How to Pick a Meal Prep Delivery Service for Every GoalMar 20, 2020
Making a lifestyle change may be as simple as donning an apron and breaking for the kitchen. But if cooking isn’t your jam, you don’t have to throw in the dish towel on your transformation just yet. From complete meal kits to ready-to-eat entrées brought right to your door, there’s a meal prep delivery service for your goal(s).
Ohhh, but not just one meal prep delivery service. There’s now a seemingly endless buffet of contenders catering to every fitness objective, food ideology, and portion size. To keep you from choking on the trough of available options, we identified two meal prep delivery services for just about every goal: one for do-it-yourselfers, and one for heat-and-eaters.
Meal Delivery Services for Every Goal
Look for your objective(s) in the list below, pick from one of two nationally-available options, and your meal prep company of choice will be ready to serve.
Goal: Weight loss
Many services can help you lose weight thanks to proper portions and more veggies. But for their specific weight loss meal delivery choices, we opted for the following.
Meal kit option: Chef’d
Price: $9 to $17 per meal
TV kitchen experts — think Duff Goldman and Wolfgang Puck — team with wellness pros on simple-to-follow recipes you make from scratch. Chef’d also partners with dietitians to offer options approved by the American Diabetes Association and Atkins.
Meal delivery option: Metabolic Meals
Price: Starts at $10.69 per meal
Choose from 30 new nutritionist-approved entrees each week and bypass the planning, shopping, cooking, and cleanup. Bonus: There are full-day options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and treats so you can just heat, eat, and get back to curing cancer.
For those looking to add mass the healthy way, pickings are slim-to-nonexistent in the meal kit category. But if you’re cool with bulking up your fridge and freezers with ready-made, protein-packed feasts, two bodybuilding meal delivery services stand out.
Customizable option: MealPro
Price: Starts at $8.99 per meal
Even without offering meals from scratch, MealPro still gives you a measure of control by allowing you to custom-order meal items to suit your needs. Since you’re probably keeping a close watch on your macros — the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbs for bulking up — that means you can specify how much of each go into your meal.
Phase-proof option: FlexPro Meals
Price: Starts at approximately $10.60 per meal
To really show out at the gun show, your eating may need to change in sync with the phases of your regimen. FlexPro Meals offers a collection focused on two types of meals to build muscle, and two types of fat-trimming meals to make that muscle pop.
Goal: Adventurous eating
Bored with go-to Taco Tuesday and Fish Friday meals? Trying new food has lots of benefits, including discovering unfamiliar flavors or cooking styles, finding fresh favorites to add to your weekly meal plan, and sneaking in more fruits and vegetables.
Meal kit option: Martha and Marley Spoon
Price: Starts at $8.90 per meal
“Martha” as in “Stewart,” this meal delivery service offers plenty of meal kits with seasonal ingredients to break most food ruts. Recipes include kimchi-spiced pork burgers, tortellini with kale pesto, and broccolini & corn fried rice.
Meal delivery option: Prepped
Price: Starts at $8.99 per meal
The weekly-updated meal delivery menu is filled with creative cuisines inspired by seasonal tastes and ingredients that might not normally make an appearance in your kitchen. Expect adventurous fare, such as bacon-jicama tots, lamb meatballs, and yucca fries, to arrive at your door already prepped. It’s like ordering takeout from a new restaurant, but with healthy ingredients and portions.
Goal: Adventurous cooking
Despite so many options for eating out, survey results from ReportLinker show 50 percent of Americans still cook at home three to six days a week. For those looking to expand their culinary capacity, two do-it-yourself meal delivery services stand out.
Beginner option: HelloFresh
Price: Starts at $8.74 per meal
With easy-to-follow recipes, HelloFresh makes a good option for beginners. The food may keep it simple from a skill standpoint thanks to low- or no-prep ingredients, but the depth of ingredients is anything but simplistic — while still health conscious.
Advanced option: Plated
Price: Starts at $9.95 per meal
Billed as “for food lovers, by food lovers,” Plated is for those who know their way around a kitchen. Test your skills with foods inspired by foreign lands and ingredients intended to excite the senses. Detailed recipes cards provide all of the necessary play-by-play.
Goal: Saving money
While there’s a variety of reasons ReportLinker survey respondents list for cooking at home, it’s no surprise that 31 percent do it to save money. If you’re looking keep your wallet fat while slimming down everywhere else, these meal delivery services are most budget-friendly.
Meal kit option: Dinnerly
Price: Starts at $5 per meal
Prices vary pretty widely among meal prep companies, but we couldn’t find any lower than Dinnerly. Recipes are quick to prepare, with only six ingredients per dish, allowing you to take back your valuable time along with your money.
Meal delivery option: Freshly
Price: Starts at $8.99 per meal
Ready-made meals with nutrient-rich ingredients may sound out of your price range. But at $8.99-$12.99 per meal (depending on the number of meals per week you choose), Freshly offers a good choice of no-cook cuisines at a low price.
Goal: Saving time
If, for you, time is money, then cooking may be costing you both. In that case, meal delivery services, from which food arrives ready to heat and serve, make the most sense. But if you favor freshly-made food, try these meal kit delivery options, each with an eye on the clock.
