Turning the Best Frozen Diet Dinners Into Complete Meals

Get tips on turning a packaged entree into a complete, nutritious meal.

Feb. 4, 2010— -- If you want to cut calories from your diet and cut your preparation time, packaged meals can be a great solution. Frozen diet entrees offer a convenient way for health-conscious people to get portion-controlled servings of food.

Consumer Reports rated the taste quality of 24 packaged meals from top brands including Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers. While the low calorie count makes these meals an attractive option, many have so few calories that you're not actually getting enough nutrition if you don't pair them with other sides.

Mandy Walker from Consumer Reports showed "GMA" the magazine's five favorite microwaveable meals, and the food you can add to them to get a nutritious, satisfying and calorie-conscious meal.

Check out the Consumer Reports Web site for more details and pick up the February issue for the full list and advice on choosing packaged meals and pairing them with the proper add-ons.

Kashi Chicken Florentine

290 calories

$3.96

Add:

Broccoli with pat of butter and lemon juice

Grapes

Total calories: 460

Total fat: 14g

Sodium: 590mg

Smart Ones Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans

310 calories

$2.38

Add:

Tossed salad with reduced-fat dressing

Strawberries with 2 tbsp whipped topping

Total calories: 430

Total fat: 11g

Sodium: 710mg

Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers Roasted Beef Merlot

230 calories $3.45

Add:

Whole wheat bread

Apple

Low fat granola bar

Total Calories: 470 Fat: 11g Sodium: 800mg

Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics Shrimp Alfredo

260 calories

$3.24

Add:

Cucumbers and tomatos with olive oil and lemon juice

Half a cup of light ice cream with sliced pears

Total calories: 490

Fat: 15g

Sodium 790mg

Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics Steak Tips Portabella

Calories: 160

$3.26

Add:

10 baby carrots (approximately 90 grams)

2 tbsp hummus

Light and Fit vanilla yogurt (6 ounces)

Sliced banana (one medium)

Total calories: 430

Total fat: 11g

Sodium: 730 mg

More Diet Entree Picks from Consumer Reports:

Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics Sesame Chicken

330 calories

$3.27

Healthy Choice Café Steamers Five-Spice Beef & Vegetables

$3.46

290 calories

Lean Cuisine Spa Cuisine Classics Butternut Squash Ravioli

$3.22

350 calories

Kashi Garden Vegetable Pasta

$3.95

300 calories

Healthy Choice All Natural Entrées Pumpkin Squash Ravioli

$2.50

300 calories