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.

Frozen food on countertop.

Best Frozen Foods

You certainly don’t need to keep all of these frozen foods on hand, but having a few of them ready for quick meals, daily cooking, or even backup in case illness keeps you at home for an extended period can help. I love how frozen foods are processed at their peak ripeness, so frozen produce is often better-tasting than what we can find fresh.

And frozen foods can be so helpful either as full meal options or just components of the meal. There are plenty of options from store brands to name brands that can be prepared in the oven, microwave, or put right into the blender.

Read on for my picks for the best frozen foods for families to make quicker work of meals and snacks.

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strawberry sauce with berries on counter.

Frozen Fruit

  1. Frozen diced avocado: This is great to blend into smoothies or to thaw as an easy finger food for babies.
  2. Frozen berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are perfect for smoothies, muffins, oatmeal, and more.
  3. Frozen mango: This makes kids smoothies super creamy, and you can also let it thaw and serve it to the kids like you would fresh fruit.
  4. Frozen pineapple: We love this in smoothies and we also let it thaw and eat it as a snack.

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 10 most common kinds of frozen fruit. This is how I prefer to use frozen fruit; you may have different thoughts on what’s best to use with each method and that it’s 100% OK! This is meant to give you options and help you in feeding your kids food they’ll 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 1-year-olds (some of them anyway) may be fine with eating thawed berries and peaches, though the texture may be too soft for the preferences of older kids. With frozen bananas, let them thaw before baking with 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

These are my favorite easy recipes for using frozen fruit both for the kids and food for the whole family.

Quick Cinnamon Apples
These quick stove top Cinnamon Apples cook in under 10 minutes, are perfectly tender, and can be served with or without added sugar. They're a delicious snack or topping for yogurt or oatmeal—and they taste like apple pie filling!
Quick Cinnamon Apples
cinnamon apples in three bowls and pan with spoons.
So Easy Sliced Baked Apples
Transform fresh apples into Sliced Baked Apples as a simple snack, side dish, or as baby led weaning apples. The super simple method takes just 5 minutes to prep, and they work as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, and more!
So Easy Sliced Baked Apples
baked apple slices on plate
Fresh Blueberry Sauce
Transform fresh or frozen berries into the yummiest Blueberry Sauce to top oatmeal, pancakes, and yogurt. It's ready in under 15 minutes and can even be frozen for easy meal prep!
Fresh Blueberry Sauce
blueberry sauce in jar with pink spoon.
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
Transform fresh or frozen berries into the yummiest Strawberry Sauce to top yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, and yogurt. It's ready in under 15 minutes and can even be frozen for easy meal prep!
Fresh Strawberry Sauce
strawberry sauce in jar with berries on counter.
2-Ingredient Mango Sorbet
Refreshing, simple, and ready in minutes, this Mango Sorbet is a seriously delish recipe to share with the kids. You don't need an ice cream maker and yet, it's perfectly creamy! Plan to serve right after making.
2-Ingredient Mango Sorbet
Mango sorbet in blue bowl on countertop with spoon
2-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
Make a batch of the easiest Banana Ice Cream to share with the kids with just two ingredients and the creamiest texture! It takes about 5 minutes, there are easy ways to customize it for your preferences, and it is just so good.
2-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
Fresh Raspberry Puree (Ready in Minutes!)
This tastes best with raspberries that taste good to you, so taste one before you start! (See the Notes for suggestions on what to do if they’re a little tart.)
Fresh Raspberry Puree (Ready in Minutes!)
Favorite Blueberry Banana Smoothie
This quick and easy Blueberry Banana Smoothie is a great option for breakfast, snack time, or even dessert. (Frozen banana will create a slightly thicker smoothie, so if you plan to serve this through a straw, I recommend doing either frozen blueberries OR bananas, but not both. See the Notes at the end for more tips.)
Favorite Blueberry Banana Smoothie
Blueberry Ice Cream (No Churn)
With just 3 ingredients and no churning or special methods required, this Blueberry Ice Cream is a fast treat that always hits the spot.
Blueberry Ice Cream (No Churn)
blueberry ice cream scoops in pink bowl
Favorite Fruit Popsicles
With an easy method, full-fruit flavor, and endless variations, these Fruit Popsicles are refreshing and delicious for any age.
Favorite Fruit Popsicles
fruit popsicles on plate with fruit.

Frozen Vegetables

These are my favorite frozen vegetables to keep on hand so they’re easy to prepare right when you need them.

