And while modern families still shop the freezer aisle, many of today’s frozen entrees are loaded with levels of salt, trans fat (never a good thing), and numerous unpronounceables, like propylene glycol—a solvent found in antifreeze—that make our blood boil over here at Eat This, Not That!.
But let’s face it, there are harried nights when you’re looking at serving up a frozen dinner or sending the kids to bed hungry. And because we don’t want to call child services, here’s what you need to look for, plus 5 family-size entrees you can feel good about serving—even if you’re filthy rich.
— Check for a sodium count of less than 700 mg per serving.
— Look for at least 2 grams of fiber per serving for a meal that will hold everyone over til the next dinner bell.
— Boost vitamin content and fill up plates with a side of frozen vegetables.
— If “partially hydrogenated” anything shows up on the ingredient list, leave the box on the shelf.
— Stay hydrated. Chances are you’ll be serving up more salt than usual, so keep a large pitcher of water on the table.
Blake’s All-Natural Turkey Pot Pie, 26 oz
We’re huge fans of Blake’s pot pies. The company uses real food in their products, no artificial ingredients, plus their stuff tastes good. We’re suggesting turkey as an alternative, but stats on the chicken variety are equally decent.
Amy’s Family Size Mexican Casserole
Amy’s has a great line of wholesome, low-sodium prepared foods—many of which are gluten free. This family-size entree makes up for a relatively high sodium count with a whopping 5 grams of fiber and organic ingredients like black beans and corn.
Annie’s Family Size Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese
Annie’s mac & cheese is a kid-approved favorite. It’s made with organic cheese, whole wheat pasta, and this variety has the added bonus of ½ cup of squash per serving. It’s all blended in, so they’ll never know.
Kashi Thin Crust Pizza Margherita
This is one of the best frozen pies we’ve tried, regardless of the impressive nutritional stats. You could jazz up (at least your portion) with some fresh vegetables (mushrooms would be great). But even plain, you can feel good about slicing up this wheel of whole-grain goodness.
Evol Cilantro Lime Chicken Burrito
Delicious and made with real ingredients like chicken, beans, rice, salsa, cheese and corn, Evol’s burritos are a must-try. We like the cilantro lime chicken variety, but the stats on all their products are impressive. One is easily big enough for two children.