Frozen foods/meals - which do you recommend as healthy?

@coffeebreak (17820)
United States
April 20, 2008 9:13am CST
Without going into the long story of the why's of this question, it would be probably just as informative for regule resasons too and most anyone could use it. In your experience, what do you think is the most healthiest brand of frozen food/meals? I know they have lots of sodium, fats, calories, carbs, etc, and I am not looking to use them as regular meals all the time. I am from the old school and make everything from scratch but I am helping my son with his new duty of cooking meals for himself and his 2 year old daughter and they both need to eat healthy, but time and life twirl around and someting a home cooked meal is not an option. I am trying to help him organize a "program" to make healthy meals, quick and easy and some scratch and some convenient. So what brands of frozen foods/meal does your experience say are among the best? Banquet, in my opinion is among the worst - yeah they taste good but the lingering results are really bad! For instance, I LOVE Marie Calendars Chicken Pot Pies! But they are full of fats, sodium and generall not to "good" for you, but They are so good, they are a treat to me - forget the chocolate, give me a MC pie! What are your suggestions?
3 responses
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
20 Apr 08
I have to be honest, I don't really like most commercial frozen meals. I sometimes buy them to take to work or something but only in an "emergency" of sorts. SO I can't really recommend any brand in special. I do use frozen meals but they are homemade frozen meals. On weekends when I do have the time I often make some more food than what we will eat in one time and then I freeze it in individual portions. That way I end up having quite a few frozen meals to choose from for days when I'm tired and would prefer not to cook.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
20 Apr 08
You're singing my song! I did that years ago when the kids were home...worked out fantastically and i figured how to do it in hardly any time on the weekends or cooking while I was doing something else too. NO better way. And I to, don't ususally eat these ready made things. Other than MC Pot Pies!! THose are quite the treat for me since they are loaded with sodium and fats. But figure once every other week or so won't hurt me! I think I'll ask him which way he'd rather go. Maybe I am not giving him enough credit to want or be able to do scratch cooking! You know us mom's...once a mom, always a mom!
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
21 Apr 08
As one of us said earlier: Great minds think alike LOL A treat is always allowed, if we can't treat ourselves we'll just grow old and cranky LOL
1 person likes this
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
20 Apr 08
I don't think any of these dinners are really good for you. I love the Marie Callenders ones too. I think though all are pretty high in sodium and hide behind names like Healthy Choice, etc... But for taste, Marie's or Michellina's are the way to go.
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@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
20 Apr 08
I agree with you on that! ANd I love Michellina's Mac and Cheese!
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• United States
20 Apr 08
I love that one and the fried chicken patty with potatoes! :)
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@jerzgirl (8027)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
20 Apr 08
Hi. I'd have to say Healthy Choice is best. Then Lean Cuisine and the Weight Watchers' brand. I've enjoyed all of them (of course, anything by Stouffers will taste good, whether lean or regular). I know what you mean about Marie Callendar's, too. All of their stuff is great - but kind of a pain because it's all wrapped individually - yet that's why it's good. But, you can get nutrition out of convenience foods if you use them in a limited fashion. Chicken nuggets are fairly inexpensive and can be bought at the discount grocers (Aldi and Save-A-Lot). As long as you pair them with other nutritious items, they're kid friendly and affordable. If your granddaughter won't eat veggies, then pair them with unsweetened fruits. They don't have to be fried in a pan, but can be heated in the oven with a light spray of oil over them. I remember as a kid just loving silver dollar pancakes because they were "kid-sized". Use the same logic with other foods - make kid-sized burgers. My kids used to love having their very own baked chickens (Cornish Hens). Obviously spaghetti is popular with kids - so bump up the health factor of the sauce by adding shredded zucchini and allowing it to cook until the zucchini is unrecognizable. It will be a thicker sauce without a distinct flavor change, but with added nutrition. My kids loved raw veggies dunked in ranch dressing. For some reason, the dunking factor can really get kids interested. Maybe they won't like every veggie they dunk, but will probably find one or two they do. The rest can be thrown in a soup pot for stew or soup. Best of luck to you and your son, though.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
20 Apr 08
My GD loves to dunk her food in mustard or ketchup. Green beans in mustard are her fav and she'll choose those over most snacks! And finger size it the perfect solution. I make "baby cheese burgers" for my 8 yo GD - I bake those PIllsbury biscuits (4/$1 often!) and make hamburger into same size patties. Fry the patties, then assemble - biscuit bottom, square of cheese, burger patty, square of cheese, biscuit top. She doesn't like any condiments on the burger, just meat and cheese. like her mommy did at her age! THen I wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them. Take out, pop in micro for 35 seconds and lunch is ready. She will even ask for these for a snack! I do the chicken nuggets - I make them myself - but of course my son won't be doing that so I was going to make them and freeze them and then all he has to do is bake them for 10 minutes in the toaster oven. Works great. But a bag of store bought in his freezer is a good thing to have on hand too. Thanks for your suggestions. I hope to be able to compile them all and help him out.
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