Tuesday Trade Up: Pasta Primavera

Pre-made frozen dinners are helpful when you are dealing with a time crunch and need a quick, easy meal option. Healthier pre-made frozen meals are also portioned to be the appropriate serving size for one person so they can help with watching portion sizes for weight management. When choosing from the frozen options, it is important to be careful because most frozen meals are high in sodium. Important values to look for on the Nutrition Facts Labels of these meals are calories, total fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar. If these values are high, the meal may not be as healthy for you as the label indicates. Also be cautious that you avoid the “Hearty” or large meals that are made in larger portions and may contribute to weight gain. Check for frozen meals that have higher NuVal scores on items such as the Kashi Pasta Primavera to determine which ones are best for you. While the Nutrition Facts label may indicate that they Smart Ones Pasta Primavera is healthier, the NuVal score is much lower. That is because the NuVal score takes into account the partially hydrogenated ingredients that increase trans fats in the Smart Ones meal that you or I may miss when selecting frozen meals. This is a great reason to keep an eye on the NuVal score for an opportunity to Trade Up!

Kashi Pesto Pasta Primavera- NuVal score 35
Serving Size: 1 entrée
Calories 290, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 750mg, Carbohydrates 37g, Fiber 7g, Sugars 4g, Protein 11g
Ingredients: Cooked Multigrain Penne Pasta (Water, Whole Wheat Durum, Oats, Wheat, Rye, Brown Rice, Triticale, Barley, Buckwheat), Water, Pesto (Basil, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Water, Parmesan Cheese [Milk, Salt, Cultures, Enzymes], Garlic, Sea Salt), Peas, Carrots, Sweet Red Pepper, Garlic (Garlic, Water), Basil, Rice Starch, Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Evaporated Salt, Dehulled Barley Flour, Soy Flour.

Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Pasta Primavera- NuVal score 22
Serving Size: 1 entrée            
Calories 250, Total Fat 4g, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 610mg, Carbohydrates 41g, Fiber 4g, Sugars 4g, Protein 11g
Ingredients: Macaroni Product Enriched Cooked (Water, Semolina, Niacin, Iron [Ferrous Sulfate] , Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB)) , Water, Broccoli, Carrot(s), Cheese Parmesan (Milk Cultured, Salt, Enzyme(s)) , Pepper(s) Bell Red, Milk Non-Fat Dry, Corn Starch Modified, Shortening Powder (Palm Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate [Milk] , Dipotassium Phosphate, Monoglyceride) , Potato(es) Maltodextrin, Salt, Potassium Citrate, Flavor(s) American Cheese (Cheese Powder [Cheese Dehydrated, Butter, Whey, Buttermilk Solids, Salt, Flavor(s) Natural & Artificial, Soy Oil Partially Hydrogenated and, Cottonseed Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Whey Protein Concentrate, Lactic Acid, Corn Starch Modified, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Sodium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Wheat Protein Fermented, Yeast Extract, Flavor(s) Enhancer] ) , Flavor(s) Cheese (Cheese Cheddar Enzyme Modified [Milk, Salt, Enzyme(s)] , Yeast Autolyzed, Flavoring Natural) , Flavor(s) Savory (Corn Gluten Hydrolyzed, Yeast Extract) , Xanthan Gum, Spice(s), Carrageenan

Tell us which frozen entrees from Kashi or other brands that you enjoy! We would love to hear! 

"Kristen is a guest blogger for Market Street. She is a Texas Woman’s University Dietetic Intern and graduate student working on her degree in nutrition. Kristen is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University and is originally from Muenster, Texas. She is currently developing her cooking skills and enjoying every learning experience. Kristen’s other hobbies include reading, exercising, spending time with her family, and shopping at Market Street! "

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