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It’s National Frozen Food Month!

March 19, 2024
It’s National Frozen Food Month!

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In this article:

  • March is National Frozen Food Month. Many supermarkets are celebrating with sales on frozen foods.
  • Potential benefits of frozen foods include convenience, weight control, and low cost.
  • Frozen chicken, fish, meatless alternatives, fruit, and vegetables are good choices to include in your freezer.
  • Nutritious frozen breakfasts and entrees are readily available. Choose ones with protein and fiber.
  • You can freeze fresh foods and prepared dishes.
  • Lark can help you manage weight with or without GLP-1s as you log food, get tips for eating healthier, and make small changes that can turn into healthy habits.

March is National Frozen Food Month. It’s a great opportunity to learn how you can use frozen foods to support health and weight management. Frozen foods can be nutritious, cost-effective, and convenient. Here’s what you should know about using your freezer to make sure delicious, balanced meals are just moments away.

Benefits of Frozen Foods

Frozen foods can be nutritious and high-quality. A reliable freezer can keep food safe for a long time. The quality of many foods can be maintained for months, according to the Department of Agriculture.

These are some potential benefits of frozen foods.

  • Convenience, as you can thaw foods within minutes. Be sure to use safe thawing practices like thawing foods in the fridge rather than placing them on the countertop to thaw.
  • Nutrition, as you can preserve produce and proteins for months and take advantage of out-of-season variety
  • Weight control, as using frozen foods may make you more likely to eat home-prepared foods instead of eating out
  • Cost savings, as you can purchase large quantities of foods when they are on sale and freeze them

Healthy Frozen Ingredients in Every Food Group

Keep a variety of frozen foods on hand so you can always put together a nutritious meal, even when you haven’t gone shopping recently. You can also freeze fresh foods if you have more than you can eat before they go bad.

Nutritious Proteins

Frozen proteins can be a cost-effective choice. Frozen fish, skinless chicken breast or tenderloins, and lean ground turkey are often less expensive than their fresh counterparts in the refrigerator section. Plus, they often come in individually wrapped servings for increased convenience and freshness.

Look for Limit
  • Frozen salmon, shrimp, swai, tilapia, or other seafood
  • Skinless chicken breast or skinless tenderloins
  • Plain or seasoned lean ground turkey patties or all-natural turkey breakfast sausage
  • Meatless hot dogs, veggie burger patties, or sausages
  • Ground beef patties and sliders
  • Chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, fish sticks, popcorn shrimp, and other breaded options
  • Corn dogs, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon

You can also freeze your own cooked or raw protein like chicken, fish, or ground turkey. It’s a way to take advantage of sales or discounts on value or family packs when you purchase more than you can use quickly. Make it more convenient by storing your protein in small portions to thaw when you need them. Cheese is another good item to freeze if you purchase more than you need.

Frozen Vegetables and Fruit

Frozen vegetables and fruit can offer fiber, nutrients, and benefits just like fresh ones. You can stock up when there are sales and freeze them to enjoy later. You can get out-of-season produce year-round, and you may find that you get a wider variety of produce when you include frozen options.

Look for Limit
  • Plain vegetables like spinach, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Sweet potato or winter squash cubes
  • Plain fruit like berries, peaches, pineapple, or mango
  • Mixtures of fruit
  • Vegetables in creamy, cheesy, or buttery sauces
  • Breaded options like onion rings, battered mushrooms, and cauliflower
  • Sweetened fruit with sugar, corn syrup, or other additives
  • French fries, hash browns

Read the list of ingredients to avoid products with added sugars like sugar, corn syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup. Also avoid vegetables with salt.

Whole-Grain Bread

The freezer is a great place to store whole-grain bread, whole-grain or high-fiber English muffins, whole-wheat regular or mini bagels, whole-grain corn or flour tortillas, and whole-grain pita pockets.

Best Prepared Choices

When you need a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, frozen foods can help. You can keep them on hand for when you need them, and they can be ready within minutes. These days, there are many nutritious options.

