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.
- 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
- 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
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!