Best Frozen Food Choices
The frozen dinners industry brings in $6 billion. And luckily for us the growing number of entrees that are health friendly is growing and with a little investigation you can enjoy the occasional frozen dinner.
The Benefits of Frozen Dinners
-Dinner in 5 minutes
-No prep and clean up
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Tips for Choosing Healthy Dinners
- Stay away from potpies with crust, Hungry Man, cheese covered, or fried
- Choose dinners that are between 350-500 calories
- Check the fat content and buy dinners that have no more than 30% of calories coming from fat or about 10-14 grams of total fat if the meal has 300-400 calories.
- The fewer grams of saturated fat the better but never buy meals that have more than 6 grams.
- Sodium content can be extremely high so aim for 600 milligrams or less.
- Add an extra side such as a green salad or more steamed vegetables.
- The fewer ingredients, the better.
- Leave frozen meals that have MSG at the store.
- Do a little research. Use your smart phone to google the meal that you’re thinking of buying and read some of the reviews that others have posted about it. Although, taste is subjective, getting idea of how the texture and taste is can help you decide if it’s worth your money.
The Best Brands
Amy’s Kitchen- You pay a little extra for these meals but when it comes to frozen meals, the extra pennies are worth it. Amy’s uses organic ingredients and fewer preservatives than other brands. They also have a variety of options for those who have special diets, such as gluten free or dairy free.
Cederlane Foods- All-natural meals with lots of selections for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some options are high in fat, especially saturated fat so make sure you look at the nutrition facts before you buy. Also, check the serving size because some of the entrees are 2 servings per meal, which means you need to double all of the nutrition numbers.
Healthy Choice- A brand that has been around since 1988 and has branched out from just frozen meals to include steamed entrees, soups and frozen treats. Watch out for extra preservatives but Healthy Choice options are great.
Kashi- Although, much newer in the frozen entrée section, Kashi offers some great tasting, healthy options. Some of the comments of these meals say they have a lot of the starches but could use some more veggies and recommend adding in some extra frozen vegetables before heating up the meal. The steamed meals are great too but some can be a little high in sodium.
Lean Cuisine- You can see an overwhelming number of entrees coming from Lean Cuisine and they consider each meal to fall under a different collection, including culinary, spa, market and favorites. All offer healthy options and great choices. In some of the meals, the carbohydrates are high but make sure you choose ones that are made with whole grains.
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