Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services for Busy Families

Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services for Busy Families

In Food, Healthy Eating by Alicia S. Hyatte, MSW, LCSW, CIHC0 Comments

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(Last Updated On: April 12)

If you’re like most parents with a busy family, you probably save your last bit of energy each day for the kids’ activities and trying to come up with a healthy dinner. You may be growing tired of the daily 5 o’clock dilemma, “What’s for dinner?” Maybe you’ve even considered trying one of the healthy meal kit delivery services for busy families like yours.

After working a full day the last thing you probably want is to come home without a plan for dinner, and then choose between A. cooking an entire meal from scratch which is extremely time-consuming or B. opting for unhealthy drive thru food or takeout, again.

If we lived in the perfect world, you’d always have plenty of time to plan out healthy meals for the week, make a complete shopping list, be able to find everything on your list at one grocery store, and effortlessly prepare healthy meals that everyone in the family raves about.

But that’s not usually the reality is it?

Fortunately, you have options. There are companies out there taking much of the stress out of preparing healthy meals for busy families.  Have you heard of meal kits? These services can be a real time-saver for preparing healthy (and fast!) meals that the whole family can enjoy, with little planning or effort.  These meal delivery kits make cooking fast and easy as everything needed to make healthy meals is shipped to your door-step. And the best part is that in most cases the ingredients are pre-portioned, chopped and ready-to-go. Just cook and everyone in the family can enjoy healthy meals throughout the week!

Reasons to Consider a Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Service

But why would you want to give over control (or as I like to say, outsource) your meals to a company? Well, there could be a variety of reasons. Meal kit delivery services are not for everyone but if any of the following scenarios describes you it may be time to look into a meal kit delivery service for your family

Reason #1. You’ve fallen off the meal-planning bandwagon.

You were doing great for a while but the plain fact is that meal planning takes a lot of work and commitment. You may have the best intentions to plan, shop and prep meals each week but you haven’t been following your plan

Reason #2: To skip a few steps. 

You enjoy cooking but sometimes the whole process of prepping, chopping, and cooking can be a bit too much. You’d love to still cook healthy meals at home but want a way that you could cut down on time in the process.

Reason #3: You have a busy family schedule.

You have a lot of extra stuff on your plate. You’re just extra busy right now. Let’s face it – life gets busy. There’s not always time to follow through even when things are planned in advance. How does the old saying go? Even the best laid plans can go awry sometimes. If you’re meal-planning your little heart out but not always able to execute, it may be time to change course.  

Reason #4: You’re bored.

You’re tired of your usual meals. Perhaps you’re just bored with the same batch of meals every week, and your family is also letting you know they’re looking for a change. Meal kits can be a great way to get out of a cooking rut and discover new recipes to spice up your cooking routine.

Reason #5: To put healthy meals on auto-pilot. 

What if this whole “cooking” thing could be automated? You’re tired of planning the meals, shopping for items, and cooking. You’re wondering if there’s an easier way to get healthy meals on the table without all the complications.

Reason #6: To Free up time.

Are you looking for ways to reclaim “me” time by spending less time in the kitchan without skimping on quality meals.?Meal kits are a true time-saver for the busy parent who wants to keep healthy meals on the table every day without all the time-consuming prep work.

Reason #7: To Avoid waste. 

You’re throwing out food every week.  You may be prepping but find that you’re throwing away food every week that doesn’t get eaten by the family. 

Reason #8: To teach older kids to cook.

Maybe you have kids at home who are technically old enough to help with meal planning but it just hasn’t happened yet. Meal kits offer a great starting point to teach your kids age-appropriate ways to get involved in the kitchen and become more conscious about eating at home! Most kits include step-by-step recipes and instructions that older kids can follow. Be sure to supervise!

Reason #9: To reduce your stress level. 

If you’re constantly worried about what’s for dinner, now you have an easy solution that will still ensure that your family is eating healthy. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything you need for healthy family meals will be delivered to your doorstep, ready to cook. No more mad dashes to the supermarket after work and then rushing to throw together a meal, or (even worse) picking up take out.

If any of these reasons sound like something you’re going through, it may be time to check out other options for preparing healthy meals. Meal kit delivery services are now offering more family-friendly recipes and subscription plans for busy families of all sizes. Everyone can benefit! 

A few more perks of meal kits:

  • Cuts down on time in the kitchen.
  • Most kits deliver fresh ingredients; some organic as well.
  • Helps improve culinary skills.
  • Can dramatically reduce time in the kitchen, while still providing healthy meals.
  • So easy, even culinary newbies can prepare a tasty meal.
  • Gets the kids involved.
  • Gives the family a “project” to do together.
  • They’re fun! There’s always a surprise waiting for you in every box.

