November 23, 2021
Jill Ratanaphruks, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Meal order services have become a very popular and a convenient way to eat healthier meals than going out to eat. Back in the dark ages at the turn of the millennium, if you wanted a meal service, you went to their kitchen and put your meal together or picked it up, they did not drop it on your doorstep. I remember taking my four-year-old daughter to the meal kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and putting together the recipes that were partially prepped. Times have changed in the last fifteen years and there are so many options. How do you know which one to pick?
Here are a few things to look for with your service. There are three types of meals you can order in terms of ease of preparation. First, if want to pop your meal into the microwave like a TV dinner and pick a nutritious oven ready meal, you will still have time to take a walk around the block. If you would like a little more involvement with your meal, choose the easy prep meal. It has pre-cut foods, and you can express your inner chef. Lastly, you can get the classic version that takes a little more prep without the grocery shopping and recipe planning.
The next factor for consideration is choosing among organic or conventional services and special dietary menu’s such as paleo, keto, vegan, gluten free, etc.… Most services are nationwide, but check and see if they are available in your area. If you live in Hawaii or Alaska many are not available in your state.
Here is a list of 10 services divided by the types of meals they offer and whether they are organic vs conventional or provide a special dietary offering. Of note, I am not endorsing a specific service. Green Chef, Martha and Marley Spoon, and Purple Carrot (Plant Based Meals) all offer organic foods to prepare the classic way. Blue Apron and Sunbasket offer conventional and organic food respectively but, provide oven ready, easy prep and classic meals. Gobble is known for its family friendly meals and generous servings and Hello Fresh and Home Chef are highly rated and provide a range of economic meals. Factor is unique for its cold pressed juices and their meals are oven ready. For a summary see the table below.
Cost can run from $5-$12 a meal but look for the sign up deals you can save up to $100 if you buy several orders or making a larger order. Also, check for minimum orders and shipping fees. So now you are ready to order healthy meals that fit your lifestyle. Just roll up your sleeves, put on an apron and in thirty to forty minutes you will have dinner. Enjoy!
|Service Provider||Average Cost||Organic||Special|
|Blue Apron – O P C||$7.49||Wine Pairing|
|Factor – O||$11.00||Y||Cold-pressed juice and wellness shots|
|Green Chef – C||$10.99||Y||Special Diets|
|Gobble – P||$11.99||Generous Servings – Family friendly|
|HelloFresh – P C||$4.49 -$9.99||Special Diets|
|Home Chef – O P C||$6.99 -9.95||Y||Special Diets – Calorie Conscious and Carb – Conscious|
|Martha and Marley Spoon – C||$6.99||Y||Special Diets|
|Purple Carrot – O C||$12||Y||Plant Based diet|
|Sunbasket – O C||$8.99-$10.99||Y||Special Diets|
O = Oven ready, P = Easy prep, C = Classic