  1. Frozen broccoli florets: For a simple side or to add to pasta, stir fries, or soup.
  2. Frozen greens: Blend frozen spinach or kale into toddler smoothies, Spinach Pancakes, or Spinach Banana Muffins.
  3. Frozen cauliflower florets: For a simple side or to add to pasta, stir-fries, or soup. You can also blend them into toddler smoothies and use in cheese sauce for mac and cheese.
  4. Frozen green beans: For a simple side or to add to pasta, stir-fries, or soup
  5. 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.
  6. Frozen peas: A staple to use in pasta or as a simple side dish.
Roasted frozen broccoli on pan.

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. Our go-tos are frozen broccoli, corn, cauliflower, riced cauliflower, cubed sweet potatoes, peas, and sliced pepers.

Best Recipes for Frozen Vegetables

Here are some of my best kid-friendly recipes that work well with frozen veggies.

Roasted Frozen Broccoli
Roast a bag of frozen broccoli to make cooking easier and serve up the most delicious side dish. This is particularly great topped with grated Parmesan cheese!
Roasted Frozen Broccoli
Roasted frozen broccoli on pan.
Easy Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
Perfect for dipping and dunking veggies, this recipe makes enough for 2-3 servings, so you can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat it for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve. You can also toss any leftovers with pasta for a quick and healthy mac and cheese.
Easy Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
how to make cheese sauce
Quick Steamed Cauliflower
This quick Steamed Cauliflower is easy and delicious—and a perfect vegetable side dish to share with the kids. Use as much cauliflower as you need to feed your family. Store any uncooked florets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Quick Steamed Cauliflower
steamed cauliflower on blue plate with spoon.
Spinach Pesto Pasta with Peas
This bright green pesto is cheesy and mild, making it a perfect sauce for a quick dinner of pasta and peas!
Spinach Pesto Pasta with Peas
pesto pasta with peas in multiple bowls.
Favorite Alphabet Soup
You can use ABC pasta, orzo, pastina, or ditalini—or any other very small pasta shape in this Alphabet Soup recipe. And you can start with fresh or frozen veggies. See below for options.
Favorite Alphabet Soup
Quick Rice Noodle Soup
With a quick cooking time and streamlined technique, this Rice Noodle Soup is full of flavor and an easy family meal.
Quick Rice Noodle Soup
Rice noodle soup in two bowls and pot.
Easy Macaroni Soup
Made with mostly pantry and freezer staples, this cozy Macaroni Soup is easy and flavorful—and so nourishing. I love to make this with elbows, but other small pasta shapes such as wagon wheels would work well, too.
Easy Macaroni Soup
Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)
This Cheesy Rice recipe has four options to add in veggies and has been a staple of my family's diet for a few years now. It's SO easy and versatile—and stores wonderfully in the fridge. And it's downright delish!
Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)
cheesy rice in bowl with hands and pink nails.
Easy Vegetable Pancakes
We like these dipped in sour cream guacamole, salsa, or Cucumber Sauce.
Easy Vegetable Pancakes
Easiest Pea Puree
The serving size for baby food can vary widely based on the age and appetite of the baby, so follow baby’s cues for being done—they will close their mouth and/or turn their head or start to fuss. End the meal when you see those things happen.
Easiest Pea Puree
peach muffins in freezer bag on countertop.

Frozen Bread and Carbohydrates

  1. Frozen muffins: Stash half of a batch of kids muffins into a freezer bag for use in future weeks.
  2. Freezer waffles and French Toast
  3. Frozen bread: For toast, sandwiches, and French toast.
  4. Frozen rice and quinoa: You can buy fully cooked whole grains (such as white rice or brown rice) in the freezer aisle or you can cook it, let it cool completely, and freeze in a container or bag to use in future meals.

Frozen Meat and Poultry

  1. Frozen ground beef, burger patties, or other cuts of beef
  2. Frozen chicken tenders, thighs, or breast
  3. Frozen breakfast sausage

Frozen Prepared Foods

  • Frozen burritos: I like the Amy’s brand Cheese and Bean Burritos.
  • Frozen meatballs: Make healthy meatballs or pick up a bag at the store. Simmer in sauce and serve in sandwiches or with pasta.
  • Frozen chicken nuggets make a fast protein option and are great with Caesar Salad.
  • Potstickers, fried rice, fish sticks, mac and cheese, bean or cheese enchiladas, pizza, lasagna … all great options for fast meals.

You can find my full guide for How to Freeze Food for more ideas.

Pantry Staples

It also helps me to think through my pantry and pick up a few extras to have on hand as well. Find more on family-friendly pantry staples.

What do you like to keep in your freezer? Comment below so I can add your ideas to my list!

This post was first published March 2020.

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  1. Thank you so much! I am a single mom with two teens to feed. We recently had to go two weeks without grocery shopping and we (plus dog an cat), had to eat what we had.. These are great ideas and I am planning around your suggestions- in case this ever happens again. I plan on freezing fresh eggs to bake with as well so I can bake treats for them. Thank you again 🙂