A Dietition’s Experience With A Meal Delivery Service

Posted On Jun 21, 2017 By Erin Kuh, MBA, RD

A Dietition's Experience With A Meal Delivery Service

I seem to hear about a new meal delivery service every week so I decided I had to try one for myself to see what all the hype is about. I ordered two different meals for two weeks in a row so I ended up sampling four meals in total. Overall, it was fun to try new recipes with fresh ingredients and have a box of yummy food to open up once a week but it’s not something I’ll be doing on a regular basis. Here’s my take on the experience.

Pros

  • Extremely fresh ingredients, which are sometimes hard to come by in the rural area I reside in with limited grocery store options
  • New and unique recipes to try (this could be a con for some people!)
  • Don’t have to search for recipes or go grocery shopping = time saved
  • Leftovers: My family couldn’t possibly eat the entire meal
  • Precise amounts of obscure ingredients such as mirin, miso, and tamarind that I can’t easily use off the top of my head in other dishes

Cons

  • Complex recipes requiring too much prep, too many kitchen tools, and too much clean up (and this is coming from a dietitian who enjoys cooking)
  • Non-kid friendly vegetables (bok choy and sautéed spinach, which I’m not a huge fan of either)
  • Recipes took twice as long as the directions suggested (and I’m very efficient in the kitchen with no dilly dallying!)
  • High sodium and high fat meals (I cut back on the salt and cooking oil suggested by at least half)
  • Meals range from 600-900 calories on average if the entire suggested portion is consumed. This is just as much as many restaurant meals and more than most people need from a single meal.
  • Not enough vegetables
  • Carb-heavy: Most meals had two sources of carbs (for example naan bread and bulgur or a sandwich bun and potatoes), which is too much for most people, unless you’re an active teenager or athlete

My Conclusion

Do meal delivery services simplify meal planning and make eating nutritious home-cooked meals easier? Unless you’re ordering from a company that has healthy options or has specific calorie, fat, and sodium content for all meals, eating at a restaurant can be just as healthy. Most meals range from $7-$10 per person per meal, which is cheaper than a decent restaurant but much more expensive than home-made meals I make. We have a local company that makes healthy ready-to-eat meals for less than that, which seems like a much more convenient option.

I can see where meal delivery services are convenient for single people or childless couples. There are many options out there and this is a review of just one company, so shop around. It’s worth trying at least once but it might be more worthwhile to spend a little extra time meal planning! Or a little money hiring a dietitian to make a meal plan for you!


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