Having a smart freezer stash of some of the best healthy frozen foods can be a great safety net for super busy days—or weeks when you can’t make it to the grocery store. Here are my go-to family-friendly frozen foods.
Best Frozen Foods to Keep Stocked for Your Family
You certainly don’t need to keep all of these frozen foods on hand, but having a few of them on hand for quick meals or back up food in case illness keeps you at home for an extended period can help.
- Frozen diced avocado: This is great to blend into smoothies or to thaw as an easy finger food for babies.
- Frozen blueberries: For smoothies, muffins, and oatmeal.
- Frozen bread: For toast, sandwiches, and French toast.
- Frozen breakfast sausage: We like the Chicken Maple sausage from Applegate.
- Frozen broccoli florets: For a simple side or to add to pasta, stir fries, or soup.
- Frozen cauliflower florets: For a simple side or to add to pasta, stir fries, or soup. You can also blend them into smoothies.
- Frozen cheese
- Frozen corn (we prefer “sweet corn”)
- Frozen greens: Blend frozen spinach or kale into smoothies, Spinach Pancakes, or Spinach Banana Muffins.
- Frozen green beans: For a simple side or to add to pasta, stir fries, or soup
- Frozen ginger: Store a knob of fresh ginger in a small freezer bag and grate on a microplane, still frozen with the skin, into stir fries to add flavor.
- Frozen ground beef
- Frozen chicken tenders, thighs, or breast
- Frozen burritos: I like the Amy’s brand Cheese and Bean Burritos.
- Frozen mango: This makes smoothies super creamy and you can also simply let it thaw and serve it to the kids like you would fresh fruit.
- Frozen meatballs: Make them homemade or pick up a bag at the store. Simmer in sauce and serve in sandwiches or with pasta.
- Frozen milk: Learn how to freeze your milk here. (You can also freeze yogurt. Place into an ice cube tray and freeze cubes to use in smoothies.)
- Frozen muffins: Stash half of a batch of Healthy Muffins into a freezer bag for use in future weeks.
- Frozen peas: A staple to use in pasta or as a simple side dish.
- Freezer waffles
How to Use Frozen Fruit
I love keeping frozen fruit on hand to add to recipes and to thaw and serve to my kids like I would fresh fruit. The chart above has my preferred ways to use the ten most common kinds of frozen fruit. This is how I prefer to use frozen fruit and you may have different thoughts on what’s best to use with each method and that it’s 100% okay! This is meant to help give you options and feed your kids food they’ll actually want to eat.
Thawed frozen pineapple and mango are usually really good in flavor and similar in texture! I like frozen raspberries almost thawed completely, but not so much that they get super mushy. Babies and one year olds (some of them anyway) may be fine with eating thawed berries and peaches, though the texture may be too soft for the likes of older kids. With frozen bananas, let them thaw before baking them.
TIP: You can freeze almost any fruit, though you’d still want to follow the chart above for the best ways to enjoy it from frozen.
Best Recipes for Frozen Fruit
Here are some recipes to try these frozen fruits in:
- Mango Smoothie
- Cherry Smoothie
- Blueberry Banana Smoothie
- Toddler Smoothies with Hidden Veggies
- Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- Healthy Strawberry Muffins
- Blueberry Date Cake
- Mango Overnight Oats
- Overnight Oats with Berries
- Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
- Blueberry Chia Jam
- Strawberry Greek Frozen Yogurt Pops
- Blueberry Freezer Pops
TIP: There are occasional recalls of frozen fruit, just like there are of any other food, but the FDA does not suggest taking any unusual precautions with using frozen fruit. They routinely test for food borne illnesses too. Here’s more from the frozen fruit association (which is clearly biased, but has good info never the less.)
How to Use Frozen Veggies
Cooking with frozen veggies is a great way to offer up nutrition and not worry about the produce going bad. They contain the same (if not more) nutrients as fresh since they’re preserved at the time of peak ripeness and they are usually very easy to use. The chart above shows my personal preference for how to use frozen veggies, though feel free to experiment to find your favorites!
Best Recipes for Frozen Vegetables
Here are some of my best kid-friendly recipes that work well with frozen veggies.
- Spinach Pesto Pasta with Peas
- Cheesy Rice
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Veggie Chili
- 4-Ingredient Sausage Pasta
- Roasted Broccoli
- Veggie Muffins
It can also help to think through your pantry and pick up a few extras to have on hand as well. Here’s my guide to family-friendly pantry staples.