The 13 Best Trader Joe’s Frozen Groceries for Kids — Plus, Our Very Favorite!
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When I’m in Trader Joe’s, I tend to see the fun stuff first: the funky-flavored snacks, the seasonal goodies, the green tea infused mints so specifically reserved for road trips that we just call them “car mints.” But if I can stay on track — and out of the wine aisle — Trader Joe’s is a great bargain for plain old fruits, veggies, and proteins, as well as frozen items to hold us over between grocery trips.
Don’t get me wrong: the freezer aisle of Trader Joe’s has its share of distractions (see: all those flavors of mochi cakes). But they also have great basics to keep the freezer stocked for last-minute, low-stress meals for my family. Here are my picks for the 13 best frozen groceries for families from Trader Joe’s.
Grass-Fed Ground Beef, $5.99 for 1 pound
Ground beef is just a basic in our household for everything from tacos to burgers to pasta sauce. Having this in the freezer has saved me on a busy weekday night, many times!
Tilapia Filets, $5.99 for 1 pound
Not everyone in my household is into seafood, but all four of us can get on board with tilapia. I like these filets (we eat about three) because they are easy to defrost, cook quickly, and can go in so many different flavor directions.
Broccoli Florets, $1.69 for 1 pound
Broccoli’s a basic for us, and having just the florets ready to go saves me the work of chopping. We tend to eat our broccoli baked, but the kids also like it steamed and in soup form, too. And you never have to worry about any produce going bad when it’s frozen — a perk for the budget too.
Chicken Drumellas, $3.99 for 1 pound
For many years, breaded chicken was a lunchtime staple. These days, my kids are almost out of the nugget stage … but if I offer these up as a lazy Sunday lunch, they always get eaten.
Italian Style Meatballs, $4.49 for 1 pound
What is it about bite-size protein? My kids love spaghetti and meatballs so much they’ve tried to make it a weekly staple; I love that I can keep these in the freezer for an easy dinner that makes everyone happy.
Trader Giotto’s Pizza 4 Formaggi, $3.99 each
We love a frozen pizza on a Friday night! This is also my go-to whenever we have a sitter… and somehow, there’s never any left. There’s a bit of lightly herbed flavor in the sauce, too, so it’s also great for grown-up palates!
Pork or Chicken Gyoza Potstickers, $3.49 for 1 pound
My kids love both the pork and chicken versions. These potstickers are most delicious (but a little bit of a mess) to pan-fry on the stove, but they’re great dropped into broth for an easy soup. All the best parts of take-out — without any of the wait.
Joe’s Diner Mac & Cheese, $2.99 for 14 ounces
A classic accompaniment to the aforementioned nuggets, this mac and cheese is nice and creamy — and always a crowd-pleaser. Spoon some into a thermos for a comforting lunchbox treat too.
Brown Rice, $2.99 for three 10-ounce packages
An easy side for any number of meals, this frozen brown rice cooks up much quicker than starting from dry brown rice, and the kids like it just as much as white rice.
Mini Croissants, $4.49 for eight
These little croissants are just the right size for my kids to have one or two with a little fruit for breakfast. They’re also small enough to bake in our countertop toaster oven, so I don’t have to use the regular oven. Something about a croissant always feels a little decadent — even on a weekday when everyone’s trying to get ready for school.
Multigrain Toaster Waffles, $1.99 for 8
Frozen waffles have been a breakfast staple in our home for years. One of my kids likes them out of the toaster, with a dab of butter. The other likes them “soft” from the microwave, smothered in maple syrup. I just like that they’re easy and multigrain, too!
Organic Mixed Berry Blend, $2.99 for 12 ounces
We go through smoothie phases, and a good berry mix is key for these. We blend a handful with milk, ice, and a little agave for breakfast. (For single-note berry kids, there are also plain raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.) If you prefer your smoothie in bowl form, just top with one of Trader Joe’s delicious granola blends.
And, my very favorite from the freezer section …
Mint Chip Ice Cream, $3.99 for a pint
Is ice cream really a necessary grocery? Perhaps not. But it’s nice to have on hand as an easy, fulfilling treat at the end of the day, and mint chip is a flavor we all love. I’m convinced having a smaller container helps us serve smaller portions to ourselves, too, so the pint size is just right for a week or two — as long as their dad doesn’t get into it!