Frozen food

The Benefits of Adding Frozen Foods to Your Meal and Snack Line Up

This is a guest post written by Elizabeth Davenport, MPH, RDN, LD.

March is Frozen Food Month AND National Nutrition Month. So, it’s a fitting time for a Registered Dietitian to write a guest post about frozen foods! Often frozen foods get a bad rap. Many of the nutrition messages we see these days are either inaccurate or fear based. They leave us feeling like we’re not doing enough and not feeding ourselves and our families in the best way possible.

Nutrition is not black and white and there are many ways to eat and feed our families well. I use frozen foods on a regular basis in my own cooking. It’s absolutely OK, and beneficial, to use frozen foods and other convenience foods when feeding your family. Actually, there are quite a few benefits to incorporating frozen foods into your meal and snack line up.

Nutritious

One of the benefits of using frozen fruits and vegetables is that they’re typically picked at peak ripeness and processed (frozen) right there on the farm where they’re grown. Fresh fruits and vegetables have to be picked a little earlier for shipping and begin to slowly lose nutrients. This is a natural process and doesn’t mean that fresh isn’t a good option. However, freezing fresh fruits and veggies essentially locks in the nutrients by stopping the oxidation.

Many frozen foods, especially fruits and vegetables, have only one ingredient, the produce itself.

There are also brands like Mom Made Foods that have products with impressively short lists of ingredients. This is the ingredient list for Mom Made Foods Turkey Meatball Bites!

And look at this impressive list for their Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs!

Convenient and Affordable

Frozen foods offer a great deal of convenience. I keep a variety of frozen foods on hand to put together “go-to” meals. We’re all so pressed for time it seems. It’s nice to know you have meals in your freezer that you can truly cook in 20 minutes or less. Making a dinner out of frozen foods is a nice alternative to cooking from scratch or eating out.

And of course, with frozen produce, you don’t need to worry about using it right away and you can get out of season produce. It’s helpful to be able to pull out just the amount you need and leave the rest in the freezer to cook another time, especially when children are young and eating smaller portions.

Frozen fruits and veggies are also a big time saver because they’re already washed, peeled, and cut. Prepared foods can also be a big time saver. Rather than making meatballs, you can buy them frozen and made with similar ingredients. And frozen foods are often more affordable than fresh and certainly more affordable than take-out.

Family Favorites

I use frozen foods in many different ways throughout my week. Here are some of my family favorites:

Frozen fruits are great in smoothies (here’s recipe for an easy fruit and yogurt smoothie) and in items like muffins, quick breads and baked oatmeal.

Frozen vegetables: I keep spinach stocked for spinach lasagna, spinach quesadillas and spinach enchiladas. I also keep frozen peas and green beans to use as a veggie side on busy nights or to use in weeknight fried rice or soups like this one.

Other frozen foods that are prepared foods are beneficial to keep on hand for easy meals and snacks. You’ll always find frozen meatballs in my freezer. Spaghetti and Meatballs is a favorite “go-to” meal that both of us at Sunny Side Up Nutrition have on our regular meal lists. I keep a few boxes of Mom Made Meatballs in the freezer to make spaghetti and meatballs when I need an easy dinner. And my family loves Mom Made Meatballs in meatball subs!

Mom Made Foods has some quick, healthy recipes on their blog like this one for Meatball and Orzo Soup.

Items like frozen waffles are great for a meal or snack along with some fruit and a glass of milk. Some of my family’s other favorite frozen foods are frozen croissants, mini pizzas, hash browns, breakfast sausages, veggie spring rolls, sweet potato fries, chicken tenders, rice, dinner rolls and lasagna.

What are some of your favorite frozen foods to keep on hand?

Elizabeth Davenport, MPH, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian. She co-writes the blog Sunny Side Up Nutrition and she’s in private practice in Washington, DC at Pinney Davenport Nutrition. We believe food doesn’t have to be complicated and that feeding your family doesn’t have to leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Visit us at Sunny Side Up Nutrition for tips for raising intuitive eaters and feeding your family.






5 Reasons Mom Made Foods Is Found in the Freezer Aisle

Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay! Did you know there was such a thing? Here at Mom Made, we think the process of freezing is pretty cool. No pun intended. Freezing is our preservative.

