Grandparents Hit the Freezer Aisle to Feed the Grandkids!
Some of us may remember visiting our grandparents for a big Sunday dinner that took grandma a few days to prepare, not to mention the time she took to plan and shop beforehand. It felt like it took us all day to eat it too!
These days, grandparents are just like the rest of us — on the go! They don’t have time to spend all week getting ready for one big meal. Many days they watch the grandkids on the spur of the moment and have to be ready for dinner at the drop of a hat. That’s when going frozen can be a lifesaver – and healthy too – and the kids won’t even know! Feeding a nutritious meal to the little ones instead of a high fat, fast food drive-by will definitely please the parents.
Frozen Food Aisle Meals for the Grands
There are many choices that everyone, including grandparents, can find in a grocery store’s frozen food section and can then store in the home freezer for the last minute visitors to enjoy. Here are some suggestions for items that are nutritious, fun and convenient that you might want to keep on-hand:
- Grilled chicken strips – these are easy for all ages to eat, heat up quickly and can be added to any number of items you have in the pantry for a meal the kids will really eat. Have some dipping sauce ready to amp up the flavor like honey mustard, ranch, ketchup or duck sauce. A little goes a long way!
- Seafood and fish – the choices here are bountiful depending on what your grandkids will eat. There are boiled shrimp, salmon patties, fish filet, scallops and of course the standby fish stick. Seafood can be a fast way to add protein to the meal by tossing it with pasta from the pantry or serving it sandwich style. Protein is key for helping kids grow healthfully and adults staying strong.
- Steak potato fries – these thicker versions of the usual fast food fry may be easier for some kids to take a bite out of than the harder, thinner version. Bake in the oven to reduce added fats.
- Sweet potato fries – fun alternate to the usual French fry. Alexia makes a variety of different shapes. A good source of fiber, minerals and vitamins especially vitamin A.
- Frozen vegetables – broccoli ‘trees’, edamame, sugar snap peas, mini corn on the cob or carrot coins that are quick to steam in the microwave and easy for little fingers to pick up.
- Yogurt and fruit frozen bar – dessert never tasted so good or was so healthy! They come in a variety of fruits (and colors) too to please the pickiest eater. Made with 100% yogurt, active cultures, no high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. Outshine makes these yogurt bars but also fruit bars and fruit and veggie bars.
- Veggie and fruit pop – here’s a twist on the ordinary fruit popsicle. Ruby Rockets veggie and fruit pop has strawberry, carrot, sweet potato, beet and lemon. It has no added sugar, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO and it even has probiotics! Colorful, cold and it comes on a stick. What more would a kid want?
- Smoothie kits – there are many varieties of smoothie makers in the frozen food aisle. Fruits and vegetables that often need only ice in the blender (some require juice or a yogurt) to create a nutritious beverage to add to any meal or use as a snack.
Grandparents, it’s time to get to know your frozen food section. Look at it through the eyes of your grandkids. There are many appealing treats for both of you.
What are you waiting for? Head to the freezer aisle and stock up. The less time spent in the kitchen making dinner, snacks and dessert), the more time you have to enjoy your loved ones!
Kathy Birkett, RDN, LD has been a registered dietitian for more than 30 years providing nutrition education for people of every age. Kathy is founder and blogger of www.NutritionfortheHealthofIt.com.