Debunking the myths of frozen foodsPublished 4:39pm Saturday, March 30, 2013
Happy Easter from your Hy-Vee dietitian.
We are strolling toward spring but that is no reason to skipping the freezer aisle. Are you under the impression that there aren’t any healthy options in the freezer aisle, only those loaded with calories, fat and sodium?
Let’s debunk those frozen food myths.
Farm to frozen
Did you know many frozen fruits and vegetables go from the farm to the freezer within 24 hours?
That means nutrients are captured at their peak because the produce is harvested at its prime ripeness out of the field. And nutrients don’t break down while in the freezer.
There is virtually no difference in nutrition between fresh and frozen fruits and fresh and frozen vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables 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
You can create a healthy meal from the freezer. When you are shopping for a frozen individual dinner, keep in mind these criteria for one serving:
•Less than 500 calories
•Less than 600 mg sodium
•Four grams of fiber or more per meal
Healthy Choice brand meets these criteria with their frozen meals. And you can make these meals into a MyPlate meal by adding fruit and a glass of fat-free milk or yogurt. You can feel good about this healthy choice on your plate.
Within these frozen dinners is real food created by real people in real kitchens.
As I recently visited ConAgra Foods in Omaha, Neb., I witnessed firsthand the pride and dedication this company takes in creating meals that feed families across America.
Each meal is made with real food, including vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Meals you see behind the freezer doors were initially inspired by their chefs. The highest of quality control and food safety measures are in place to protect you, the consumer.
Frozen Meals are perfectly portioned
Frozen meals can help you maintain a healthy weight. In fact, studies show single-serving frozen meals are an effective meal replacement to promote weight loss and improve quality of your diet.
Using frozen meals are also perfect in helping you learn portion control. Here are some other tips on portions — just using your hands.
•Palm equal to 3 to 4 ounces of meat, fish or poultry
•Thumbnail equals 1 teaspoon (butter, margarine, mayonnaise and oils)
•Thumb equals 1-2 tablespoons salad dressing, sour cream, cream cheese, peanut butter and hard cheeses
•Fist equals 1 cup cereal, soup, casseroles, fresh fruit or vegetables
•One cupped hand equals half cup pasta, rice, beans, potatoes, cooked vegetables, pudding and ice cream
•Two cupped hands equals 3-4 ounces popcorn
Step into the freezer aisle and find healthy choices for you and your family.
If you would like to see pictures from my trip to ConAgra Foods, visit my blog at http://JenHaugenRD.wordpress.com