Shopping for Health: Guide to Frozen Meals
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ ( Publisher's URL )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000845/00001
 Material Information
Title: Shopping for Health: Guide to Frozen Meals
Series Title: Shopping for health series
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Glenny, Sarah A.
Dahl, Wendy J.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012
Abstract: Busy schedules, limited cooking space, or a lack of kitchen equipment may limit what you eat at meals. But with the large variety of frozen meals that are now in grocery stores, it’s possible to expand your food options and still eat tasty and healthy meals. The key is to know what to look for when you are shopping. To learn how to choose delicious meals that meet your taste preferences and your health needs, read this 3-page fact sheet.
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Diana Hagan.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Publication #FSHN12-02"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000845:00001


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FSHN12-02 Shopping for Health: Guide to Frozen Meals1Sarah A. Glenny and Wendy J. Dahl2 1. This document is FSHN12-02, one of a series of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of F ood and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date January 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.u.edu 2. Sar ah A. Glenny, MS-DI student, and Wendy J. Dahl, assistant professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specic information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition.The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or aliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim DeanImagine a plate of steaming spaghetti and meatballs topped with grated cheese, or perhaps grilled herb-avored chicken with zucchini and mashed sweet potatoes. For most people, these meals might seem like a lot of work to prepare. Busy schedules, limited cooking space, or a lack of kitchen equipment may limit what you eat at meals. However, with the large variety of frozen meals that are now in grocery stores, its possible to expand your food options and still eat tasty and healthy meals. e key is to know what to look for when you are shopping. To learn how to choose delicious meals that meet your taste preferences and your health needs, read on.Frozen Meal BasicsThe Benets of Frozen MealsFrozen meals are convenient and can be helpful for people who have minimal cooking skills. Also, preparing meals from scratch may be dicult for people who dont have enough cooking space or kitchen utensils. Frozen meals, however, give you the chance to enjoy a delicious meal with a minimal amount of work and time. Another benet of frozen meals is that freezing retains much of the foods vitamin and mineral content, so eating frozen meals on a regular basis can be healthy as long as you make good choices (1). e use of eective freezing methods helps to maintain the original texture and good taste of foods. Frozen meals may also oer health benets. Because frozen meals are controlled portion sizes, some brands may aid in weight management. e Dietary Guidelines 2010 recommendations for weight loss suggest that consumers focus on the total number of calories consumed and monitor food intake (2). Choosing healthy frozen meals may help Figure 1. Frozen Credits: Sebastiano Pitruzzello. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. http://ic.kr/p/tqGsf


2consumers learn portion sizes (3). Healthy frozen meals can be used as a tool to reach weight-loss goals (3). Frozen meals can be used to achieve nutritional goals, such as those associated with high-ber or low-fat diets. Since the nutritional content for the entire meal is listed on the food label, you can easily check calories, ber, fat, sodium, and other important nutrients to make sure you are staying on track.Frozen Meals and YouChoosing the best option for you and your specic health needs is simple. Remember these three basic messages to help you select the healthiest meal for you: 1. Choose a well-balanced meal. Select whole grains, lean sources of protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. USDAs MyPlate oers a good example of how a typical plate of food should look (4). Man y manufacturers of frozen meals oer a variety of meal options that include whole grains, lean protein sources, vegetables, and occasionally fruits. 2. Keep your health in mind. Many meals contain high levels of sodium and fat. Reading the food label can help you select a healthy option for your nutritional goals and needs. Keep the suggested values in mind when you select frozen meals and fa t, of ber for added nutritional benet. 3. Healthy eating starts with smart shopping. Cost can be a barrier to purchasing frozen meals regularly. Using coupons and stocking up during a sale are great moneysaving options.Now Its Your Turn!Many options can be found in storesfrom vegan to Asianinspired. Companies have researched the specic needs and preferences of consumers like you. Many companies hire a team of chefs, dietitians, and food scientists to develop their recipes. Listed below are some common brands of frozen meals. Lean Cuisine: is brand contains numerous lines of entres based on taste and meal style. Most meals are around 300 calories and contain Diet Exchange values and Weight Watchers points as listed on the package. Lean Cuisine includes many dierent product lines including the Spa Collection and Simple Favorites. Most of these lines contain vegetarian options. Selections from the Spa Collection include whole grains, 1 serving of a fruit or vegetable, and 3 grams of ber. Examples include Apple Cranberry Chicken, Hunan Stir Fry with Beef, and Butternut Squash Ravioli. e Simple Favorites product line provides consumers with the chance to enjoy some of their favorite foods while staying within their desired calorie range. Examples include Macaroni and Cheese, BBQ Chicken Quesadilla, and Swedish Meatballs with Pasta. Healthy Choice: Most entres in this brand include a lean source of protein, whole grains, a serving of vegetables, and some ber. e variations in the entre types are based on preparation methods and avor preference. Figure 2. ChooseMyPlate.gov Table 1. Nutrient on the Suggested Amount Food Label Calories 250 Fat 5 g Saturated Fat 0 g Trans Fat 0 g Fiber 2 g Sodium 400 mg g = grams; mg = milligrams


3 Steaming Entres Simply steam the meal in the bag. No stirring or puncturing is needed to make these products, so there are fewer steps. Examples include Garlic Herb Shrimp, Chicken Romano Fresca, and Porta bella Parmesan Risotto. Complete Meals boasts a full serving of vegetables and a fruit-based dessert, making a complete meal. Examples include Fajita Steak with a caramel-apple multigrain crisp or Golden Roasted Turkey Breast with cherry-blueberry crisp. Amys: is brand oers vegetarian meals made with organic ingredients. e meals are labeled with symbols making it easy for consumers to spot choices that are vegan, low-fat, certied Kosher, dairy-free, soy-free, tree-nut free, or cholesterol-free. Products are divided into a variety of unique types, including the following: Indian dinners, such as Mattar Paneer and Vegetable Korma Pot pies, such as Broccoli Pie and Shepherds Pie Pocket sandwiches, such as Cheese Pizza or Tofu Scramble Whole meals, such as Chili and Cornbread or a Southern dinner Many frozen meals like these are available in your grocery store. Having choices allows you to experience food with unique avors and from dierent cultures that also match your dietary needs. Now that you know how to select healthier choices, all that is le to say is Bon apptit!References and Resources(1) Hunter K & Fletcher J. e antioxidant activity and composition of fresh, frozen, jarred, and canned vegetables. Innov Food Sci Emerg. 2002; 3(4):399. (2) U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. (7th ed.). 2010. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Oce. (3) Reimers K, Pardo S, Kawiecki D & Rippe J. Portion controlled frozen meals at lunch are associated with high compliance and perceived benets during a weight management program. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011; 111(9):SA83. (4) U.S. Department of Agriculture. Current Graphics. 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011 from Choose MyPlate. gov website. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/global_nav/ media_resources.html. Recommended WebsitesUniversity of Florida IFAS Extension EDIS http://edis.ifas. u.edu/topic_nutrients e EDIS website is a comprehensive, single-source repository of all current UF/IFAS numbered peer-reviewed publications, including a large collection, sorted by topic, that provides research-based information on Health and Nutrition for consumers in Florida. Learn more about specic nutrients and making healthy food choices. Figure 3. 9 Minute Pasta Photo by alachia. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. http://ic.kr/p/7ZTKV2