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The Best Healthy & Frozen Meals

Posted Jun 07 2012 3:27pm

Frozen meals get a bad rep for being full of preservatives and deemed unhealthy due to soggy meatloaf and brands like Hungry Man; however, when chosen properly, they can be a huge time-saver and healthy meal option. Since starting my summer internship, I've lived off of frozen meals. I'll make my lunch once in a while if I have time but convenience eventually takes over and I get down right lazy. Yes, fresh is always best but life happens and sometimes its just easier to accept the microwave as your friend.

When buying a frozen meal, it's important to look at the nutritional label and ingredient list. Frozen meals are notorious for being saturated with sodium so beware (Try to look for ones under 600 mg). To keep your calories in check, look for options that are 350 calories or less and over 8 grams of protein. Higher quality meals (like Kashi or Amy's) range from $2.50 to $4.00 but is the same or less than what you'd spend at your work's cafeteria or a quick trip to Panera.

Key words to look for when shopping

Steamed: these options are often healthier because they freshly steam right in the container-- how convenient!
Low sodium: these meals contain less salt than their saltier counterparts but check the ingredients to make sure it's low sodium isn't compensating for another ingredient.
Whole grains: especially in pasta dishes, these meals contain more fiber and nutrients that white flour.
Organic: this seal of approval is a safe go-to when picking any frozen meal.

Still need some help deciding which meal is best for you?

Here are some of my favorites

      Calories: 340       Total fat: 9 g       Saturated fat: 1 g       Sodium: 380 mg       Fiber: 8 g       Protein: 9 g         *Vegan

      Calories: 340       Total fat: 8 g       Saturated fat: 1 g       Sodium: 380 mg       Fiber: 7 g       Protein: 8 g         *Vegan

                   Calories: 230          Total fat: 5 g          Saturated fat: 2 g          Sodium: 490 mg          Fiber: 5 g          Protein: 10 g            *Vegetarian

      Calories 260
      Total fat: 4 g
      Saturated fat: 1 g
      Sodium: 570 mg
      Fiber: 3 g
      Protein: 15 g

       Calories 310
        Total fat: 9 g
        Saturated fat: 0 g
        Sodium: 550 mg
        Fiber: 3 g
        Protein: 21 g

        Calories: 260
        Total fat: 7 g
        Saturated fat: 2 g
        Sodium: 550 mg
        Fiber: 4 g
        Protein: 9 g

        Calories: 290
        Total fat: 6 g
        Saturated fat: 1 g
        Sodium: 590 mg
        Fiber: 5 g
        Protein: 20 g


         Calories: 240
         Total fat: 4.5 g
         Saturated fat: 2 g
         Sodium: 480 mg
         Fiber: 4 g
         Protein: 8 g 
          * 94% Organic
          ** Gluten-free

                Calories: 240
                Total fat: 5 g
                Saturated fat: 0.5 g
                Sodium: 590 mg
                Fiber: 5 g
                Protein: 11 g

What are some of your favorite frozen meals, share them with me by leaving a comment!

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