Frozen Food Fits!

Posted at: 03/19/2013 11:13 AM

March is National Nutrition Month and Frozen Food Month.  Take advantage of the freezer for quick and healthy meals. Hy-Vee Dietitian, Jen Haugen, will share new products from the freezer that can fit a busy lifestyle.

Cool Facts about Frozen Meals

Farm to Frozen
  • There is virtually no difference in nutrition between fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • In fact, many frozen fruits and vegetables go from the farm to freezer within 24 hours.  
  • Frozen vegetables and fruits provide the same valuable vitamins and minerals and fiber as their fresh counterparts.  And without any added sodium.

Top Picks for Frozen to Make a MyPlate Meal

  • To shop for a healthier frozen meal, look for these criteria:
    • Less than 500 calories
    • Less than 600 mg sodium
    • Four grams of fiber or more per meal (but aiming for 10 grams/meal total)
    • Real food that is naturally colored meaning lots of fruits and vegetables inside
    • Healthy Choice frozen meals meet all of these criteria and you can make them into a MyPlate meal by adding an extra vegetable or fruit and a glass of fat-free milk or yogurt.
Frozen Meals Work
  • Studies show single-serving frozen meals are an effective meal replacement to promote weight loss and improve quality of your diet.  
  • Get to know your portions:
    • Palm = 3 to 4 ounces of meat, fish or poultry
    • Thumbnail = 1 teaspoon (butter, margarine, mayonnaise and oils)
    • Thumb = 1-2 tablespoons salad dressing, sour cream, cream cheese, peanut butter, and hard cheeses
    • Fist = 1 cup cereal, soup, casseroles, fresh fruit or vegetables
    • One cupped hand = 1/2 cup pasta, rice, beans, potatoes, cooked vegetables, pudding and ice cream
    • Two cupped hands = 3-4 ounces popcorn

Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community. Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.