we estimated the proximate composition, sodium content and energy intake (ei) in products intended for food assistance programs. we selected 16 samples produced by five companies, some fortified with vitamins and minerals. they were classified as pre-processed for complete meals like stews (rice, noodles, lentils, peas), pasta (different types of noodles, premixes for polenta) and others (sauces, puree, fillings, etc). we calculated the daily value (dv) percentage following the portions established by manufacturers or mercosur. protein levels were 10-19% for stews and only 5 samples exceeded 20% of the dv. for fats, the values were 6-12% in stews, 2-4% in pasta (except a polenta with 12%) and only 2 samples showed higher values (16-27%): the main source of fat used was through hydrogenated vegetable oils in 5 samples (4 stews, 1 filling). the ei was between 9-15% of the dv for both stew and pasta dishes. the sodium remained at the levels reported by the manufacturers and the dv % was particularly high in stews (39-54%) and two premixes (42-63%). the contribution of sauces and puree was significant only in sodium: 12-15% of the dv. considering the importance these products may have in the diet of the target population, the nutritional quality of the ingredients used in their formulations and the dv percentage of protein, fat and sodium, the content and quality of protein and fat should be increased and the salt eliminated or reduced, regardless of whether or not fortified. the study was conducted in 2007 and its publication was considered important because most products are still being marketed and their composition contained in the database sara of the ministry of health of the nation.