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Find nutritious meals in the frozen aisle

Sales of frozen meals — call them TV dinners if you must — have been cooling off over the past few years. But nutritionists say we shouldn’t skip the frozen food aisle altogether. In fact, we’d be foolhardy to do so.

“How many times have you purchased fresh broccoli and had it sit for a week in your refrigerator turning yellow and wilting before you finally got around to using it?” asked Boston University nutrition professor and Boston.com nutrition blogger Joan Salge Blake. Frozen broccoli retains its freshness and nutrients far longer.

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Here are some other nutritious frozen food options:

1. Nutritious, all-natural meals. Some newer frozen meal entrees offer better nutrition than older varieties. Self magazine’s Healthy Kitchen frozen meals are all fairly high in fiber and protein and low in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat, which helps them stay under 350 calories. The products boast “all-natural” ingredients and use beef or chicken raised without the use of antibiotics. Luvo frozen meals make the same claims with their entrees, which are also sold in local supermarkets.

2. Pre-cooked whole grains. Trader Joe’s sells organic, cooked brown rice in the freezer section that can be microwaved in three minutes. Pre-cooked frozen black barley, wild rice, and wheatberries can also be found in the freezer section.

3. Seafood. An expanded array of seafood choices in the supermarket freezer have left processed, frozen fish sticks in the dust. You can find wild-caught salmon, halibut, or tuna that’s sustainably sourced with no additives. D.K.

Deborah Kotz can be reached at dkotz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.
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