Not only is March National Nutrition Month, it’s also Frozen Food Month! Most people automatically assume frozen foods are unhealthy, but that’s not necessarily the case. While frozen foods are notoriously high in sodium, there are also many low-sodium options. Further, contrary to popular belief, freezing food does not automatically decrease its nutrients, which means there are lots of healthy frozen foods out there — you just have to know what you’re looking for!
Are Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Healthy?
Definitely! Frozen fruits and veggies can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts because the freezing process seals their nutrients. For the healthiest frozen fruits and vegetables, you should choose options without any added sugar or seasoning.
Healthier Frozen Entrees at VG's Grocery
Fruit and veggies aren’t the only healthy items in the frozen food department, though. Frozen entrees can also be very nutritious when lower in sodium and higher in fiber. Look for frozen entrees that include veggies and lean proteins and have at least three grams of fiber with less than 500 mg of sodium.
Frozen Seafood Alternatives
When fresh seafood isn’t available, frozen seafood can also be a healthy option. Shrimp and fish are common affordable alternatives.
Nutritious and Delicious Frozen Combinations
You can always combine less nutrient-dense foods with nutrient-rich foods to make a healthier meal. For example, you can add extra veggies to top a frozen pizza or pair frozen pizza with a salad.
Another idea is to pair frozen toaster waffles with fresh fruit and yogurt for a balanced breakfast. Try making a peanut butter sandwich using toaster waffles in place of bread and fresh berries or grapes in place of jelly for a fun twist on a traditional favorite. For even more nutrition, choose the whole grain waffle option. (Be sure to look for “whole grain” as the first ingredient!)
Frozen or Fresh, There’s No Such Thing as Bad Dessert
Of course, when talking about frozen food, we can’t leave out ice cream and other tasty frozen treats. Getting the most nutrition out of our meals is always the goal, but every now and then, we deserve something a little more decadent. Just be sure to eat healthier foods as snacks and entrees, and that gives you a little more wiggle room to enjoy the occasional less healthy dessert! Throughout each day, remember to focus on enjoying smaller portions and balancing your diet.
This week, be sure to include nutritious frozen foods in your cart to celebrate both Frozen Food Month and National Nutrition Month! You can also find more delicious recipes and tips for National Nutrition Month at healthyfamilyproject.com.
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."