By Alison Bodor
President and CEO at the American Frozen Food Institute
As a working mom, I couldn’t spend quality time with my family without the convenience, nutrition and variety of frozen foods. From farm to freezer and then to retailers and foodservice providers, the frozen food and beverage industry provides something for everyone – from healthy, nutrient-rich foods necessary for our wellbeing to fun, indulgent foods that are part of life’s enjoyment.
I invite you to take a fresh look at frozen foods and remember these six ways frozen foods help to:
1. Speed up Meal Prep
Frozen ingredients can be great time savers because the cleaning and chopping are already done. Plus, they can be more easily portioned and stored for later use, which reduces spoilage and food waste, further increasing the value.
2. Get Necessary Nutrients
Did you know that frozen fruits and vegetables are as rich in nutrients and, in many cases, are packed with even higher nutrient levels than their fresh counterparts?
Two Frozen Food Foundation-commissioned studies conducted by the Universities of Georgia and California-Davis reveal that frozen fruits and vegetables are as rich in nutrients, and often more so, than fresh-stored produce.
3. Simplify Cooking
When preparing the variety of options available in the frozen food aisle, remember to always read and follow the package cooking instructions to achieve the right temperature to make your foods safe and delicious.
4. Reduce Food Waste
About 40 percent of the food produced in the United States each year is never eaten, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, amounting to about $162 billion lost every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Frozen foods mean less wasted food and access to well-balanced, portion-controlled nutritious meals in every season and community. In fact, research published in the British Food Journal shows that frozen food generates 47 percent less food waste at home than non-frozen food.
5. Manage Serving Sizes
Want to know and control what’s in your meal? Frozen food makers provide consumers with information to help make smart food choices.
The frozen food aisle offers portion-controlled packaging to manage serving sizes while leaving nothing to waste. Single-serve pouches and resealable packs make it easy for health-conscious consumers to count calories and know complete and exact nutritional information.
6. Save Meal Time Planning
One of the best aspects of frozen foods is they can be prepared on any day of the week. They can save the day when you haven’t had time to plan dinner. They are the original meal kit! The frozen food aisle also offers ingredients and side dishes that complement a meal to make home cooking easier.
It’s time for some fresh thinking when it comes to frozen foods!
For more information, visit www.affi.org.
This content originally appeared on LinkedIn.