Demands on our time can make things challenging, especially when it comes to meal preparation at home. There are many companies out there that offer different solutions for your needs, and all are available for delivery right to your doorstep! But how do you know what’s right for you? Here’s an online review of some options that are available ranging from heat and serve to home-cooked.
This meal service does all the work for you. You can choose between 4,6,10 or 12 meals per week (the more you purchase, the lower the per meal cost) and you heat and eat! No prep work or ingredients involved, no mess to clean up and almost no dishes!
Pros: Freshly offers some meals under 500 calories, high protein/lower carbohydrate and gluten free, but only a handful. The ingredients are fairly simple, and whole-food based, and there is a variety of flavors to choose from. They advertise the option to change addresses, suspend or cancel the service (by a weekly deadline), so the subscription does appear to have flexibility.
Cons: Most meals are high in fat and calories, and there are no breakfast, vegan or vegetarian options available. Shipping of meals depends on where you live so there may be limitations on delivery.
Fresh Meal Plan:
Fresh Meal Plan is a ready-to-eat service (just heat and serve) and has options for 6, 10 and 14 meals per week, with additional add-ons as desired.
Pros: Most meals are under 500 calories and offer a good balance of protein and carbohydrate with lower fat options also available. They advertise low sodium (300-500 g per meal) and have Paleo, Keto, Vegan and Traditional meal options as well as breakfast items and family sized sides (vegetables and more) or pre-portioned desserts that you can add-on. Extra protein can be added to any meal.
Cons: This is a higher priced service, and delivery is only once per week in an insulated box.
A meal preparation service where you choose your menu and prepare the meal at home. Easy to read instructions and modifications are provided with pictures.
Pros: A variety of meal options are available including but not limited to vegetarian, low calorie, low carbohydrate and even little to no preparation meals (although limited). An additional add-on option is available for extra protein (chicken and beef only). The basic meal service (no added proteins) may be available at your local Kroger location, so ask at the customer service desk for information if interested.
Cons: Sodium is high in most of the recipes, and vegetable sides are limited. There is some amount of preparation needed with all dishes, so plan on making time for cooking and clean-up. Most meals have only 2 servings according to the weekly menus reviewed. Depending on the plan and add-on options selected, this service could be an expensive option.
Blue Apron provides you with all the ingredients in the amounts you need to prepare a meal at home “from scratch.” Skip the store and get all the ingredients delivered right to your door!
Pros: Blue Apron has WW and diabetic friendly meals, as well as vegetarian, fish and other protein options. There are 2 and 4 serving recipes to choose from, for 2-4 meals per week, with a wide variety of internationally inspired cuisines available.
Cons: Cooking time can be a bit longer than represented, and some kitchen experience and equipment is required.
There are many different meal preparation solutions available, and it can be difficult to decide what works best for you. When making your decisions, it is important to keep the sodium, calories and fat in mind to make sure you are putting your health as a priority, too.
For more information about healthy eating, contact your Beacon Health & Fitness Dietitian today!
Kate Glick, RD firstname.lastname@example.org
Erica Weinandy, RD email@example.com