Top 5 Reasons You Should Warm Up to Frozen Food

A shopping cart approaches large grocery store freezers filled with shelves of frozen food.

Do you ever stock up on fresh produce, only to find yourself tossing wilted goods just a few days later? It can be frustrating to spend money on foods that quickly go to waste. But here’s the good news: there is a way to get the same nutrition as fresh food without the spoilage – buying frozen foods!

Freezing does not degrade a food’s nutrient content. In fact, frozen foods may have more nutrients than their fresh counterparts whose nutrition can diminish on the shelf or in the fridge.1 For example, frozen fruits and vegetables typically are picked at peak ripeness and are quickly frozen to lock in their vitamins, minerals, and flavor, allowing you to enjoy, say, the benefits of blueberries or Brussels sprouts all year long. Meanwhile, fresh produce can lose vitamin and mineral content over time.

Five Fabulous Benefits of Frozen Food

Incorporating many types of frozen foods into your menu planning can bring a variety of lifestyle benefits beyond just good nutrition.

Frozen foods can:

  1. Save Time: A busy schedule often leaves less time for cooking. And cooking nutritious meals can be especially time consuming when it involves washing, peeling, chopping, boiling and baking vegetables and other foods. Keep frozen foods on hand so that you can have easy to prepare meals ready in a matter of minutes. Bonus: A freezer full of frozen options can also save you time on grocery store trips and kitchen clean-up, too!
  2. Prevent Waste: Did you know the shelf life of frozen foods can be a year or more?2 Meanwhile, spoilage of fresh foods can happen quickly, especially if you’re cooking for a smaller household. The average household throws away about a third of the food they purchase each year,3 so lean on frozen foods to help trim your household waste.
  3. Maximize Your Budget: Minimizing food waste also can be great for your wallet. On average, people throw away $28 worth of food a week because of a variety of factors, including spoilage.4 Frozen fruits and vegetables are also often less expensive than fresh alternatives, especially when you’re buying outside of peak produce season, and choosing a frozen entree at lunch or dinner can be more economical than ordering at a restaurant.
  4. Keep Nutritious Options Handy: You may have skipped a visit to the grocery store this week, or maybe you’re just looking for a meal that’s quick and easy. Before you pick up the phone for delivery or carry-out, check your freezer - having frozen dinners at-the-ready can help steer you towards more nutritious choices when meal-prep energy is low, or your fridge is bare.
  5. Portion Properly: Premade and purposefully portioned frozen meals mean you can say goodbye to measuring cups and spoons. One of the best benefits of single-serve frozen meals is their built-in portion control. They can also offer an effective way to track calories and nutrients without measuring or calculating. Easy as that!

Choosing from the Frozen Aisle

There are aisles of options when it comes to frozen foods, but not all are created equal. It’s important to read the label to select options that best meet your nutrition needs. Finding brands you trust can also help remove the guesswork when you’re shopping in the freezer section.

Keep these tips in mind when selecting a frozen meal:

  • Look to limit added sugar, saturated fat and sodium content in particular. Some frozen meals can be high in sodium, so read the nutrition facts panel to select options that are under 800 grams of sodium (about ⅓ of the daily recommended value) per serving.
  • Read the packaging to find options that meet your dietary preferences. Frozen meals have evolved throughout the years to offer options that are high in protein, rich in plant-based ingredients, gluten free, vegan and more.
  • Scan the instructions to make sure the cook time fits into your schedule. There are plenty of frozen meals that can be ready in five minutes or less!

Frozen foods can be your ally at mealtime. Take time to stock your freezer with the foods and brands you love and see how it helps you build better-for-you meals in no time!