Freezer Meals in multi-serve bags

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

Food manufacturers are always coming up with new ways to market foods. Generally, I read about them in my industry and nutrition newsletters and then venture out to our local grocery stores to do my own brand of research.

So this week I found some new items and then what I would consider the same thing in a different package. For the most part, I try to highlight the products that are healthy and then provide guidance on how to alter other items and make them part of an overall healthy diet.

Over the last year there has been an increase in number of frozen meals in multi-serve bags. Each bag usually contains three servings. One of the nutrient concerns as you can imagine is sodium.

Voila multi-serve bags have been around for a while and I think they are still one of the standouts in the multi-meal freezer foods as they are lowest in sodium (that I have found locally). Many of the restaurant inspired multi-meal bags are off the charts in sodium. Even the healthier bagged meals range in sodium from 500-900mg, so always check the label. When using frozen meals in a bag begin by choosing one with no more than 600 or so milligrams of sodium then add about 2-3 cups cooked vegetables and increase the number of servings from 3 to 4 and you should end up with a meal containing 400 or so milligrams of sodium.

Good local options include:

  • Voila: Chicken Florentine and Alfredo Chicken
  • Kroger brand: Spicy orange Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice
  • Kashi has several delicious (I know because I tried them) and healthy options some of which are less than 400mg sodium (notice I did not say ALL of which are less than 400mg sodium).
  • Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake: A mix of Plantains, black beans, sweet potato and kale over 7 whole grain pilaf, amaranth and polenta (not your average frozen meal).
  • Kashi Black Bean and Mango: Black beans, red onion, green and red bell peppers, and carrots over the 7 whole grain pilaf topped with a fire roasted mango sauce.
  • Amy’s Light in Sodium Line: These meals contain 50 percent less sodium than Amy’s regular frozen meals. I only found two (Brown rice and vegetables and Country Cheddar Bowl) available in my local Kroger. But according to Nutrition Action Newsletter, the Light in sodium Indian Mattar Paneer is quite tasty so I’ll be looking for that one in the near future.

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