Fixing a good, well-balanced dinner from scratch can seem almost impossible after a long day at work. Remembering to get or even finding all the proper ingredients at the grocery store can be difficult. This makes pre-packaged frozen meals seem so much more enticing. But, are those meals really worth it? Let’s take a look at frozen meals and healthier, easy alternatives.
The Old Days of TV Dinners
Hitting the shelves of grocery stores in 1954, the TV dinner was an immediate hit. Frozen meals have changed over the years, but remain convenient and fairly inexpensive. All of that to still say these successful sellers come with a downside.
You might remember the days of popular frozen TV dinners. Macaroni and cheese, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, limp green beans, and mushy broccoli. These meals were not healthy, well-balanced, or flavorful. The process of flash freezing microwavable meals degrades the flavor profile compared to if it was fresh. To compensate, frozen pre-packaged dinners are loaded with extra salt and fat for enhanced flavoring.
Frozen Meals Today
Frozen meals have changed over the years. A few changes include expanding the range of menu options and dietary restrictions. Take a look at the frozen meal aisle at your local grocery store and you will find gourmet entrees, gluten-free, and even vegan options. This variety doesn’t necessarily mean that these meals are now healthy. These meals can still be loaded with chemicals you don’t want in your body. Here are some things to look out for.
- Calorie vs. fat numbers: low-calorie frozen meals should also have a low fat number to be more healthy.
- Serving size: some frozen meals are actually two portions so the low-calorie count shown is actually for only half the package so it is important to read the serving size.
- Ingredients and preservatives: many frozen meals are loaded with sodium, preservatives, and artificial flavors to prolong the shelf life and enhance the flavor that the freezing process affects
Sometimes all you might be able to do is opt for a healthier frozen meal, and at times that is okay.
Frozen Meals vs. Frozen Food Items
There is a major difference between pre-packaged frozen meals and frozen food items. Frozen food items like broccoli, peas, chicken, and fish make cooking a healthier meal easy. These items frozen also have a longer shelf life. Again, remember to check the nutrition label and ingredients list to be sure you are getting broccoli and not broccoli smothered in butter sauce.
Fresh Meals Made Weekly
Skip scrambling through the grocery store and reading every line on a nutrition label. MealFit curates healthy, filling, and tasty pre-made meals ready for pick-up at one of our convenient locations around Birmingham, AL, and surrounding areas. Choose from individual meals perfect for on-the-go eaters, pre-cooked items by the pound including entrees and sides, and perfectly crafted special meals.
Instead of heading to the grocery store every Sunday, it is so easy to submit your weekly order online with MealFit. Make your meal selections, set your pick-up location, and place your order by 2:00 pm on Sundays. Pick up your freshly-made meals on Monday and enjoy!