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Think Packaged Not Processed Quick and easy doesn’t have to mean abandoning your commitment to a healthy diet. Some convenience foods can provide important nutrients and save you time in preparing meals for your healthy family.
Use these packaged foods when time is short and mealtime is around the corner. Find them in the center of any grocery store, and keep them in your home pantry or freezer.
Tuna packed in water • High in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins D and B-12 • Add tuna to salads or scoop it up with whole grain crackers • Shelf life is up to 5 years
Soups in cans or cartons • Read labels carefully for fat and sodium content Light soups have lower sodium • Follow recommended serving sizes • Soups made with real vegetables are healthiest • Shelf life varies from a few months to a year
Canned beans • High in fiber and protein • Cuts preparation time from hours to moments • Drain and rinse unseasoned beans to remove up to 40% of sodium • Shelf life up to 2 years
Brown rice • High in fiber • Combine with beans for low cost complete protein • Easy to cook on the stove or in a rice cooker • Shelf life up to 2 years in cool dry location
Cereal • Look for 5 and 5 per serving At least 5 grams of fiber Less than 5 grams of sugar • Mix plain bran cereal with lightly sweetened cereal to add more fiber • Add 2 tablespoons ground flax seed to old fashioned oats Boosts your fiber intake to 8 grams Adds heart protecting omega-3 fatty acids Quick oats and instant oatmeal are lower in fiber • Shelf life of cereals usually 2-6 months
Frozen vegetables • As nutritious as fresh and convenient to use • Steam or stir fry with 1 teaspoon olive oil Boiling reduces water-soluble nutrients • Add to cold salads without cooking • Freezer life is a few weeks for maximum nutrition
Frozen Berries • Read ingredients to avoid added sugar • Mix with cereal, into smoothies, or with yogurt • Keep in freezer for a few weeks to avoid freezer burn
Get family nutrition informationfrom the FitFamily archives! Missed any of our previously posted nutrition tips, CLICK HERE to view them.