Packaged Food

Reporter: Madeleine Kennard

Frozen, canned, dried, sweet and savoury... 125 of the very best packaged foods- for the waistline- and the wallet.

We teamed up with woman's health magazine and their team of experts to compose a list of the good and the bad in packaged food.

Our recommended daily kilojule intake is 8,700.... And to keep below that limit dietitian tara diversi and nutritionist Kristen beck recommend products with fewer ingredients listed on the pack.

"what we are looking for was particularly less added sugars low fat or low saturated fat, less preservatives and also great taste and redily available so easy things that people actually eat because if it doesn't taste good people won't buy it." Said Kristin

So what what made the list?

10 varieties of healthy juice and tea including --- lipton green ice tea light with 20 kilojules per serve, bundaberg diet ginger beer with 85 kilojules and v8 vegetable juice, 213 kilojules and 0.1 grams of fat .. Soft drink was not a contender - the average softdrink has between 10 and 40 times more than those that get the tick.

"The list actually includes the lipton ice tea light which actually contains an artificial sweetener instead which will bring down the kilojoule content to only about 11 kilojoules per serve where this one has almost 300 hundred kilojoules per serve." Said Kristin

The list proved frozen can be as good as fresh - when buying frozen veg steer clear of those with sauces and seasoning - due to added sodium and fat- steam fresh vegetables made the list with 210kj as did sara lee frozen mixed berries 143kj, 0.3grams of fat and angus park dried apricots 418kj were some of the picks.

"Frozen vegetables are still nutritious just like fresh vegetables the good thing we know about frozen vegetables they are usually frozen farm fresh so they have most of their nutrient's." Said Tara

"The great thing about this list is it reminds people of the favourites like vita wheats if you pair that, that is whole grain and if you pair that up with some protein with something like some smoked salmon and low fat cheese that will give you good carbohydrates and some protein." Said Kristin

With cereal- it is important check the sugar and carbohydrate content- digestive 1st was chosen for it's low gi and high fibre content...680kjs and 2.9gs fat....and uncle toby's oats, 640kjs and 3.5gs of fat.

"when it came to something like digestive first that made the list it made the list because it is high in fibre high in protein it is also really good for keeping you feeling full." Said Kristin

Melissa spencer admits she's a fan of the conveniencve packaged foods provide but wonders about their nutritional value.

"The packaged food we eat most of is the frozen vegies... we live a busy family life and it is just easy to come home and through them in the micorowave 5 minutes they are fresh and easy and the kids really like them." Said Melissa


Ten varieties of healthy juice and tea including:

  • Lipton Green Ice Tea Light with twenty kilojoules per serve
  • Bundaberg Diet Ginger Beer with 85 kilojoules
  • V8 Vegetable Juice with 213 kilojoules and 0.1 grams of fat

The list proved frozen can be as good as fresh:

  • Steam Fresh Vegetables made the list with 210 kilojoules
  • Sara Lee Frozen Mixed Berries with 143 kilojoules and 0.3 grams of fat
  • Angus Park Dried Apricots with 418 kilojoules

Healthy snacks included:

  • Macro Organic Chips with 542 kilojoules and 8.4 grams of fat
  • Vita Wheat Crackers
  • Carmen's Muesli Bars

Best spreads included:

  • Macro Organic Peanut Butter with 532 kilojoules and ten grams of fat
  • Manuka Honey with 212 kilojoules and zero fat
  • Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese with 137 kilojoules and 1.2 grams of fat

Best cereals included:

  • Digestive First with 680 kilojoules and 2.9 grams of fat
  • Uncle Toby's Oats with 640 kilojoules and 3.5 grams of fat

Contact details

Australian Women's Health -