We’re celebrating with a buy one get one free sale on all 4-packs of Meals and Meatballs bought online. (details below)

Here are the top 5 reasons why Mom Made is frozen:

1. Frozen food is convenient, fast and still provides nutritious value.

2.  Frozen food helps to eliminate food waste. Occasionally leftovers just end up in the trash. Did you know that 2/3 of the population ditch up to 20 food items a month?

3.  Frozen food manufacturers, like Mom Made Foods, flash freeze food within minutes of making them to keep the nutritional value, as well as lock in texture and taste. 

4.  Freezing food is a natural process and the use of any preservatives is NOT required. Instead, it seals in freshness, locks the vitamins and minerals.

5. Thanks to freezing, Mom Made Foods is available year around, allowing busy families the option to help their home freezers stocked with easy, healthy meal options for those really busy days. 

Celebrate frozen foods by stocking up on your favorite Mom Made in our buy one get one free sale on all 4-packs of Meals and Meatballs bought online. Use promo code FROZENBOGO at checkout. Offer valid thru 11:59pm 3/10/19.


Mom Made Foods makes healthy frozen meals for kids. Freezing is our preservative.

Tips for a Lean, Clean 2015!

It’s the New Year, and what better time to make 2015 a healthier time for you and your family! The key to success is to make small changes and for your resolutions to be attainable and meaningful. Before long, this year’s goals will become lifelong, healthy habits! Below are my top five food and health resolutions for a lean, clean 2015!

  1. Choose organic more often. There’s no doubt that organic farming is good for the environment, which helps secure a better future for our children and our planet. The USDA Organic label on a food is also your guarantee that the food is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was made without the use of synthetic pesticides and that animals were raised without antibiotics. All Mom Made Foods adhere to organic standards and carry the USDA Organic seal.

    via ams.usda.gov

  2. Eat your veggies! Let’s face it, fruits are easy to like – they’re so portable and sweet. Vegetables can be a little harder to love, especially at first and in particular the more bitter ones like Brussels sprouts and broccoli. While fruits and vegetables should make up half of every meal and snack, most people aren’t eating enough – especially vegetables, which are loaded with fiber and vitamins and low in calories. Make veggies the prominent part of your dinner, and don’t be afraid to experiment. To a child, a cooked, coin-shaped carrot is a completely different food than a raw baby carrot. Don’t be afraid to pair veggies with a favorite food or condiment to help kids eat them. I’d rather a child eat cauliflower with cheese or ranch dressing versus no cauliflower at all!

    via valeotraining.com

  3. Pack a healthier lunch. School food may get a bad reputation, but recent studies show what’s served in school can often be healthier than what’s brought from home. When you think about it, pre-packaged “lunch” foods for kids with ready-to-assemble “pizza”, cookies and gummy “fruit” is hardly what I’d consider health food! When packing your children’s lunches, use MyPlate as your guide: make sure half of what’s packed is fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of the meal should be protein, and one-quarter grains (preferably whole-grains). Add a carton of lowfat or fat-free milk, and your kid is fueled up for the afternoon ahead.

    via choosemyplate.gov

  4. Eat a meal together. It may seem impossible with competing activities and work schedules, but setting aside even just one night a week to eat dinner together as a family has immeasurable benefits. Some studies suggest that children of families who eat together do better in school and are less likely to abuse drugs. If dinnertime is too hectic, then set aside a day for breakfast or weekend brunch.

    via becuo.com

  5. Give yourself a break. The goal should be eating dinner together, preferably something prepared at home. But that doesn't mean everything needs to be made from scratch! Frozen and canned foods can be the perfect shortcut while supplying essential nutrients. Just look at the ingredients list to make sure the label is clean, without added preservatives, salt or sugars. I love the Mom Made meatballs for this very reason (and they’re better than anything I could make myself!)

The best way to make resolutions stick is to make your resolution public and not to do it alone. Support from family and friends can go a long way to keeping you on track – and to getting you back on track if you’ve had a slip-up. To help keep your resolutions, sign up for the Mom Made Foods Healthy Pledge 2015 and tweet or post your intentions to your social media community. By making a commitment to make 2015 more nutritious and delicious for your family, Mom Made Foods will send you some coupons to get you on your way. And be sure to join the Mom Made Community on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Post your nutrition questions in the comments below and we’ll look to address them in future blogs. In the meantime, here’s to a healthy, happy new year!

