By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
Sticking to a healthy lifestyle can be tough at the best of times, but right now, with social distancing, it feels harder. It’s way too easy to reach into the fridge and grab anything with no regard for its nutritional value. To be honest, it’s not just during self-isolation that you struggle to eat healthily. In a society that’s busier and on the move more than ever, it’s hard to put aside time to prep and plan healthy and nutritious meals. A great alternative to meal prepping is ordering from a healthy meal kit delivery service.
In uncertain times like these, cooking and trying exciting new recipes is a welcome change and adds a bit of structure to your day. Whether you’re struggling to get a hold of fresh produce or can’t face the grocery store, meal delivery kits are the perfect solution.
If you’re in the market for a new meal delivery service, there’s a good chance you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options available. Do you cook for yourself or a family of four? Do you eat organic or vegan? No matter your circumstances, there’s a meal kit service that suits you.
With meal kits, some brands provide ingredients paired with recipes, while others deliver pre-made meals or grocery items. Regardless of which one you choose, all of them take out the planning process of cooking. This makes eating healthy meals much easier and convenient. Meal kits remove the hassle of shopping at the grocery store. You don’t have to think about it; your meals are ready to cook.
HelloFresh’s meals take about thirty minutes to pull together. Each week you get a delivery of fresh, pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions for every recipe. There are different package options available: a classic plan for two, a family plan for four, and a veggie plan. You can receive up to three to four meals each week, depending on your package.
A highlight of HelloFresh is that you can use the website or app to skip a week and choose which weeks you want food delivered. When things are back to normal, this is useful if you’re out of town or traveling and don’t want to waste your food delivery.
Cost: Each serving costs $8.99 + shipping.
Sun Basket uses only organic and ethically-sourced foods. It’s all about clean eating and guarantees that your food won’t contain any GMO produce. Meat and fish are ethically sourced and free from antibiotics and hormones. The packaging is also recyclable and compostable.
There are several dietary options available: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, and Mediterranean. Sun Basket offers a huge variety of meals and is one of the best meal kits for vegetarian recipes. Although not entirely vegetarian, there’s a ton of plant-based meals with lots of flavors and fresh ingredients. Meals are quick and easy to make with all the prep done for you. Ingredients are pre-measured and pre-chopped to make the cooking process smoother.
Cost: Each serving costs $12 for two people, three times a week.
Blue Apron is one of the most popular meal kit delivery services out there. If you’re looking for a creative and well-composed kit, Blue Apron is for you. Expect high-quality ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. Meal boxes contain fresh, locally sourced foods with pre-measured ingredients. All you have to do is cook and enjoy your nutritious meal. The meals are simple yet tasty and full of flavor.
Cost: Each serving costs $9.99 for two people, three times a week.
With well-written recipes and high-quality ingredients, Home Chef is a great meal kit to integrate into your weeknight dinners. Home Chef has detailed recipes, so if you’re a complete beginner, this is where you should start. The weekly menu is customizable and lets you filter meals by vegetarian, under-30 minutes, carb-conscious, and calorie-conscious. You can choose oven-ready meals that come pre-prepared in an oven-ready tin as well as meals you can cook in fifteen minutes.
Cost: Each serving costs $9.95.
Freshly’s mission is to keep food as fresh as possible. The meals are never frozen. Unlike other meal kit delivery services, Freshly is a pre-made meal delivery service. They provide ready-to-eat meals to your door with absolutely no cooking required. Each meal requires less than three minutes of prep time.
With good portion sizes and plenty of flavors, you can easily think Freshly’s dishes are home-cooked meals. Every meal leaves you feeling full and satisfied and much less likely to snack. Although the fridge keeps calling your name, quick, healthy snacks like kale chips, mixed nuts, or red bell pepper and guacamole are great options for snacks in between meals.
Each Freshly meal is suitable for one person. On average, there is a weekly rotation of more than thirty recipes. The menu is updated regularly with plenty of options following the latest food and health trends. There are dietary requirements available, such as dairy-free, under 500 calories, and under thirty-five grams of carbs. All meals are gluten-free and peanut-free.
Cost: $8.99 per serving for six meals per week.
Pre-made meals and meal kit delivery services honorable mentions:
Depending on your circumstances and diet, there’s a meal kit service for everyone. If you love to cook but hate planning and prepping a meal, then HelloFresh is an excellent option. If you’re limited on time and prefer to have everything done for you, Freshly is a great place to start.
With the spread of COVID-19, there is an unprecedented high demand for meal kit delivery services. There may be delays with some services, so make sure to check the delivery time before ordering. People are currently spending a lot more time at home. So, it’s the perfect opportunity to find out which meal kit works for you for when everything is back to normal.
Meal delivery services are a great way to keep the fridge stocked and our bodies healthy as we juggle the pieces of our lives. By signing up for a meal delivery service, you can receive regularly scheduled meals straight to your door full of fresh ingredients. Impress yourself with your culinary abilities and take the fuss out of healthy eating. Whether you prioritize all-organic produce, prep-time, or keto-friendly, you can find a meal kit service that caters specifically to your preferences.