The Healthiest Frozen Foods in the Supermarket: Breakfast
Taste Test Winners:
Even our tasters who aren't tofu fans ate this breakfast plate up.The tofu is sautéed with spinach, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms to create a satisfying vegan scramble. The dish also features a generous portion of shredded hash brown potatoes and sliced tomatoes that somehow maintained great texture and flavor. $4.49, vegan, gluten-free
Calories 320; Fat 19g (sat 3g); Protein 22g; Carb 19g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 4g; Chol 0mg; Iron 5mg; Sodium 580mg; Calc 150mg
This hearty bowl features sausage crumbles and shredded cheese sprinkled over scrambled egg whites and diced potatoes. While the egg whites are slightly rubbery, the turkey sausage has great flavor, and the potatoes resembled hash browns with a crispy outside and tender middle. $2.50
Calories 240; Fat 8g (sat 3.5g); Protein 22g; Carb 19g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 1g; Chol 25mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 720mg; Calc 150mg
While convenience is nice, we questioned whether frozen oatmeal was really a needed convenience food since it only takes a few more minutes to cook from scratch. We changed our tune though after tasting a spoonful of this oatmeal. It was creamy, but the oats had a little bite creating a nice texture for hot cereal. A touch of maple syrup and brown sugar added a subtle sweetness, and the berries tasted plump and fresh. $3.69 for 2 servings, vegan
Calories 200; Fat 2.5g (sat 0g); Protein 5g; Carb 39g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 15g; Chol 0mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 55mg; Calc 40mg
These muffins are closer in size to muffin tops than wholes muffin, but we really liked their moist, crumbly texture and cinnamon, carrot cake-like flavor. Pair a muffin with eggs or Greek yogurt to create a satisfying breakfast meal. Save extras for breakfast later in the week or eat one for a quick snack. $4.19 for 4 muffins, vegetarian, gluten-free
Calories 120; Fat 2g (sat 0.5g); Protein 3g; Carb 24g; Fiber 3g; Sugars 11g; Chol 20mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 250mg; Calc 40mg
Things to Look For:
- Sodium: Even though breakfast meals often have minimal ingredients, the sodium in ingredients like cheese, hash browns, sausage, and bacon can add up quickly. Look for meals that have less than 750mg sodium, and sides such as muffins to 300mg or less.
- Saturated Fat: Eggs, cheese, sausage, and bacon are saturated-fat laden foods, so check the total sat fat when shopping to keep meals to ⪯ 7g and muffins and sides to ⪯ 3.5g.
- Lots of Added Sugar: Muffins and oatmeals often have added sugar. A touch is fine, but you don't want one that has brown sugar, honey, or other sweetener listed as one of the first few ingredients in the list.
How We Tested
Only frozen foods that met Cooking Light’s nutrition guidelines were tested. Products were eliminated based on the following: lack of calorie and/or protein adequacy, lack of whole grains, presence of trans fat or hydrogenation, presence of significant added sugars, and presence of artificial coloring or sweeteners. All frozen foods were cooked according to package directions and taste tested by a panel of Cooking Light editors and staff. To ensure consistency, Breville microwaves were used to cook all foods.