: Yes, those fish sticks do count as a serving. But the breading may contain dangerous trans fat (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil). Even if it doesn't, the breading can be high in saturated fat, salt, and sugar. One solution is to make your own—my wife rolls fillets in a mixture of crushed Kashi Original 7 Grain TLC crackers and Nature's Path Heritage or Synergy cereals. The result is a big hit at our dinner table, and it provides whole grains in addition to a serving of fish. If you don't want to go to the trouble of making fish sticks, try one of these nutritionally sound brands: Dr. Praeger's, Ian's, Natural Sea, or Henry & Lisa's.
The other factor to consider with store-bought fish sticks is that they tend to contain cod or pollock. Both are excellent sources of protein, but they have fewer healthy omega-3 fats than oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Still, you're doing the right thing by finding a way to get your family to eat fish.