Meal kit delivery services won’t help you save a great deal of actual cooking time. This type of service is truly best for those who don’t have the time or the energy to think about what’s for dinner. So while your cooking time won’t be affected that much, you will save loads of time in planning, shopping, and prepping everything for your meals each week. And reclaiming this time is where the convenience lies.

Okay, now let’s look at the top family-friendly meal kit delivery companies and what they have to offer.

Top Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services for Busy Families

Blue Apron

Blue Apron makes it easy for busy families to prepare healthy meals week after week. Their kits include pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step recipes for three meals that feed a family of two, four, or six. They offer six recipe options each week.

Blue Apron’s kits are packaged for less food waste as everything is pre-portioned. Their plan is flexible and you can skip a week if none of the items appeal to you. Another bonus is that meals can be personalized for food sensitivities, allergies, or other preferences like red meat, fish, or shellfish.

Price: Starting at $8.99 per serving

Where does Blue Apron deliver: Nationwide (except Hawaii and Alaska).

How they deliver: Ingredients are carefully packaged in a refrigerated box so food stays fresh even if you’re not home when we deliver.

What we love about Blue Apron: Blue Apron is all about providing their “home chefs” with non-GMO ingredients.

What we’d love even more: We’d love to see more organic products on the menu!

 

Freshly

Freshly offers fully-cooked, chef prepared meals for delivery. These are perfect if you’re time-pressed as their healthy meals for busy families are sent straight to your door already prepared. When they arrive, they’re ready to eat right away. No work on your part! You can choose from four, six, nine, or twelve meals per week. They are constantly rotating the meal choices, so you and the family will never be bored. 

Price: Starting at $8.99 per meal

Where they deliver: 21 states across the country, and expanding.

How they deliver: You do not need to be home. Your Freshly box is insulated and packed with ice to ensure that your meals stay nice and cold on your doorstep, waiting to be refrigerated when you get home.

What we love about Freshly: Meals are fully cooked when they arrive. If you’re really pressed for time this might be the healthy meal kit for you.

What we’d love even more: Nothing besides wishing their entire menu were organic.

 

Green Chef

At last, a USDA-certified organic meal kit! Green Chef meals won’t contain any growth hormones, antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, or GMOs. This health-conscious meal kit service is for the family that is big on clean eating. Green Chef offers five different menu types including carnivore, omnivore, vegetarian, keto, paleo, and gluten-free. And their packages are color-coded, each containing three recipes and ingredients to feed two or four family members.

Their flexible plans allow you to try different recipes week by week, and skip whenever you need. And their meals can be prepared in under 30 minutes!

Price: Starting at $10.49 per meal

Where they deliver: Nationwide (except Hawaii, Alaska, and parts of Louisiana).

How they deliver: Green Chef boxes are packaged with an all-natural material made from jute, which provides really good insulation.

What we love about Green Chef: Um, all of their meals are organic.

What we’d love even more: Can’t really think of anything.

 

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh helps you whip up tasty meals with simple recipes and fresh ingredients every week. Each of their boxes contains easy-to-follow recipes with clear nutritional info. They offer fresh ingredients sourced from farms. 

Most of their meals take no more than 30 minutes to prepare. The Family Plan feeds a family of four and has the option of two or three recipes per week. There’s a Veggie Plan which offers vegetarian recipes with plant-based proteins, grains, and seasonal produce. The Hello Fresh subscription plan is flexible and allows you to skip a week. For instance, if you’re not a fan of certain ingredients, you can always skip that week by cancelling before your weekly cut-off.

Price: Starts at $8.74 per serving

Where they deliver: Nationwide (except Hawaii and Alaska)

How they deliver: You don’t need to be home to accept a delivery. Hello Fresh boxes are layered with insulating liners and ice packs to keep ingredients cool until you get home.

What we love about Hello Fresh: Their meals are fresh and sourced from local farmers. And the plans are flexible and can be customized to any family size. 

What we’d love even more: Currently they offer only dinner meals. We’d love to see options for lunch and breakfast!

 

One Potato

One Potato offers fully-prepped meal kits of fresh, organic food for busy families. Subscribers choose from their two, three, four, five, or six potato plans (how cute!). We love the One Potato pricing because it’s customized for kid-sized meals. You never feel you’re over-paying for meals that may be too large for your kids. And the best part? Their meals are organic!! Oh, we already mentioned that didn’t we?