Frozen Breakfasts

Look for components such as egg whites, low-fat cheese, meatless sausage, and whole-grain pancakes and waffles.

Look for Limit
  • Whole-grain pancakes and waffles
  • Egg whites with vegetables
  • Meatless options based on soy or beans
  • Breakfast bowls with beans or quinoa, egg, and vegetables
  • Croissants, biscuits, and bagels
  • Sausage, bacon, and ham
  • Hash browns
  • Toaster pastries, cinnamon rolls

Serve your frozen breakfast with fresh or frozen fruit, or add spinach or other frozen vegetables to egg dishes and breakfast bowls.

Frozen Meals and Desserts

Many frozen meals are high in calories and low in nutrients, but many have a reasonable amount of calories and are high in protein and fiber. Check for meals with lean protein like chicken, beans, or fish, and some non-starchy vegetables like broccoli or green beans. Sweet potatoes, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and yellow corn are high-fiber starch options.

Look for Limit
  • Brown rice and bean bowls with vegetables
  • Chicken stir fry with brown rice and vegetables
  • Bean burritos on whole-grain tortillas
  • Vegetable noodles with chicken
  • Riced cauliflower stir fry with tofu or chicken
  • Frozen dinners with desserts like apple crisp or brownies
  • Pizza, pizza rolls, and calzones
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Fried chicken, shrimp, and fish
  • Pot pies
  • Salisbury steak and country fried chicken

Make your meal more filling without adding many calories by adding frozen vegetables.

Frozen desserts are often high in sugar, starch, and fat. Look for fruit-based products or light ice cream in small portions for a treat.

Look for Limit
  • 100% fruit pops
  • Greek yogurt pops
  • Premium ice cream and ice cream bars
  • Pies, cakes, and pastries
  • Smoothies with added sugars

Frozen whipped topping and mini ice cream bars may not be very nutritious, but they can give you a calorie-controlled treat because they have a small serving size. You can make your own treats like berry and yogurt pops and frozen banana chunks to puree and use like ice cream.

Freeze Home Made Dishes

When you cook or prepare food, make extra and put it in the freezer to use when you need it. You’re less likely to eat at a restaurant, which can be healthy because meals prepared at home tend to be lower in calories and fat, and higher in fiber and vegetables.

Here are some ingredients you can consider cooking and freezing in large batches when you have time, such as on weekends.

  • Beans, split peas, or lentils
  • Chicken or fish
  • Barley, farro, or brown rice

Breakfasts to Make and Freeze

Here are some ideas for breakfasts that you can make and freeze.

  • Egg muffin cups or casseroles with ingredients such as egg whites, low-fat cheese, and vegetables
  • Oatmeal with fruit and nuts that you make and freeze in single-serving containers with lids
  • Breakfast sandwiches or wraps on whole-grain English muffins or tortillas with low-fat cheese, avocado slices, and vegetables

More Meals to Make and Freeze

Here are some meals you can make and freeze. Put them into containers that are suitable for a single portion or a single family meal so that it’s convenient for you to thaw them.

  1. Soup or stew with vegetables, a source of protein like chicken, lentils, or beans, and a high-fiber carb like potato or barley
  2. Chili with chicken, lean ground turkey, or vegetable protein, plus beans and vegetables
  3. Casseroles with brown rice or whole-grain pasta, chicken, tuna, or beans, and vegetables
  4. Chicken or fish in tomato sauce with whole-grain pasta
  5. Frozen banana ice cream

How Lark Can Help

Weight loss and management are easier when you have the foods you need, so it’s important to know how to select the best options. Your freezer can help. Lark offers additional tools and support. Your Lark coach is available 24/7 for nutrition and physical activity coaching and tracking. Lark can help you make healthy choices and establish habits that fit into your lifestyle so you can lose weight and keep it off with or without GLP-1 medications.

Click here to see if you may be eligible to join Lark today!

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