February is Canned Food Month!
February 1, 2022
By Jaime Sherman, MS, LDN, Community Nutrition Educator – SNAP-ED
February is not only the month to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but it is also National Canned Food Month! We take time during the month to discuss misconceptions surrounding canned food products and to promote healthy and cost-effective ways to incorporate canned products into your lifestyle.
Not only are canned foods oftentimes cheaper than fresh foods, they are quicker and easier to prepare as well. By having a longer shelf life than fresh food, they can be stored in the pantry and used to add fruit, vegetables, or protein to a meal. The addition of canned food helps to bulk up a meal and make it more substantial and last longer!
By following the tips below, canned foods can be comparable nutritionally to their cooked, fresh, and frozen varieties. All sources provide important vitamins, minerals, and protein for a well- balanced diet.
Tips for using canned foods include:
- Focus on fruit packed in 100% juice
- Focus on products packed in water, “No Salt Added” or “Low Sodium.”
- Drain and rinse all canned products under running water to remove excess salt or sugar. According to mealtime.org, rinsing and draining canned beans reduced sodium content per serving by 41%. Draining without rinsing reduced sodium by 36%.
- Discard cans that appear to have dents, bulges, or leaks.
Interested in quick tips for using canned products in new and interesting ways?
- Poultry, fish or beans: tossed salads, sandwiches, dips, or by itself! You can even add cut up fruit into a chicken, tuna, or salmon salad.
- Tomatoes: salsa, dips, sauces, soups, nachos or tacos
- Peas: rice, soups, salads, puree into a dip or dressing
- Peaches: popsicles, waffle or pancake topper, oatmeal, salsa, wraps, grilled fish.
Stay tuned throughout February for other tips and information on canned food!