You don’t have to make everything from scratch to feed your family right! Take the pressure off with these healthy packaged foods that nourish you right out of the bag or box.

Serving home-cooked meals for your kids is super important. I’ll never tell you otherwise!

But that doesn’t mean you have to make every single item in your kitchen from scratch to eat well and raise healthy kids. In truth, the supermarket is filled with healthy products that come in a bag, box, or can. You don’t have to feel like you’re settling for less when you buy them.

The key to making healthy packaged-food choices is knowing what’s really good for your family, and what’s masquerading as health food, but really isn’t.

And actually, it’s not really so complicated! At our house, we rely on a few guidelines to help us know the difference.

Healthy packaged foods have LESS (or none) of these:

Sugar or artificial sweetenerRefined grainsArtificial flavors and dyesRambling ingredient lists

Healthy packaged foods have MORE of these:

ProteinFiberWhole GrainsFruits and veggies

That’s it. Pretty simple, right? With a little forethought, you can feel proud knowing the packaged foods you buy are improving your family’s nutrition.

AND helping you be a better home cook. (Huh?!)

Really! I can’t tell you how many times having a good stash of packaged food has saved me when I’m trying to get a healthy meal on the table last-minute. (When you’ve got beans, rice, and salsa in your pantry, you’re halfway there!)If you’re ready to stock your own pantry with some healthy essentials, check out our list of healthiest packaged foods:

25 Healthy Packaged Foods 100% whole wheat spaghetti Peanut butter Cheese sticks Raisin boxes Whole wheat mac and cheese Granola (lower sugar) Applesauce pouches Larabars Canned tuna Canned lentil soup Beef jerky Popcorn Coconut chips Salsa Dried fruit (look for unsweetened) Corn tortillas Canned beans 100% whole grain crackers Jarred marinara sauce Dry-roasted nuts Brown rice cakes Whole milk yogurt Hummus Baby carrots, apple slices, and other pre-cut fresh produce Any bag of frozen fruits Any bag of frozen veggies

That’s our list! Do you have a favorite healthy packaged-food staple that we didn’t mention? Share in the comments.

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