One Potato meal delivery kits include ingredients that are measured, chopped, ready to prepare. Their meals also include a “surprise” each week – their special organic slice-and-bake cookie dough. YUM!

Price: Starting at $12.95 per serving

Where they deliver: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Utah with more locations coming soon

How they deliver: Your One Potato meals are packed in a recyclable, insulated box. 

What we love about One Potato: 

What we’d love even more: A broader variety of weekly surprises. Cookie dough? Every week!? That’s not really a surprise.

 

Plated

Need help getting dinner on the table for your active family? Plated helps with this by doing most of the work for you. They do the heavy lifting; all you have to do is cook! Just choose meals each week for the following week, and all the ingredients for those meals will arrive at your doorstep ready to be cooked and enjoyed by your family. Plated offers quality ingredients including pork and poultry responsibly raised without antibiotics, beef raised with no added hormone, sustainably caught fish, and fresh, seasonal produce with organic when possible. And the pre-portioned ingredients, neatly packed by recipe, along with the step-by-step instructions make cooking home-made meals for the family a breeze.

Price: Starting at $9.95 per serving

Where they deliver: Plated delivers to over 95% of the United States. No delivery in Hawaii, Alaska, and a few cities in Texas.

How they deliver: The Plated box is insulated to keep everything fresh until midnight.

What we love about Plated: Plated has an option to add desert.

What we’d love even more: Family-friendly portioning.

 

Purple Carrot

Whatever diet you follow – strict vegetarian or vegan – you can’t dispute that having more veggies on your plate is part of a healthy diet. And Purple Carrot helps you and your family to achieve just that with their healthy, plant-based meals. Their plans are customizable for any family size, and include regular option or their High Performance version which are higher in protein and always gluten-free. Both plan options are for three meals per week. Just choose from the available recipes each week and your box will arrive with fresh, perfectly portioned ingredients that rare ready to cook and enjoy.

Price: Starting at $12 per plate

Where they deliver: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions

How they deliver: Boxes include high-quality, reliable insulation and ice packs which work together to keep your food at a stable, cold temperature throughout shipping and delivery and fresh for up to 72 hours depending on outside weather conditions. 

What we love about Purple Carrot: The Purple Carrot meal plan leaves no question about the amount of plant-based nutrition you’re getting at every meal.

What we’d love even more: More recipe options. I only saw three options when I visited the menu page on the website.

 

Sun Basket

Sun Basket is a certified organic meal kit retailer. They boast a commitment to providing the best organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, and sustainably sourced seafood from their suppliers.  They offer a Family Plan that allows you to choose from six family-friendly recipes each week. You can choose from the Family Menu or the 18 recipes on the Classic Menu, so you’ll never run out of things your family loves to eat.

But wait, there’s more. The Family Plan boxes also contain tips on how kids can assist with each meal! And they keep things fun for the family with weekly themes like pasta night or taco night. There are options for dietary preferences – like gluten-free, vegetarian, or paleo – and they offer breakfast options too.

Price: Starting at $10.99 per serving

Where they deliver: Most zip codes in the United States, excluding AK, HI, MT, and parts of NM

How they deliver: Carefully engineered packaging to sustain freshness even after it arrives on your doorstep

What we love about Sun Basket: Got picky eaters? Sun Basket offers a wide variety of recipes with 18 weekly meal choices.

What we’d love even more: Nothing really.

 

Terra’s Kitchen

How would you like regular delivery of pre-cut farm-picked produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and sustainably-raised fish to prepare meals your entire family will enjoy? Terra’s Kitchen covers all of this and more. Their recipe choices also include vegan, vegetarian, low calorie, paleo, and gluten-free options. Each delivery includes step-by-step recipe cards and promise a prep time of no more than 30 minutes. Terra’s Kitchen also offers Family Meals, four-serving meals with pre-prepped and portioned ingredients.

Worried about spoilage of your meal kit as it awaits your arrival home? Terra’s Kitchen has thought this through. They deliver your ingredients in a neatly organized, climate-controlled “delivery vessel.” They will pick up the vessel the day after delivery so it can be re-used (up to 100 times). 

Price: Starting at $9.99 per dinner serving

Where they deliver: Check their site to see if your zip code is within delivery area.

How they deliver: Your items arrive in a climate-controlled delivery vessel.

What we love about Terra’s Kitchan: Meals typically prep in 15-30 minutes, giving you back lots of time in your buty family schedule. In addition to meal kits, they offer ready-to-eat lunches, healthy snacks, and more.

What we’d love even more: Simpler pricing and options. 

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