By Elizabeth May, RDN, CSOWM, LDN

Frozen meals have their time and place in a healthy eating pattern. They can be convenient, affordable and if you are careful, they can still be relatively healthy!

Frozen meals can even be effective for weight management. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Management Position Paper  recommends utilizing 1-2 meal replacements a day as a weight loss strategy. With this in mind, let’s get to know some good options that are out there.

Brands to Look for: 
  • Healthy Choice Power Bowls
  • Health Choice Cafe Steamers Simply (low carb)
  • Health Choice Cafe Steamers
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Weight Watchers Smart Ones
  • Amy’s
  • EVOL
  • Kashi
  • Luvo
  • Sweet Earth
  • Caulipower Pizzas
  • Gardein
  • Red’s Natural Foods
  • Green Giant Steamers
  • Some Trader Joes meals (with discretion)
General Nutrition Guidelines for Frozen Meals:
  • <500 calories
  • <500 mg sodium
  • 0 g trans fats / no hydrogenated oils
  • >15 grams protein
  • >4 g fiber
  • No added sugar (read labels)
  • <4 grams saturated fat
Other Tips for Meals:
  • Meal Components: Protein (beans, poultry, lean meat, fish, edamame) + Veggie + Whole Grain/Starch (brown rice, corn, sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, etc.)
  • Meal Balance: >1/2 cup veggies, 3-4 oz protein, small portion starch/grain
  • Look for lean meats (pork tenderloin, chicken, turkey, fish)
  • Skip fried foods, meals with gravy and cream sauces and pasta/carb heavy meals
  • To add more veggies to the frozen meal: Add side salad or pop a frozen bag in the microwave
  • To add more protein to the meal: Add beans, an egg or slices of chicken
  • To add healthy fat to the meal: Add some avocado
  • Omit the sauce from the frozen meal or use less of it
  • Wanting dessert after the meal? Choose some fresh fruit like berries with SF whipped topping or grill apples/pears or eat a few dried dates

Healthy Frozen Meals

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