Nutrition Articles

Fantastic Frozen Dinners

Go from Diet Disaster to Diet-Friendly!

By Becky Hand, Licensed & Registered Dietitian         
Page 2 of 2
Selection and Serving Strategies
So how do you make the best choice, faced with hundreds of frozen dinners and entrees that are readily available?
  • Frozen meals have gotten tastier over the years, but you still must buy and try before you find your favorites.
  • Beware of potpies with crust, Hungry Man dinners, and stuffed-crust or extra-cheese pizzas.
  • Select dinners that are balanced and contain a lean source of protein, such as Gorton's, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and Weight Watchers brands.
  • Choose dinners or entrees with no more than 300-400 calories.
  • Choose meals with no more than 30% of the calories coming from fat. This would be about 10-14 grams of total fat if the meal contains 300-400 calories.
  • Select meals with no more than 6 grams of saturated fat.
  • Aim for a sodium content no higher than 600 milligrams.
  • Add on a side salad with low calorie dressing, a serving of fruit, and a glass of low-fat milk to round out the meal. This will help you boost the fiber, calcium and nutrient contents of your meal.
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
‹ Previous Page   Page 2 of 2  
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!

About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

Member Comments

  • Becky,
    Can you eat these 2 times a day 7 days a week? I had been doing that, but I've switched to cooking my foods. Honestly, I like my food better. But if it's not ready when it's
    time to eat, it's late when supper is ready and I'm hungry when it's supper time. I'm the
    only one in my household. I usually eat at 7:00PM. But I've gone from 191lbs. to 195 lbs.
    since last Friday, if anyone has a answer, I appreciate the help! Have a Fabulous and
    Blessed Friday! - 4/22/2016 3:35:20 PM
    I do buy frozen meals because they are there when I come home and am hungry and they keep me from eating something that's not good for me. I have made many of my own frozen meals, and they are healthy, but not delicious. Maybe I will get better at making them healthy AND delicious. - 3/5/2016 11:22:06 PM
  • I have stopped purchasing convenience frozen meals, and make my own. No preservatives, and I control the sodium content. - 1/29/2015 10:27:34 AM
  • I agree with the fruit, salad, and milk suggestion, but 300-400 calorie dinners? I'd lose weight FAST at that rate - 7/31/2014 11:26:38 PM
    A good option is to purchase frozen meals from a company such as http://www.marks- - 2/10/2014 9:41:49 PM
  • Honestly Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen meal have really helped me. Are the they the Most nutritional choice I can make? No. However they are vastly better than my old habit of eating fast food for lunch or ramen, chips and a dessert. They have helped me with portion control and are much more satisfying to my than a sandwich.
    - 8/21/2013 12:37:22 PM
  • Very nice article. I stocked up on frozen broccoli's and green beans this week! - 8/13/2013 11:40:39 PM
  • Since I haven't been able to stand too long I have been using more TV Dinners. Hope when things improve I will do more of my own cooking Do add more frozen veggies and fresh fruits. Found the article hepful as well as other suggestions. Want to check Amy's products. Have used Amy's pizzas. - 4/27/2013 12:08:52 AM
  • 34PAYTON
    I never eat frozen meals at home, but they do come in handy - in moderation - at lunchtime during the work week. I usually add some fresh veggies or salad as a side. Moderation is key to my successful dieting, and as long as I don't use frozen meals as an everyday part of my diet, I feel good about myself. - 4/25/2013 12:27:41 PM
  • I'm with the anti-frozen dinner bunch. Nix on the chemicals, especially sodium. I work two jobs. If I can make fresh meals, anyone can. Here's how: Do most of your cooking in one day. I do simple veggies, like steamed carrots and green beans. Then mix and match with a couple of lean proteins, like ginger stir fried chicken or turkey patties or pan grilled fish fillets. I match one protein with a variety of veggies or take it with a salad. Add yogurt with fruit and you have even more combinations. That way I get a variety of meals by using a few basic items every week. Meals for 5 days takes me a couple of hours one day per week. I put them in Tupperware containers in the fridge. - 4/24/2013 10:52:22 PM
    Honestly, this person is delusional. The TV dinner or frozen dinners are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to nutrition. Most of these ready to eat meals are more processed then something you would get at Wendy's these days. Don't get me started on the sodium levels!

    I really hope people don't read this article and think it is ok to start chowing down on Hungryman TV dinners! - 4/24/2013 5:13:31 PM
  • Unfortunately, the stark and now proven side effect to many of those frozen dinners is cancer ... processed foods that have been made from foods with pesticides, preservatives and bpa plastic film. So, not only do you have try to find a tasty, lo-cal, balanced one, you have to find out who is paying attention to organics, bpa free plastic film, low preservative, etc. For example, if I HAVE to eat frozen, I now know that Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice use bpa free plastic film, but Weight Watchers does not (at least last time I checked ... when I also said, "well, I won't be buying your dinners until you do"). And, I know that most ingredients I read on Lean Cuisine, I know what they are (following the "if you can't read it, don't eat it rule), where as Weight Watchers has preservatives I cannot pronounce, much less understand what they are. I prefer to make extra of everything I make fresh and freeze dinners myself. Then I know what's in them, I can control the fat, calories and sodium, and I know what I'm cooking them in. Starting to do this takes a little effort and a little organization, but it's worth it in the end. - 4/24/2013 2:44:56 PM
  • When I started my new eating plan I bought frozen inners. I though they were perfect. Pre measure, know exactly the calories, etc you were getting. But of course there is a but, they had preservatives. I don't want to eat any added chemicals. Not in growing the food or the preparation. So I ditched the meals and prepare my own chemical free foods. I feel more healthy and know I am doing something good for my body. Plus less containers to recycle.
    In an emergency I would still eat a new no preservative frozen meal, but not on a steady basis.
    Tisha - 4/24/2013 12:59:58 PM
    We all have to do what works best for us at the point we are in gettting healthier--so not trying to say DIET....anyway...
    if frozen meals do it for you I say go for it. Agree what others said about adding fruits and veggies. How does this differ from what Jared did with Subway years ago? It worked for him. Somedays Subway works for me too. Other days I cook becuase I want to and have time, sometimes I nuke something frozen. - 4/24/2013 11:24:32 AM
    Years ago I lost 35 pounds by eating only low calorie/low fat frozen meals for lunch and dinner and a breakfast bar for breakfast with milk. I lost the 35 pounds in three months, although I wouldn't advise losing that much weight that quickly now. This article has motivated me to follow the "frozen meal plan" again. You don't need to join an expensive weight loss program; you can do this on your own. My favorite meals were the Weight Watchers brand. - 4/24/2013 10:15:58 AM

x Lose 10 Pounds by June 11! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.