Cozy Family Winter Meal

Heather's Creamy Pasta with Mom Made Chicken and Apple Meatballs! I love dreaming up new recipes and especially love it when my whole family approves with a "Mommy, this is so good!" I hope your family enjoys this too!

Simple:  Mom Made Chicken and Apple Meatball Bites served with homemade white sauce over pasta (potatoes or rice works well too!).

Family Dinner:  In a pan, warm 3 Tbsp olive oil then saute diced garlic and shallots and sliced mushrooms over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp of flour and stir so that flour is soaked up. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Let the milk warm till it is bubbling and thickens slightly. Add a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach and a package of frozen Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites. Warm the sauce over medium heat until the meatballs are hot. Voila! Serve over your favorite pasta. You can also bring your own twist to the table by adding other veggies.

Chicken&AppleMT-WhiteSauce

Watch, Laugh, Vote and Share!

Woohoo! Thanks to your votes, Mom Made reached Round 2 of a contest to win a TV commercial in the Super Bowl! We've added a hilarious video to our entry, and you can help us to keep advancing. Please take a minute to watch, laugh, vote and share, "What's in the Box?" VideoIntuitEvery vote makes a difference. Thanks!  

Mom Made Meatball Kabob Recipe

We're so excited to see our brand new product, Mom Made's Chicken & Apple Meatball Bites, featured in this month's "Every Day with Rachael Ray" magazine! There are so many fun and delicious ways to use these in making a healthy dinner. Here's one of our favorite recipes...Mom Made Meatball Kabobs, a meal on-a-stick the whole family will enjoy! Prep Time - 10 min Cook Time - 2 min...no kidding!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Mom Made's antibiotic-free RachaelRay - Chicken Apple MeatballsChicken & Apple Meatballs (8oz)
  • 2C low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, washed and cut into 1" squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed and cut into 1" squares
  • 1 box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1C cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1C pineapple, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Wooden skewers

kabob

Heat the meatballs in low sodium chicken broth according to directions on the box.

Place meatballs, cheese cubes, bell peppers and pineapple on skewers. Serve with your favorite rice and dipping sauce, e.g. ranch, bbq, sweet & sour.

Family Tip: It's fun to have the kids make their own and challenge them to include as many colors on their kabob as they can.

Optional: Make the kabobs without the cheese. Grill then add the cheese cubes to each end.

8 Must-Do's to Make Back-to-School Healthier

breakfast1)  No more lazy days of summer!  Use the last few weeks of summer to get into a school-day rhythm. Practice waking up, getting dressed and eating breakfast at the same time every morning. It can also be helpful to prepare in the evening for the morning tasks. Get your children involved in the process, so you have an extra hand. When you do this as a family, life can be easier for everyone. 2) Rise & shine! Wake up an extra 10 minutes early to encourage your family to eat a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and critical to your child's day of learning.

3) Make it fun! Put on your creative cap to jazz up lunch and snacks with fun shapes and colorful. Write a funny note or joke to put into their lunch. blog1

4) Involve the kiddos! Empower your kids by involving them the prep work and decision making about what goes in the lunchbox. Carrots or sliced red peppers today? Then don't be surprised when they bring home an empty lunchbox after school.

5)  Sweet dreams! Move back bedtime a week before school starts to the "school night" bedtime. A well rested child is a child ready to learn.

blog26)  Stock up on the have-as-much-as-you-like snacks! Pack your kitchen with easy, healthy finger foods, such as grapes, berries, cherry tomatoes and baby carrots. After school, leave healthy snacks on the kitchen counter so your children will help themselves. Or, pack your veggie and fruit snacks in easy-usable containers, that will provide your child access to prepared snacks in the fridge.

7) Plan your dinners! Take the stress out of dinner and get some help planning ahead for easy meals. It also helps to save on groceries if you have a clean fridge at the end of the week. Our founder loves the mom-owned meal-planning service, The Six O'Clock Scramble.

8) Look for healthy shortcuts! Let all-natural and organic prepared foods take some of the stress off of you for those nights when you're dashing from school to after-school activities. Need a meal in 2 minutes that comes with no guilt? That's when Mom Made Meatball Bites, Mom Made Meals and Mom Made Munchies come to the rescue. :-)