Quickest option: Gobble
Price: Starts at $8.99 per meal
Gobble boasts that you can serve one of its fresh-cooked, no-sweat dinners in less than 15 minutes. That’s faster than the time it would take to choose from where to order in or carry out, let alone receive your so-called “fast food.”
Little-to-no prep work option: Terra’s Kitchen
Price: Starts at $9.99 per meal
If you were a head chef, Terra Kitchen would be your line cook who washes, peels, and chops the ingredients. With everything ready to go, not to mention salads, snacks, and smoothies arriving ready-to-eat, meals are designed to be ready in 15 to 30 minutes.
Goal: Eating vegan
When you’re ready to move beyond Meatless Mondays to more animal-free meals each week, a vegan meal delivery plan can provide nutritionally-balanced options to ease the transition. Been a long-time vegan? These meal prep delivery services may offer a departure from tired, old veggie-based tastes.
Meal kit option: Purple Carrot
Price: Starts at $9.25 per meal
While some vegetarian and vegan meals rely heavily on “fake meat” or meat substitutes, Purple Carrot makes the more than 20,000 edible plants in the world the star of the plate. This is a great way to explore new-to-you ingredients, such as wheat berries, Thai chiles, tamari, and red quinoa, to expand your vegan horizons.
Meal delivery option: Veestro
Price: Starts at approximately $10.49 per meal
Want to try vegan but don’t know where to begin? Veestro has an a la carte menu that lets you taste-test items, including breakfast, entrees, soups, desserts, and juices. For more plant-based dining in less kitchen time, meal packs offer more goal-oriented options. All Veestro meals arrive frozen and ready to heat in the microwave or freeze for up to eight weeks.
Goal: Going green
For all its benefits, meal delivery can be hell on the environment; all the packaging, cooling chemicals, and transporting can pose a conundrum for the eco-conscious. These services place an emphasis on sustainability to offset the environmental effects of meal delivery.
Meal kit option: Green Chef
Price: Starts at $10.99 per meal
In addition to offering sustainable, traceable meals to their customers, Green Chef was the first USDA-certified organic service of the meal prep companies. That means high-quality ingredients free of genetically modified organisms (GMO). And to help reduce food waste, Green Chef chops the veggies and pre-measures your ingredients.
Meal delivery option: Sakara
Price: Approximately $420 per week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and functional beverages and detox teas
In addition to offering organic, gluten- and GMO-free meals with no refined sugar, Sakara is completely plant-based. Like the vegan meal delivery service options listed above, plant-based meals typically yield lower carbon emissions and water use than meat-based meals, which is a big plus for the planet.
Goal: Feeding healthy kids
You might want your kiddos to pass on chicken nuggets for a hearty serving of Brussels sprouts, but that doesn’t mean it’ll happen. To the rescue are these meal delivery service plans to help sneak in more of the healthy stuff while still pleasing pickier palates.
Meal kit option: One Potato
Price: Starts at $8.72 per meal
If there’s anyone who knows how to make tiny tummies happy, it’s One Potato co-founder Catherine McCord. Her family-food brand, Weelicious, has been inspiring child-friendly, healthy meals through its website, cookbooks, and menu-planning service for over a decade. But beyond offering kits for meals kids might actually eat, One Potato is unique in that it also offers kid-size portions and weekly treat surprises.
Meal delivery option: Nurture Life
Price: Varies based on your child’s age and stage, portion size, and meals per week
The sooner you can start your wee ones eating right, the more likely it is that healthy habits will stick. Nurture Life helps by offering pre-made meals made specifically for babies, toddlers, and kids. While grown-ups will need to find their own fare, this is a great option if you’re a parent who eats more adventurously than your children.
Goal: Going paleo
Looking to keep your diet old school — like, really old school? Take advantage of what the cavemen couldn’t, and order paleo meal delivery for feasts of meats and fish, veggies and fruit, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats and oil.
Meal kit option: Sun Basket
Price: Starts at $10.99 per serving
With more and more people eating paleo are more and more meal kits catering to the diet. But when it comes to selection, you can’t go wrong with Sun Basket. Ingredients includes organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and wild-caught seafood. And if you ever need a paleo break, Sun Basket also offers a wide variety of other meal plans including Lean and Clean, Mediterranean, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescaterian, and Diabetes Friendly.
Meal delivery option: Pete’s Paleo
Price: Starts at $8.89 per meal
Sourcing quality ingredients for paleo eating can be pricey and cumbersome. Pete’s Paleo offers affordable seasonal meals delivered ready to eat. And since just about everything goes better with a side of bacon, enhance your paleo meal delivery experience by adding of Pete’s Paleo Bacon, featuring no added sugar, nitrates, or nitrites — you know, stuff the caveman didn’t have.
Ready to Eat?
Eating right can help you meet all kinds of goals, and with so many meal prep delivery services on the market, one is sure to fit your needs. Take advantage of great introductory prices offered by most of the meal prep companies so that you can try a few before you commit to a subscription.