For people constantly on the go or for parents juggling multiple responsibilities, finding a work-life balance can be tricky. A recent Atomik study for the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) suggested that the time needed to prepare meals is one of the more pressing barriers Americans face regularly. Almost all Americans (94%) look for food options with a longer shelf life so it's available for cooking convenience — and at least once a week, frozen foods have bailed out almost four in five (77%) parents during last-minute "what's for dinner" conversations.

Finding ways to make mealtime preparation easier means one less chore to worry about, and it's no surprise that a mix of nutritious ingredients, affordable meals and quick meal preparation time is what Americans want and need. This March marks NFRA's 40th celebration of National Frozen Food Month, and it's time to put frozen foods in the spotlight, as they may be a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to adding easy-to-grab, nutritious ingredients to dinner plans.

"With more than half of American parents (69%) indicating that they typically plan dinner on the fly, having a freezer full of frozen options provides quick, easy and healthy solutions for parents during dinner time," said Tricia Greyshock, EVP/COO at National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association. "Frozen foods can also provide peace of mind for parents[,] knowing that they can still provide nutritious meals at home rather than eating out," said Greyshock.

As part of ongoing initiatives throughout March, NFRA has also partnered with Jamie Gwen, chef and TV personality, to share convenient, chef-inspired mealtime ideas for busy families. "Whether it's comfort foods, healthy items or innovative new cuisines, frozen foods are crucial right now, and it doesn't mean having to sacrifice flavor [or] nutrition," said Jamie Gwen.

NFRA also sponsors Easy Home Meals to show families how to make simple meals with the help of foods from the frozen and dairy aisles. Frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh ones due to quick-freezing processes that preserve the nutritional value, freshness and flavor of foods. The website provides recipes for every taste and occasion, using frozen and refrigerated foods to provide families with meals that don't sacrifice taste for convenience.

During March, NFRA will also promote its annual $10,000 sweepstakes. Participants can enter for a chance to win 1 of 18 first prizes of $500 supermarket gift cards or the Grand Prize of a $1,000 supermarket gift card.

NFRA has sponsored March Frozen Food Month since its inception in 1984, when Murray Lender, founder of Lender's Bagels, helped create the first promotion to increase frozen food sales. The promotion is now nationally recognized and continues to promote the benefits and importance of engaging shoppers and encourages the purchase of frozen foods. The month-long celebration promotes the frozen food aisle to consumers by sharing resources with its members throughout the month, including recipes, point-of-sale materials, social content, helpful tips and more.

Source: National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association