This is a guest post by Amanada of Nutrition Inspector, where she writes about nutrition and fitness.
If you’re like me, and you work long hours, you probably lack both the energy and time for grocery shopping.
On top of that, the whole idea of planning an entire week of meals can be pretty tiring. You’ve probably seen ads for meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron that promise relief.
What is a meal kit delivery service? Simply put, you’ll get a box with fresh ingredients, along with a recipe and nutritional info.
Meal Kit Delivery Services: Are They Right For You?
There are some pros and cons to companies like HelloFresh. Keep reading to find out more.
How does it work?
The first step is to sign up for the service you want, and then choose your week’s recipes. There’s usually a choice of several plans, like vegetarian, family, or regular, and even options for lactose intolerant or clients who are interested in a low-calorie diet. New recipes are added every week and you can select your meals after your own preferences, or, as desired, from the weekly menu (plenty of flexibility to go around).
Looking for a great meal kit delivery service? Check out our personal review of HelloFresh Canada here!
You can customize your meal plan, in accordance to the number of people you have to cook for and the number of meals you plan on preparing in a week. In customizing the plan, you can take into account your dietary preferences, as well as your schedule and household size. You can also request the cooking box(es) to be delivery on specific days (including on the weekend).
Just because you have opted for a meal kit delivery subscription, this does not mean there is no flexibility. In fact, you have the option of modifying the meal plan at any moment. You can pause or cancel the subscription, depending on your needs.
You can set up an account with the service and access it from anywhere; as mentioned, you can pause/cancel a delivery, modify the plan, swap recipes, etc. (computer or smartphone app).
Depending on your needs and personal preferences, you can arrange for regular pre made meals delivered, or just choose a one time trial. The food box subscription company handles meal planning and shopping.
What will you find inside the box?
You only come into play when the box of food with the ready to prepare meals and the recipes are delivered to your door. After that, you’re responsible for preparing the meal from the ingredients provided.
The cooking box includes the ingredients for the recipes you have selected, sourced from farms. You are offered the written recipe, with the additional nutritional information as well. All ingredients are individually packaged and the meal kit has a convenient size, so you can place it directly in the fridge.
In order to maintain the quality of the ingredients, the box is insulated and ice packs are added for guaranteed freshness.
Meal delivery plans give you the opportunity to develop excellent cooking skills, as well as to try something new. It is definitely recommended for those who are interested in a more nutritious diet, with balanced meals and fresh ingredients.
Perfect portion size
When you prepare your own meals, from ingredients you bought yourself, it can be difficult to control the portion size. As you are not sure about the quantities to be found on your plate, you might end up eating more than it is necessary. With meal kits, the ingredients are measured and you get a perfect portion size.
Less food waste
As the meal is pre-planned and the ingredients measured, there will be no food waste to worry about. This is a huge advantage, given how much food North Americans throw out on a regular basis.
Meal kits can help you cook recipes that are both healthy and delicious. You can opt for those that are low in calories, try low-sodium dishes or discover the Paleo diet. Gluten-free and no-lactose recipes are also available. As for the ingredients, these are fresh and sourced from top-quality locations (you might not have found them locally).
All of the recipes from meal kit delivery services are created by experienced nutritionists and chefs. This means you can finally enjoy flavorful meals, without worrying about your health.
Save time & money
With a meal kit delivery subscription, you no longer have to go to the store, saving save time, plus and money you would have otherwise spent on gas. You do not have to measure ingredients or plan weekly meals, saving even more time.
While we’re fans of meal subscription boxes, there can be disadvantages. They’re a great option for some people, but others aren’t huge fans.
Potential to waste money
You might end up wasting money if you fail to actually cook the meals. It is also a risk regarding the recipe preference, if a meal is not to your liking, you might not eat it at all.
That said, meal kit subscription boxes usually last a week.
The meal size might meet the nutritional needs of most customers but highly active people, and especially men, may need more calories.
Less friendly to the environment
As all ingredients are individually packaged, as well as insulated and shipped in a box, you can understand the environmental concern.
Luckily, most meal kit services are well aware of this issue, and most kit packaging is recycleable.
The Bottom Line
Overall, a meal kit delivery subscription can help you eat healthy and develop cooking skills. The ingredients are fresh, the recipes easy to prepare and the level of convenience is obvious.