Latest posts by Dawn Schenone, MSACN, CNS (see all)
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Meal kit delivery services are a convenient way to have pre-portioned ingredients, recipes and cooking instructions delivered to your home for you to prepare and cook yourself. They are a fun way to try different meals several times a week, and are perfect for busy people or those that are just bored with their current eating routine.
The benefits of meal kit delivery services are:
- You get meal variety every week – great if you are stuck in a rut
- You get an array of nutrients due to the variety of recipes
- You can try different types of foods, spices and vegetables that you wouldn’t normally buy
- You learn new cooking techniques
- It encourages healthier eating
- Reduces food waste
- Less money than eating out at a sit-down restaurant
Some of the potential downsides of meal kit delivery services are:
- Since this is a convenience service, the cost can be slightly more than what you would spend planning the meals yourself (depending on the service)
- You may not enjoy all meals that are sent to you
- There is a lot of packaging waste, but you can usually recycle most of the packaging material
As a nutritionist, I am a proponent of eating a healthy, varied diet but I understand that it’s not always easy to do. A meal kit service can help you start incorporating healthier meal options into your weekly menu. Since I eat a predominately plant-based diet, the one that I have personally tried is Purple Carrot, which offers nutritious gourmet plant-based recipes. I highly recommend this service and have yet to be disappointed by any of their recipes.
I have also listed several other wonderful meal services that I have heard good things about. Here are the 7 meal kit delivery services that you should try:
Purple Carrot – My Favorite Meal Kit Delivery Service
Purple carrot is 100% plant based with a gluten free option. They send you a box every week with the recipes and all the ingredients. Each meal takes 30-40 minutes to make and they are delicious! This is the only meal plan that I can personally vouch for since I’ve been receiving a weekly meal plan for about six months now. I do the TB12 plan which is gluten free and contains a little more protein. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s worth it. I haven’t had a recipe that I don’t like and I have made several again.
Plans: Regular: 3 meals for 2 people; TB12 Performance Meals: 3 meals for 2 people
Cost: Starting at $12/meal
Options: plant-based (vegan); gluten free; limited soy; some organics; higher protein
Sun Basket is a mix and match meal kit delivery service with 18 weekly recipes. Their hand-selected seasonal ingredients include 99% organic produce, 100% non-GMO produce, antibiotic and hormone-free meat, and wild-caught sustainably sourced fish. Nutritionist approved recipes that contain between 500-800 calories each. Sun Basket makes it easy to cook delicious meals, eat clean, and feel great. You will receive $35 off your first order when signing up.
Plans: Classic menu: 3 recipes for 2-4 people; Family plan: 2, 3, or 4 recipes for family of 4 (only Chef’s choice or vegetarian options)
Cost: $11.99/serving for classic menu and $10.99/serving for family
Options: Paleo, Lean & Clean (no gluten, soy, dairy, lower calorie), Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Mediterranean, family friendly, diabetes-friendly, quick and easy
Blue Apron uses seasonal vegetables, meat without hormones and some grass-fed, and sustainably sourced seafood. They have some vegetarian options. You can select which meals you’ll receive on the 2-person plan and on the family plan, if choosing less than 4 meals per week. Use this offer to receive $30 off your first order with Blue Apron.
Plans: 2-person (2-3 meals) or Family Plan (4 person with options of 2-4 meals/week)
Cost: Starting at $7.50/meal
Options: Some vegetarian options
Hello Fresh offers flexible options where you can choose the day you want your food delivered (7 days/week). They include sustainably sourced seafood, antibiotic and hormone-free meat, and some organic ingredients. There is a vegetarian plan, but it is not completely vegan. All recipes show the ingredients for the upcoming menu. You will receive $20 off on your first and second box.
Plans: Veggie: 3 recipes, 2 or 4 people; Classic plan: 2, 3, or 4 recipes for 2 or 4 people; Family Plan: 2 or 3 recipes for 4 people
Cost: starting at $5.62/serving
Options: vegetarian, low-calorie, some gluten-free/nut-free options
Chef’d has the most options of all of them. There are 100’s of curated meal kits which you can buy individually. You also have breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert options.
Plans: Chef’d offers plans from the following organizations: American Diabetes Association, Atkins, New York Times Cooking Plan, Spoon University, and Weight Watchers. Otherwise they have ala carte options.
Costs: Starting at $12/meal
Options: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, diabetic friendly, meat
Premium, organic ingredients and chef-crafted recipes delivered every week, 2 weeks or 4 weeks. Includes pre-made sauces, marinades and spice blends. They have a nice variety of plan options. You can’t mix and match between plan options, but you can try a different plan every week.
Plans: 2-person plan: 3 dinners for 2 people;
Cost: ranges from $10.49/meal to 14.99/meal for Paleo. There is an additional $9 shipping per box.
Options: omnivore, carnivore, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, vegetarian, keto
The Plated meal kit delivery services offers 20 different weekly recipes (plus dessert) that can be mixed and matched. They use high quality ingredients that include antibiotic free meat, sustainably caught fish, seasonal produce including some organics, and some artisanal ingredients.
Plans: 2-4 servings, 2-4 days/week
Cost: starting at $9.95/meal
Options: a few vegetarian options
If you are interested in more personalized help with a plant-based diet, tailored to your specific health status, you can sign up for a nutrition consultation here.