Healthy Eating on the Go, and Healthy Ones Deli Meat

All busy moms try to find ways to help their kids to eat healthy on the go! I admit it is so hard to do, when you’re running them to their activities and trying to work as well.

I recently tried a new Deli brand, from Armour-Eckrich Meats, called “Healthy Ones.”

Now, when I say “prepackaged Deli Meat,” you may not free-associate the word “healthy.” But Healthy Ones really has accomplished a more healthy version of your favorite sandwich meats, while retaining great flavor! It is sold as pre-packaged deli meat, and also at the deli counter.

I’ve never been one to pore over ingredients lists at the grocery store, but as I was testing this meat, I decided to peek at the other brands in the deli meat section. I thought, “Just how much healthier is Healthy Ones?”

I couldn’t even pronounce some of the things I saw in them! I couldn’t believe the ingredients, such as butylated hydroxytoluene (what is THAT?), high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, MSG, artificial flavor, and more. Why do they need to put that in meat? I don’t get it!

Healthy Ones don’t have any of those aforementioned ingredients. But since I was trying to find out what each ingredient actually means, I looked up each of the ingredients in Healthy Ones that I wasn’t exactly sure of.

  • Sodium Phosphate: preservation, salt derivative.
  • Sodium Diacetate: seasoning (created as a result of the ‘fizzing reaction between baking soda and vinegar)
  • Sodium Nitrite: prevents growth of Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria which causes botulism. (If you suffer from migraines, you may want to avoid this.)
  • Potassium Lactate: increase food safety as it has a broad antimicrobial action and is effective at inhibiting most spoilage and pathogenic bacteria.
  • Sodium Erythorbate: Sodium erythorbate is produced from sugars derived from sources such as beets, sugar cane and corn

*all facts gathered from WikiPedia.

I’m comfortable feeding all of those things to myself and my kids. And many of them are required by the FDA for food safety and preservation. It’s all about education: you try to find out what you can about the ingredients in food, and make decisions from there!

Healthy Ones is also certified by the American Heart Association, assuring that each serving has:

  • Less than 5 grams of total fat
  • Less than 2 grams of saturated fat
  • Less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 480 milligrams or less in sodium
  • At least 10% of the Daily Value of one or more of these nutrients: protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and dietary fiber

The only thing I feel they could do to improve in the ingredients department is to omit the caramel color from the Chicken and Turkey. (The Honey Ham does not have caramel color) Some adults and children follow a gluten/casein free diet, and cannot have caramel color, particularly those who are modifying the diets of Autistic or ADHD children. My family doesn’t have any problems with caramel color, so it doesn’t affect us.

Now, for the taste! I love the taste of the Healthy Ones Meat, and so do my kids! And I feel good sending it to school in their lunch. I brought some to a play group one day for all the kids to taste, and it was a big hit. For my kids, the Ham is the favorite, but they liked it all. My adult neighbor really liked the chicken, and so do I, because it’s a little thicker and more substantial than mopst other pre-packaged deli meats.

My favorite ways to fix it, besides sandwiches, are:

Ham and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

  • Scramble 1 egg and cook it in a small skillet, keeping it together like a patty. Flip once.
  • Put the egg, slices of Healthy Ones ham, and cheese onto a biscuit, sliced bread, or flatbread, and enjoy!

Grilled Meat and Cheese Sandwiches with Soup (Talk about a quick healthy dinner!)

  • I put a couple slices of Healthy Ones meat, and cheese between bread.
  • Spray a George Foreman Grill with cooking spray or oil, and cook the sandwich.
  • Serve with your choice of soup.

Chef’s Salad

  • Lay a bed of baby spinach or lettuce, and add your favorite veggies.
  • Top with cut up Healthy Ones deli meat.

If you want some more sophisticated recipes with Healthy Ones meat, click here to view a PDF. And if your grocery store doesn’t carry Healthy Ones, you can ask for it at the Customer Service Desk!

What are your thoughts about eating healthy on the go?

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