How To Choose A Healthier Frozen Meal

How To Choose A Healthier Frozen Meal

By Joni Garcia MS, RD, Contributing Blogger

It’s the holiday season and between decorating, shopping, and parties, it can be hard to find time to cook a meal. Picking up a few frozen meals during your weekly trip to the market may sound like the best alternative, but with so many options, it can be hard to figure out which ones are healthier. Below are five tips to help you navigate the frozen foods aisle.

5 Tips for Choosing Frozen Meals

Read the Ingredients Label – Although many frozen meal options sound like something you’d make at home, it’s not uncommon for them to include additives and artificial ingredients. It’s important to read the ingredients label and choose entrees made with more whole foods and less of the fake stuff.

Watch the Portion Size – Portion sizes of packaged foods can be deceiving. Check the nutrition facts label and take note of the number of servings in the package. It might seem like the package is for one person when it really contains two (or more) servings.

Be Wary of Sodium – Frozen entrees are notorious for being packed with sodium. Choose frozen meals with no more than 765 milligrams of sodium per serving. That’s about 1/3 of the maximum amount of sodium most Americans should eat in one day.

Choose Whole Grains – There are tons of benefits to eating whole grains (they’re good for your heart, digestive system, and keep you fuller longer), yet we still tend to eat too few. Many frozen meals are now made with whole grains, so choose those varieties more often.

Add Veggies – Frozen meals often include only a very small portion of vegetables or none at all. To round out the meal and keep it balanced, add a salad or pick up a bag of frozen veggies to steam and have on the side.

TELL ME: What are some of your favorite frozen meals?

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