Started in Europe in 2007, meal kits have become an answer to busy, working families everywhere. Unlike prepared meal delivery, meal kit delivery services send packages with a recipe and all necessary ingredients pre-prepped and measured out. Most recipes take less than 30 minutes and give you the benefit of trying new things you ordinarily would not cook at home. However, there is much more to know about meal kits than meets the eye. Read on to dive more into the pros and cons of meal kits and decide for yourself if you should give one a try.
- No shopping. The average person spends 60 hours grocery shopping per year! If you could get that time back, wouldn't you? Healthy meal prep services like meal kits take the grocery shopping out of the equation by sending you the ingredients you need for every recipe. With 60 hours back in your life, you can do the things you enjoy. Go to the gym 60 more times or go on 60 more walks, the choice is yours.
- No recipe planning. Sometimes planning for meals can be as hectic as a busy day at work. You may often find yourself turning to the same go-to options day after day, creating food burnout and an unhealthy takeout habit. Meal kit delivery companies like Blue Apron take the planning out of it and send you everything you need so you can avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store.
- Portion control. When your meals come with the ingredients you need in the exact portions required, you become a master at portion control. It has been proven that portion control is a major factor in weight loss. No matter how many people you cook for, your portions will always be spot-on when you rely on a meal kit.
- New and interesting cuisine. Have you always wanted to try something new or complex but have not known where to start? With Hello Fresh you can choose from about 20 meals each week, ranging Orzo Italiano to Crab Cakes Piccata. Trying new dishes at home has never been easier!
- Many diet choices available. Most meal kit companies will accommodate different dietary needs. For example, Home Chef offers many vegetarian options on their menu each week, and other companies offer gluten-free or even paleo.
- Excess packaging/environmental concerns. While having all the ingredients you need fully prepped and ready to go is a huge convenience, it also means a lot of waste. Each ingredient comes individually packaged, and all those packages come in one big package. This amount of waste can turn some people off when it comes to meal kit delivery.
- Subscriptions can be annoying. Remembering to place your order each week or month can become a hassle at times. Also, if you forget to suspend your subscription when you are out of town you can end up wasting money, and food. As Americans, we throw out nearly 50% of all the food we prepare. Dealing with a food subscription can add to this dilemma if you do not constantly stay on it.
- Some kits do not serve enough vegetables. If you are looking for value, Home Chef offers some of the best prices on meal kits. While some of their dishes are healthy, many of them offer choices high in refined carbs and fatty meats. Typically, lower prices mean less healthy options.
- Some kits are still time-consuming, and they require far more effort than prepared meal delivery services. While you are spending less time on shopping and prep, you need to be careful. Hello Fresh, for example, typically has recipes that take 30-40 minutes to cook. This can be a turn off for people seeking to cut their time down to 15-20 minutes.
- Portions can be small for very active men. Men require more daily calories than women, especially if they lead active lifestyles. Men who are moderately active need at least 2800 calories per day, which can mean a lot of the portions made by meal kits are not enough. If you are a moderately active male, meal kits may not be for you.
The massive growth in the meal kit industry has proved that there are some definite benefits to utilizing their services. Many Americans have experienced the wealth in time-savings provided by meal kit delivery, as well as the reduced stress. Before you consider a meal kit delivery service, assess your needs, meal kits are not for everyone. They are, however, a booming industry, and giving one or two a try before making your decision will ensure you are doing what is best for you and your family.