Make the most of meal times with easy to make canned fish ideas

Fish and shellfish are great sources of lots of different nutrients.

It’s a well-known fact that fish and shellfish are great sources of lots of different nutrients. Oily fish – like mackerel and salmon – are high in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids1, and eating the recommended 250mg a day can help keep your heart working normally2.

Do you eat 2 portions

of fish a week?

Official guidelines tell us that a healthy balanced diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, including of oily fish

Most of us could do with having more fish in our diet of the oily and none oily variety. In fact, a national survey from Public Health for England showed that most people from all age groups eat much less than the recommended one portion of oily fish a week3. With the average adult eating only 54g per week (52g for men and 54g for women), or just over a third of a portion3.

Eating more fish isn’t just about getting enough omega 3 fatty acids though, it can also boost the amount of all-important protein in our diets4 – which can help to maintain strong bones and muscles6 – and replacing red meat with tuna in brine or spring water can help reduce our intake of saturated fat.

Princes Spicy Tomato Mackerel

According to Public Health for England, most of us don’t realise that we’re eating far too much saturated fat – men have a particularly high intake thanks to eating too much red and processed meat3. Eating too much saturated fat can increase our cholesterol levels and our risk of suffering heart attacks and strokes5.

Using dishes with tuna in brine or spring water to replace some of our more traditional meals like sausage and mash, spaghetti bolognaise, or even chilli con carne, can help us to reduce how much red meat we eat, which could also help to reduce our intake of fat and saturated fat. Canned tuna in brine or spring water typically contains just 0.1g saturated fat.

Tuna Chunks in Spring Water

At Princes, we know that the reason people are put off eating fish is that they don’t like preparing or cooking it. But the great thing about canned fish is that it’s already cooked and prepared for you, so it’s really easy for you.

Think of it as  a healthy ‘fast’ food. For instance, if the kids come in from school and are hungry, just open a can of their favourite fish, add it to seeded toast and sliced tomatoes for a tasty, healthy snack in no time.

Canned fish is ready when you are, affordable, nutritious and a can be used to make loads of quick and tasty dishes. Family favourites include jacket potato with tuna and salad, tuna pasta bake, and mackerel paté on toast, or why not try homemade salmon burgers and tuna fishcakes?

Canning is a safe method of preserving food7, which makes canned fish perfect when the fridge is looking a bit bare. And, the great thing is, you know you’re not compromising on your family’s diet by putting it on the menu.  

Canned fish has a shelf life of between 3 and 5 years, which is much longer than frozen fish8. This is because the canning process kills off bugs that cause food to spoil and also creates a vacuum, which limits the nutrients being oxidized and lost9. The food stays safe for a long time, which helps minimise waste and means it’s there when you need it.

Whether it’s salmon, mackerel or tuna, add your favourite to some canned tomatoes, dried pasta or rice, and sprinkle in some dried herbs and some frozen veg for a delicious oven-baked family meal.

If you’d like to start introducing more fish into your family’s meals, then it couldn’t be easier. Next time you’re out shopping, just pop a few cans in your trolley, and you’re ready to go!

For a full list of the references used on this page click here

Great Fish Facts

  • Canned tuna is high in protein
  • Canned salmon is high in Omega 3 and low in saturated fat
  • Canned mackerel and sardines are high in Omega 3