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Freezer-Friendly Dinner Ideas You’ll Actually Feel Good About Serving

5 minutes read

Freezer meals
Kate Geagan

Kate Geagan, M.S., R.D.N.

Dietitian and sustainable nutrition pioneer

6 Freezer-Friendly Dinner Ideas

Almost every parent knows that feeling of having no motivation to cook, of running late, or of suddenly realizing your toddler’s tiny tummy needs to eat dinner right now. Yet if the thought of reaching for a frozen TV Dinner in a pinch makes you wince, you’re not alone: “TV Dinners” of yore were typically salty, overcooked, preservative-packed affairs, cooked into oblivion, that offered little in the way of nutrition or healthy eating habits.

While toddlers are at an age and learning stage where they should be joining family meals to reap both the nutrition and the social benefits, in a pinch, serving up something fast can save your sanity and still deliver beneficial nutrients. Thanks to a combination of better ingredient sourcing, expanded organic and natural options, and improved harvesting technology (fruits and vegetables can be picked at peak perfection and flash frozen within hours to lock in flavor and nutrients), many sections of the freezer aisle have undergone a serious upgrade since those drab TV dinner days.

When that happens-here are 6 of our favorite fuss-free, freezer friendly meal ideas that are a cinch to assemble, full of flavor and provide essential nutrients your little one needs to grow up to be big and strong, so they can leave their mark on the world. A word of advice: make extra, as older family members are also likely to love.

Mini Meatball shish kebabs

A quickstart protein that kids love to customize! On soaked wooden skewers, let kids build their own masterpiece using Earth’s Best® Frozen Mini Beef Meatballs and an array of cubed veggies such as bell peppers, zucchini, chopped squash or cherry tomatoes. Brush with your favorite sauce or marinade. The meatballs are precooked, so simply grill or broil just until the veggies are cooked through. Remove skewer and transfer meatballs and veggies onto a plate.

Zucchini spirals with pasta sauce and chickpeas

Cook 1 serving of frozen zucchini spirals according to directions, drain well. Sautee 1 tsp olive oil and ¼ cup drained chickpeas (can our pouch) in a small sauté pan, add a few tablespoons of your favorite pasta sauce and warm through. Toss with cooked zucchini noodles and garnish with parmesan if desired.

Dumplings with edamame

Whether packed with nutritious vegetables, chicken or pork (preferably organic), dumplings can be sautéed in just a few minutes, and often come with dipping sauce -which always turns up the fun factor. Serve with steamed or boiled edamame either shelled, or in pods, depending on your toddler’s comfort and safety, plus a few slices of mango.

Earth’s Best chicken-broccoli-quinoa bowl

Packed with protein and iron, quinoa is a speedy ancient grain ready in just 12 minutes- about the same time the Earth’s Best® Frozen Chicken Nuggets are arriving toasty from the oven. Prepare quinoa according to package directions -and in the last 3 minutes, toss a few tablespoons of frozen chopped or speared broccoli (or other frozen veggie) on top; replace the lid so it keeps steaming. Check for doneness, then place a small scoop of the broccoli and quinoa in a bowl, and nestle toasted Earth’s Best® Frozen Chicken (or Veggie Medley) Nuggets alongside.

Street corn chicken tacos

You only need a tiny bit of extra rotisserie chicken to whip up a nutritious chicken taco in a jiffy (and if you have a vegetarian like I do, seasoned beans from a pouch are a tasty and easy swap). Sautee a few tablespoons of frozen roasted corn with some olive oil, cumin and garlic powder; in a corn tortilla, place 1 oz pulled rotisserie chicken or beans , top with the roasted corn, and a squirt of lime. (optional: a slice of avocado, shredded romaine, yogurt or fresh salsa) ; roll up and serve.

Butternut squash tortellini +peas

There are so many new innovative fillings in pasta, choose one with dark green (hello, Kale) or orange to help pack essential nutrients like vitamins A and K. Did you know peas are considered both a protein and a vegetable by the USDA? Adding a hefty handful cup of frozen peas to dinner bumps up the protein and fiber; to cook, simply toss frozen peas into the pasta cooking water in the final 2 minutes, then drain altogether and toss with butter or olive oil. Serve with sliced pears or your favorite in-season fruit.

This is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always discuss any health and feeding concerns directly with your pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read above.

Fuss-free, freezer friendly meals

Ideal for when you're running late, or suddenly realize your toddler’s tiny tummy needs to eat dinner right now!