It's 2020, and life seems to be getting faster by the day. Most people feel like they're running on the treadmill of life, barely keeping up with the pace. And you expect to toss healthy meal prep into that mix? With so much going on between family, work, social obligations, and personal fulfillment, nutrition generally falls to the wayside because people simply don't have time, headspace, or energy to take out a frying pan.
But as researchers are shedding light onto the importance of heating a healthier, more balanced diet, consumers are looking for solutions to this seemingly-impossible juggling act called life. Prepared meal delivery services are quickly becoming a brilliant solution for many Americans looking for a way to balance it all.
If the idea of meal prep services is foreign or intimidating to you, then this is a good read for you. Here's a quick look at everything you should know about pre-cooked meal delivery services, along with a few recommendations for the best-prepared meal delivery services in the country.
- Quickest meals on market – heat and eat in 3 mins
- 4 flexible meal plans (4, 6, 10, or 12 meals per week)
- Entire menu is gluten free
- Not suitable for vegetarians, almost entirely meat-based
- Not everyone wants their meals to arrive pre-cooked
Freshly is a fantastic choice if you're looking for easy, convenient, and, most of all, nutritious meals. This meal-delivery service takes all the work out of eating healthy. With Freshly, preparing, cooking, and cleaning up after meals is a thing of the past.
- 23 new meals each week with plenty of variety
- Generous discounts for healthcare workers
- User-friendly mobile app
- High shipping costs if you order 3 boxes or less per week
- Limited options for vegetarians
HelloFresh is a great option for people who want to add a little variety to their home cooking but aren’t looking to break the bank doing it. With a large selection of delicious, easy-to-make meals to choose from.
- Customize with your choice of protein
- Optional ‘easy prep’ kits with pan included
- Pescatarian, vegetarian, and vegan options
- No free shipping options
- Facilities, packages aren’t certified allergen-free
If you’re looking to make fun and tasty meals in the comfort of your own kitchen in a half hour or so, you should definitely take a look at Home Chef. The company provides you with a wide range of customizable meals to choose from each week, and managing your account and designing your own custom meal plan couldn’t be easier.
Meal delivery services are kits that come ready to make or ready to eat. You can select from a variety of menus, and the best-prepared meal delivery services will give you options that are both tantalizing and nutritious. Some meal prep services provide you with all of the ingredients already prepared and ready to be cooked, so you can just toss them together for a delicious and fresh meal on the spot.
Others offer pre-cooked meal deliveries. The entire meal is already prepared and cooked for you by professional chefs. Then, the food is packaged for shipping and delivered to your door. These meals are usually microwave or oven-safe, so you can eat your meal in three minutes flat.
Most services today will also accommodate special dietary requirements, so you can find meals that are gluten-free or recipes with no dairy in them. Other dietary considerations can include keto, no or low carbs, or even vegan. For more specific allergies or requirements, some meal prep services allow you to customize your meals/kits.
Whether you prefer the convenience of pre-cooked meal delivery or opt for the kit option, prepared meal kits make it faster, easier, and more convenient to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Here are a few more reasons why you might want to try out this nutritional option:
Most people don't have a problem with eating healthy. They have a problem getting it together. Let's face it; meal prep takes time. And that's where most people fall off the bandwagon. Who has time to pore over cookbooks, pick out recipes, shop for ingredients? And that's just the initial meal prep! Then, you have to get home and start peeling, dicing, chopping, sauteing, and cooking the food. By the end of that, you might as well call it a night because you're probably exhausted just from reading about it.
And that's the whole beauty of prepared meal delivery services. Meal prep services save you hours of time. From the shopping to the meal prep itself, you are literally banking hours of time when you choose a meal prep delivery company over doing it yourself. If you choose prepackaged meals, that saves you even more time. But even prepared meal kit delivery services save you a boatload of time that you can spend doing things that are vastly more important to you than waiting in line at the grocery store.
Another valuable gain from using meal prep services is the health aspect. Most busy people today don’t have time to cook a homemade meal. Instead, they rush from one task to another, often not eating at all throughout the day. When they do manage to find a minute to scarf something down, it’s generally processed, prepared foods from a takeout menu. Those meals are loaded up with bad calories, refined sugars, salts, and chemicals you don’t even want to think about putting into your body. Needless to say, a most unhealthy option!
But with easy, healthy meal prep services, people are starting to get back to the more nutritious lifestyle of eating home-cooked meals. Meal prep made easy allows more people the ability to eat better. And there are plenty of easy, healthy meal prep options out there that specifically cater to healthy eating habits. They use organic ingredients, offer nutritionally-balanced meals, and diet-sensitive options that help you fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to stay fit, get through the day, and function properly.
And since meal prep services make eating right easier, you’ll end up doing it more often. This means you’ll end up eating healthy more often, creating a healthy lifestyle that you and your body will both love. So, with the right meal prep delivery, fitness goals are more attainable.
For those who hate the idea of cooking, pre-cooked meal delivery is the answer. You can enjoy all the benefits of a home-cooked meal with your family and friends without the hassle. That includes more time spent together, better nutrition, and more varied food intake.
But for those who like the idea of cooking their own food, meal kits are a great option for you. The best meal prep services make cooking a cinch, so anyone can do it. With clearly-marked packaging, step-by-step instructions, and laminated recipe cards, you can cook up a storm in no time.
And if you enjoy culinary journeys, the best-prepared meal delivery services will offer a wide range of cuisines and different cooking styles from around the globe. So, you can really get an eclectic palette from dining in your own home!
There are a lot of different kinds of companies offering this type of service out there. The best meal prep services are the ones that accommodate your needs. So, if organic produce and antibiotic-free proteins are important, stick with a company like Sun Basket. Alternatively, if you love a plant-based lifestyle, then opt for a service like Purple Carrot. HelloFresh is a good option if you're looking for responsibly-sourced, low carbon footprint, and environmentally-friendly packaging.
Of course, there are other considerations for people, like budget. Finding the best cheap meal prep services isn't just about the per plate price. Look at things like delivery costs, membership fees, and discounts or promotional offers that they're offering, as well. These factors can significantly affect the overall price of a meal. The best cheap meal prep services include Plated, HelloFresh, and Home Chef. So, choose your priorities, and then go shopping based on those factors.
So, you're sold on the idea of prepared meals, and you're ready to give it a whirl. Congratulations on making a good choice that may improve your health, your energy levels, and even your mood! Remember, the best-prepared meal delivery services are also good for your health and well-being.
Here's one final thought before you go. Not all meals are best made with meal prep kits. If you want a rack of lamb with demi-glace, cured boar, or some other long-process meal, you probably want to go it on your own. Save the meal kits for everyday eating or special occasions that you don't need to spend weeks preparing for.
The best meals to prep depend on your taste, of course. Indulge in a little eye candy browsing through the succulent selections on these prepared meal delivery service websites to get an idea of what your options are. You can find anything from crispy parmesan chicken to Monterey jack burgers, broccoli cheddar soup with miso garlic croutons, and spicy red curry coconut noodles with carrot and edamame. You can get as plain or as detailed, as exotic or as traditional, as heavy or as light as you'd like.
At the end of the day, the top meal preps are the ones you and your family will eat.