Lately, I have been feeling guilty when I purchase frozen foods. With the push to eat fresh, fresh ingredients can be even delivered directly to our door through many different meal planning and grocer delivery services. Do you ever wonder how healthy are frozen foods?
Since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5157, March 6 is known as “Frozen Food Day.” We know about the importance of eating fresh, so this proclamation may shock us. According to the Frozen Food Foundation, frozen fruits and vegetable compare in nutritional value to fresh fruits and vegetables. This is great news for consumers because it allows us to plan ahead, shop the sales, and have fruits and vegetables more accessible no matter the season of the year. Don’t forget that according to the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines for nutrition, half of your plate at each meal should contain fruits and vegetables.
It is important when determining the nutritional value in other frozen foods that you know what you are buying. Reading food labels will help you determine which nutrients are in each food, and whether they are your healthiest choice. Remember that reading labels will help you manage your intake of sodium, carbohydrates, sugars, and fat (saturated and trans)as encouraged by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Take a few extra minutes the next time you are in the frozen food aisle so that you can make the healthiest choices for you and your family, and not feel so guilty about the convenience of shopping in the frozen food aisle.
Written By: Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Hardin County
Reviewed By: Candace Heer, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Morrow County
Fruits and Veggies More Matters (r), http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/frozen-produce-is-nutritionally-comparable-to-fresh
United States Department of Agriculture, https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, https://health.gov/news/dietary-guidelines-digital-press-kit/2016/01/top-10-things-you-need-to-know/
National Day Calendar, http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-frozen-food-day-march-6/