You can prioritize convenience, value, variety, or any number of other factors, but you still want to make sure you’re putting a healthy meal in front of your friends and family.
If you want to maximize the benefits of a meal kit delivery service, pay attention to these ten tips for keeping your family healthy with meal kits.
1. Pick a plan that works for your health goals
The first thing to think about when considering a meal delivery service is if the foods provided will support your family’s health.
Whether you want to burn off the fat with a low-carb or low-fat diet plan, do your part for the planet with a plant-based diet, or just learn new recipes to sustain a balanced diet, you can find a meal plan that works for you.
If you’re trying out a meal delivery service as a way to get introduced to a new diet, just make sure that your family’s choices aren’t un-necessarily restricted. Just because a certain diet is what works best for your body, it doesn’t mean that it will be best for everyone else too!
Always make sure that the plan can accommodate any food sensitivities or allergies, as well.
2. What do the reviews say?
Even with a website full of information and a top-notch customer service team, you still want to have an idea of what you’re getting into before you start.
Customer reviews can tell you how the food tastes, how fresh the ingredients really are, how well the recipes come together, and any hiccups in the process.
All meal plans aim to provide good tasting food in a convenient service at an attractive price point, but only the reviews will let you know how that company treats its customers.
Always check out the best reviews, as well as the worst, so you have a complete picture of what to expect.
Check out what our readers said about these meal delivery companies!
3. How many meals per day?
Some meal delivery services specialize in meal plans for one or two, whereas others can accommodate an entire family. Make sure you’re able to store that many ingredients coming to your door all at once!
If you feel like you have a good breakfast or lunch routine, then opt for a meal kit that spices up your evening.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to even think about what you’re going to eat, then having all your food for a day — breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options — is crucial.
While all delivery plans aim to make some aspect of cooking easier, each differs in their emphasis.
Some meal delivery plans want to reclaim dinner. Rather than being a stressful pressure-cooker experience, pre-prepared meal plans make dinner a time of order, ease, and even fun.
Other programs are on a mission to completely eliminate decision fatigue by providing all the food you need in the form of pre-prepared meals that you can grab on the go.
There are also services that help you train new skills or broaden your palate with recipes and teachers that inspire meal time creativity.
This kind of meal kit delivery may be less convenient than a microwave dinner, but it’s definitely easier than trying to learn how to make the recipe from scratch!
5. Flavor and Variety
For a meal kit to be healthy it has to be something you and your family enjoy and come back to again and again. Otherwise you’ll end up scrapping the plan and resorting to what you used to do.
If you’re looking for a healthy meal plan that still tastes good, check that the sodium content is not too high. Then look to see if there are healthy fats included and that flavor enhancing herbs and spices are provided.
Just a couple of additional flavorings can transform a bland, healthy meal into a dining experience worthy of a chef and approved by a doctor.
Some meal plan delivery kits pride themselves on the variety of choices they give, ensuring that they can meet the challenge of making everybody in the family satisfied.
6. Cost, Quality, and Value
With meal delivery services being something between grocery delivery and take out, what you should pay for a week of dinner is not intuitive. Lucrative introductory discounts makes it easy to try out multiple meal delivery services without breaking the bank though.
If cost is what you pay attention to first, most services give a cost-per-serving breakdown to facilitate your decision making. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and then consider what you’re getting by paying a lower rate.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in learning how to make delicious and healthy meals at home, then going for a meal kit that provides an opportunity to learn something new may be the best bet for you.
Even after just one meal kit, you can learn new techniques and flavor combinations to pique your mealtime ingenuity.
Meal delivery services are still new in the food industry, so make sure the company you choose delivers to your house year-round.
You might get lucky to be within the shipping region of a local meal delivery company, but otherwise there are a few that aim to cover the entire United States.
On the topic of shipping, remember to include shipping costs into your total meal delivery budget.
Some services include the shipping charges into the total price, which would make it seem like it’s a more expensive program than one that lists shipping separately.
8. Additional Support
Since a healthy lifestyle includes more than just what you eat, some meal delivery kits include supportive resources or even consultations with a nutritionist.
These extra services are founded in the science of transformative lifestyle change. Multiple studies show how important regular support is in making a healthy diet and lifestyle work for you long term, so getting coaching and useful tips alongside a week's worth of meals may be just what you need to reclaim your health.
When checking out the additional support, make sure it aligns with you and the lifestyle you want!
9. Health Professional Approval
When you’re looking for a healthy diet in a box, you can cut out a lot of the work by simply looking for what health professionals are saying about it.
More and more doctors, dietitians, and other health professionals are using their credentials to back up the companies working to improve people’s health. Far from selling out, these health professionals can help guide you to reputable, science-based programs.
Endorsement from a health professional doesn’t necessarily mean that a health plan is going to be healthy for your particular needs, but it is a good starting point.
Considering that the World Health Organization links climate change to poor health outcomes, it’s apparent that your food choices can affect the people around you.
If you want to amplify your impact, choose a plant-based diet meal kit delivery service.
Plant-based diets are good for the planet in many ways, not the least of which are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting general health, and supporting an industry that will be able to feed the growing global population.
Choosing a meal plan delivery kit that emphasizes sustainability is a win for your health and global health alike.
Meal kits are a great way to make eating healthier easier for the whole family. Whether it’s great flavors and new skills or conveniently pre-portioned grab-and-go meals, you’re sure to find the meal kit delivery service that works for you with these key tips. Some things to keep in mind:
- Select the options that work for you. The type of diet, the number of servings, how many meals per day or per week, frozen or fresh, a little elbow grease or completely pre/-prepared — there’s a meal kit delivery service for you!
- Check reviews to see how well the company lives up to its promises. See our list of top meal delivery services for ratings and reviews from users and professionals alike.
- Optimize for quality, for cost, or for value. Make sure it provides the flavors and variety that you’re looking for.
- If you want additional support, some meal kits provide health coaching and other resources on the side.
- Other factors to consider are the eco-friendly options, whether the plan is endorsed by a health professional, and how much to factor in for shipping.