The term packaged food tends to make most people cringe, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, there are plenty of packaged foods out there that are great for you and are easy to incorporate into your diet. All it takes is some know-how, and here we’ll share the top five healthy packaged foods with you so you can start looking at the grocery store with new eyes!
1) Quaker Real Medleys Super Cereal
These cereals offer a fun and tasty way to sneak more fruits and veggies into your kids’ diets. Available in five flavors: Apple & Cinnamon, Carrot Cake, Strawberry Banana, Sweet Potato Pie and Blueberry Toasted Oat. They make a great pre- or post-workout snack! These cereals deliver 2 grams of fiber per serving with less than 1 gram of sugar.
Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Chips: These sweet potato chips are baked, not fried and have half of a serving of veggies in every 1-ounce bag. Each serving provides 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein for satiety. There’s no salt added and each chip delivers only 40 calories! Enjoy them as a snack or top them with your favorite dip for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Food Should Taste Good All Natural Brown Rice Crackers: These crackers are gluten-free and each 1-ounce serving contains 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 40 calories. They’re also non-GMO Project Verified and a good source of iron. The Original variety tastes great with hummus or a fruit spread! They come in three flavors (original, cinnamon graham, spicy jalapeno) but they’re not too spicy to enjoy!
2) Light N Fit Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a great addition to any meal plan, but if you’re watching your calorie intake and fat content, look for low-fat varieties. A 3/4 cup serving of part-skim cottage cheese contains only 80 calories. It’s also high in calcium, and it offers an excellent source of protein. Cottage cheese is an excellent addition to any diet plan.
Cottage cheese is a great breakfast addition, but it can also be eaten as a snack. For example, add some pineapple and strawberries to 1/2 cup of cottage cheese for a healthy lunch. Serving cottage cheese with fresh fruit makes it both nutritious and delicious. This food also tastes good when used in recipes, such as lasagna.
Lite N Easy – Whole Wheat French Bread: One of your healthy packaged food items should be whole-wheat bread from Lite N Easy brand.
3) Healthy Choice Microwaveable Entrees
When you’re short on time, a Healthy Choice frozen dinner can make your life a lot easier. And not only are they convenient, but their meals are packed with protein to help keep you full for hours. Plus, microwaveable foods are significantly less expensive than eating out—so when your coworkers invite you out for lunch at that overpriced deli around the corner, tell them no thanks and stick with these healthy choices instead.
4) Tombstone Original Pizzas
Tombstone is a personal favorite—it’s like you’re having pizza from a restaurant delivered to your house. And they’re better than other frozen pizzas in part because they use quality ingredients like hand-crushed tomatoes and mozzarella cheese made from 100 percent real milk (not powdered). These are also among some of my top picks for freezer meals.
Just be aware that these pizzas tend to run large—I recommend ordering one size smaller than you normally would. I’ve also found it’s best to keep them frozen until they are ready to be cooked in an oven or microwave. Otherwise, they can get soggy and overly browned in transit or even right after defrosting.
5) Sargento’s Shredded Cheese Snacks
For a low-calorie, high-protein snack, you can’t beat a stick of cheese. Sargento makes cheese sticks in four flavors (original cheddar, jalapeno & garlic, parmesan herb and smoked gouda), all with just 60 calories and 6 grams of protein per serving. They’re easy to eat on-the-go or as an afternoon pick-me-up when you really need something filling and satisfying.
The one downside is that some of Sargento’s cheese snacks have a lot of saturated fat (up to 10 grams per serving). If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, look for low-fat varieties. The good news is, these snacks are lower in sodium and carbs than many other packaged snacks out there.