Corporate executive, stay at home parent, no matter what hat you wear, you know that the struggle to get dinner on the table can be real. Life is busy, obligations seem to mount, and that extra half hour you thought you found — look at that, something just swooped in to fill your schedule. And hey, even if you do have that extra half hour, let's be honest, some of us just don't like to cook. But there's no need to starve. Enter healthy meal prep services.
What are meal prep services?
Meal prep services have existed in one form or another over the past several decades, but have gained traction since the launch of the first meal kit company, Middagsfrid, in Sweden in 2007. With advances in technology, it is easier than ever to pick up your smartphone, enter your food choices, and have it delivered to your door. The advances in technology and the access we have to healthy, sustainable foods, push to make meal prep services life changing. There are many benefits to choosing a meal prep service, but we've narrowed it down to our top 5.
1. More time to do what you want to do
Cooking takes time. Shopping, planning, and prepping — more time. Did you know that the average consumer spends 34 minutes a day in food prep and cleanup? That doesn't even include shopping and meal planning! That's time that could be spent with your family, at the gym, or getting that little bit of R & R. What could you do with that extra time?
2. There will be less stress
Unless you are one of the lucky few who finds cooking to be a way to relax, planning, cooking, and cleanup can add a lot of stress to your life. With meal prep services, the planning, shopping, and sometimes cooking is done for you. Who doesn't need one less thing to worry about?
3. You get to cook on your terms
Decision fatigue is a real thing and cooking involves a lot of decisions. A simple way to reduce decision fatigue is to limit the number of decisions you have to make. By choosing to incorporate a meal prep service, you get to let someone else make the decisions. Doing so will allow you to cook on your own terms and enjoy doing it.
4. You'll probably eat healthier
In our busy world, it's only natural to look for a way to save time and cut corners. In cooking, this often means, choosing the starchy pasta instead of vegetables or ordering Chinese food when you just don't want to cook. This can often lead to eating less than healthy. With meal prep services like these, your meals will be designed with nutrition in mind. Most services even offer plans for special diets.
5. You'll broaden your palate and try new cuisines
A meal prep service allows you to try cuisines that you have never seen in your kitchen. Trying new foods does not require learning new techniques or sourcing exotic ingredients. Services like allow you to broaden your palate and your cultural awareness. Food from around the world can awaken your taste buds and bring about a discussion of lands far away. There are so many benefits to trying new recipes.
Not all meal prep services are the same. What once began as a service provided by personal chefs, has turned into an industry that includes personal chefs, meal kit services, prepared meal delivery services, pre-made supermarket meals, and select fast casual venues like Sweet Green and Chipotle. With all the options and benefits that come from meal prep services, maybe it's time you give it a try.