Halibut

Halibut is a mild-flavored fish with white flaky flesh. It is a great source of vitamin D and protein for kids. Vitamin D is important to include in your diet, especially as the weather gets colder and we aren’t spending as much time out in the sun.

Some larger fish contain high levels of mercury and it is recommended that their consumption is restricted to once a week, or avoided completely by pregnant or nursing mothers, women of childbearing age and young children. However, because of its size, halibut is considered a safe option and can be eaten by those populations up to four times per week.

Everyone else is safe to eat it as often as they would like. Halibut is also included on the list of the best choices of fish because it is generally caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.

A 3-ounce portion of halibut has about a third of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ daily nutritional goal for vitamin D. It is low in fat but high in protein to help build muscle tissue as kids are growing.

There are many healthy ways to prepare halibut including baking, broiling, pan searing or homemade fish sticks.

Halibut Fish Sticks

Serves 2-4

1 1/2 pounds boneless cod or halibut fillets, cut into strips

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups panko crumbs

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 cup flour

2 large eggs

Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Position rack in upper third of oven. Spread oil on large lined baking sheet and set aside. Toast panko crumbs. Spread on separate large baking sheet and place under oven broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. In shallow dish, combine toasted panko crumbs, salt and paprika. In separate dish, add flour. In third separate dish, beat eggs. Coat fish in flour, dip in beaten eggs, then coat with panko crumbs. Arrange fish on oiled pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until cooked through and fish is opaque, tender and flaky.

Hubbard Squash

Hubbard squash is considered a winter squash. Winter squash is harvested throughout late summer and fall in New England. The category of winter squash includes squashes that generally have tougher skin and are easily stored throughout the winter.

Hubbard squash has tough bumpy skin that is usually a light grey color. However, different varieties can be orange or a dark green, almost black in color. Hubbard squash is a great source of fiber, potassium and vitamin A. Fiber and potassium are two nutrients that most people don’t get enough of in their diet.

Fiber contributes to healthy digestion. It keeps things moving at the right pace and it also helps feed the healthy bacteria in your intestines. Eating potassium-rich foods can help lower your risk for high blood pressure.

One serving of roasted Hubbard squash also has more than 300 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin A, which helps your immune system and your eyesight.

Helping your kids discover new types of foods can help them get a varied diet that provides all the nutrients they need. Squash can be cooked in many ways including baked, roasted, stuffed, mashed and in soups.

If your family doesn’t like it one way, it may have a very different flavor when cooked another way.

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Serves 10

5 pounds winter squash (butternut, buttercup, kabocha or Hubbard), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks*

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss squash with 4 teaspoons oil, salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread evenly on large baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender throughout and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes (depending on variety of squash). Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Toss roasted squash with garlic and parsley. Taste to adjust seasoning and serve.

*Make Ahead Tip: Cut squash up to one day ahead and store airtight in the refrigerator. Make it easier to cut a pumpkin, acorn squash or other winter squash by piercing in several places with a fork. Then microwave on high for 45 to 60 seconds. Use a large sharp knife to cut in half. Remove seeds and stringy fibers with spoon.