Don’t Freeze Up in the Freezer Aisle

Who doesn’t love convenience? I think that’s why most of you are here – to find ways to make eating easier!

Frozen food in general is a great option. Most of my veggies for my family come from the freezer! You can also find great frozen fruits; grains, like frozen rice and pasta; proteins, like meat, seafood, and plant-based options. 

Don't Freeze Up in the Freezer Isle (2)

But what about frozen meals? They certainly come in handy and can be a smarter option (nutrient and wallet-wise) than getting takeout. While they can be easy to grab, they often can be higher in some nutrients like sodium or added sugar that you may be concerned about. They can also be low-volume– not quite enough fueling food for a meal. 

Here are my biggest tips when looking for frozen meals: 

  • Look for options that include at least a serving of veggies, a whole grain, and lean protein source. 
  • Pay attention to the serving size. Some frozen meals are too small to keep you full, but others are meant to feed a family. Can you eat more than one portion? Sure! But do you need a family-sized frozen dinner for just one person? Can you save half for lunch tomorrow and keep these guidelines in mind:
    • Look for sodium that is about 500 mg or less.
    • Look for 0 added sugars, or as little as possible.
    • Watch the saturated fat. Aim for 3 grams or less. 
    • Think about what you can ADD to your meal – a bag of frozen stir fry veggies would mix wonderfully with some frozen meals. Other add-ons could be a side of fruit for more filling fiber; yogurt or cheese stick for protein; whole grain roll or crackers for long-lasting carbs (aka fuel). 

This is not intended for medical advice.

Post by Ashley Cully, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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