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Healthy Eating: Improving Your Convenience Foods
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ ( Publisher's URL )
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000887/00001
 Material Information
Title: Healthy Eating: Improving Your Convenience Foods
Series Title: Healthy eating series
Abbreviated Title: Improving Your Convenience Foods
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Minton, Emily
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012
 Notes
Abstract: Convenience foods offer many benefits, but they generally have a low nutritional quality compared to other foods. You can improve the nutritional quality by adding vegetables, fruit, and/or meat and meat alternatives.
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 #FCS80013."
General Note: "ENAFS: Elder Nutrition and Food Safety."
General Note: Large Print.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000887:00001

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FCS80013 Healthy Eating: Improving Your Convenience Foods1Emily Minton2 1. La versin en espaol de este documento es Alimentacin Saludable: Mejorando sus comidas precocidas (FCS80013-Span).This document is FCS80013, one of a ser ies of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date May 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.u.edu 2. Emily Min ton, B.S., former ENAFS program coordinator, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32611. 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 DeanWhat Are Convenience Foods?Convenience foods are foods that require little preparation. With some convenience foods, you only have to heat them, and they are ready to eat in less than ve minutes! e majority of convenience foods are processed foods. However, precut, prewashed, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables also can be classied as convenience foods. ey are healthy foods but usually more expensive than less prepared fresh fruits and vegetables.Pros and Cons of Convenience FoodsConvenience foods oer many benets, including less time spent planning meals and grocery shopping, less preparation time, fewer leovers (with single-portion foods), and easier cleanup. Convenience foods also can provide options for those who dont like to cook, have limited cooking skills or ability, or have poor or no kitchen facilities. On the other hand, processed convenience foods generally have a low nutritional quality compared to other foods. is is because of the sodium, fat, and/or added sugars they contain, along with low amounts of essential nutrients.Improving Nutritional Qualitye good news is that you can improve the nutritional quality of convenience foods you prepare at home by adding nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruit, and/or meat and meat alternatives! Adding nutritious components to convenience foods will allow you to consume a greater amount of the essential nutrients, such as the ber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to maintain a healthful status and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. In addition, adding these nutritious foods reduces the amount of sodium, fat, and/or sugar per serving. Figure 1. When using canned beans, put the beans into a colander and rinse with cold water before using. Credits: Paul Goyette, http://bit.ly/GDgK62

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2 Common Convenience Foods and Easy Additionse table below lists common convenience foods and suggestions of foods you can add to them to improve their nutritional quality.Additional TipsSome convenience foods call for the addition of milk, butter, and/or salt during preparation. However, they add extra calories and fat to your meals. When the directions say to add milk, use low-fat or fat-free milk, which contains the same amount of nutrients as whole or 2% milk but has less fat and fewer calories. If the directions say to add butter or margarine, cut the amount in half or dont add any. Doing so will cut down on the amount of fat in your meal. Instead of adding salt, use other herbs and spices to add avor and zest to your food! What about your favorite prepackaged mun or brownie mix? Instead of adding vegetable oil, use unsweetened apple sauce. You will still get the moist texture you love but with less fat and more nutrients! Figure 2. Select vegetables frozen without sauces or added salt to avoid excess fat, calories, and sodium. Credits: leibolmai, http://bit.ly/GEiUiZ Figure 3. Reduce salt in recipes and add extra avor with herbs and spices. Credits: Brandon Burke, http://bit.ly/GEsmti Common Convenience Foods Possible Additions Prepackaged noodles and rice mixes Fresh, frozen, or canned* vegetables; lean cuts of meat Canned soup Fresh, frozen, or canned* vegetables Baked potato Low-fat cottage cheese or plain yogurt Prepackaged casserole mixLean beef, chicken, or turkey; fresh, frozen, or canned* vegetables Frozen cheese pizzaFresh or frozen chopped vegetables; lean meats, such as low-sodium turkey pepperoni or Canadian bacon Jell-O, pudding, or yogurtFresh, canned, ** or frozen fruit chunks *Use no sodium added or low sodium **Use fruits canned in juice; drain juice