Summertime and the living is easy, right? It could be if you had 15 healthy frozen meals to choose from!
As we all know, summers can be far from relaxing. Between family vacations, back-to-back camps and activities, and social obligations, your summer may seem more hectic than the school year. As a result, an extra hour at the pool or juggling camp pick-up schedules might gobble up dinner prep time and tank your healthy eating habits. Before you turn to fast food or delivery, consider a frozen meal.
The new generation of frozen meals are not your mother’s TV dinner.
When choosing a frozen entrée, use the nutrition facts panel and ingredient label as your guide. Don’t be fooled by misleading front-of-package health claims. Look for options that:
- Showcase plenty of vegetables (Not possible? Consider adding a side salad or piece of fruit.)
- Contain low amounts of fat
- House reasonable calories
- Have less than 800mg sodium per serving
Here’s a list of my top 15 healthy frozen meals, along with their calories, fat and sodium per serving:
Kashi Sweet and Sour Chicken: Flush with whole grains and plenty of protein, this all-star makes a family favorite more nutritionally friendly.
Healthy Choice Café Steamers: Kung Pao Chicken: Who needs take-out with this slimmed-down version of the beloved dish? The steam basket keeps veggies crisp and flavorful.
Amy’s Asian Noodle Stir Fry: A shout out dairy-free and gluten-free!
Cedar Lane Roasted Chili and Cheese Egg White Frittata: Pair this with a side salad or piece of fruit for an easy meal.
Evol Chicken Fajita Burrito with a Side of Guacamole: This winner comes with a side of healthy-fat-packed guacamole! Not big on the green stuff? Evol makes a variety of other options, all with impressive stats.
Healthy Choice: Baked Entrees Chicken Enchilada Bake: With a rich queso sauce, rice, and chicken, this meal is sure to please.
Kashi Three Cheese Penne: This stand-by will make even the pickiest eater happy. Kashi pumps up the nutrition with whole grains and added vegetables.
Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash Ravioli: Broaden your child’s vegetable horizons with this creamy, decadent entrée.
Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna: A fresh take on an old favorite! With fire-roasted veggies, a creamy sauce, and a breadcrumb topping, this entrée takes lasagna to a new level.
Healthy Choice: Baked: Chicken and Spinach Alfredo: With whole grain pasta and spinach, this creamy and indulgent dish gets a major nutritional improvement. Plus, home-baked taste without the prep time.
COMFORT FOOD FAVORITES:
Healthy Choice: Baked: Slow Roasted Turkey Bake: Make any day Thanksgiving with this star entrée. Crispy onions included.
Amy’s Spinach Pizza Snacks: For a quick and easy meal or snack that contains organic spinach and cheeses, this fan-favorite will check off a some of those nutrition boxes.
Lean Cuisine Herb Roasted Chicken: This comfort dish pumps up the nutrition with added veggies in a creamy herb sauce. Pair it with fresh fruit for a well-rounded meal.
Kashi Lemongrass Coconut Chicken: With red quinoa pilaf, creamy lemongrass coconut sauce, snap peas, and coconut, your child can explore new textures and flavors.
Lean Cuisine Indian-Style Masala: Discover new spices with this Indian-inspired dish. Whole grain brown rice, cauliflower, peas, and carrots provide essential nutrients. Bonus points: this dish is also vegetarian!
Do you rely on frozen entrees on busy days? Share your favorites in the comments section below!
Leigh Delavan, RD is a pediatric dietitian at Arkansas Children’s Hospital where she specializes in diabetes, providing nutrition education for families of children with newly diagnosed diabetes.
Disclaimer: The Nourished Child provided an objective and independent review of these products; no affiliations or support was obtained from any grocer or food manufacturer.
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: July 16, 2014
Updated on: December 10, 2018