Meal Kits – Are They Worth it? How to Make the Most of Them.
Meal Kits. They seem to pop up everywhere. It may be an ad on your favorite social media platform, discussed on a podcast, or you simply see the box sitting on a neighbor’s porch. We just can’t seem to get away from them.
Whether you have tried one of the various services out there, know someone who has or have always wanted to, this brings up an important question – are they worth it?
What are Meal Kits?
Meal kits are designed for convenience, they aim to combine fresh ingredients in interesting, delicious ways with easy-to-follow recipes. You are able to select specific food preferences and dietary restrictions to ensure these meals fit your lifestyle. Services are able to accommodate anyone from individuals, to couples, to families.
Are Meal Kits Right For Me?
If you’re questioning whether or not you should try a meal kit delivery service, ask yourself these questions first:
- Do you eat out three or more times each week?
- Do you find yourself constantly wasting food each week?
- Do you want to eat more balanced meals but don’t know where to start?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then consider giving meal kits a try.
Additional Considerations For Those with Health Conditions
Individuals who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease such as Diabetes or Congestive Heart Failure, or have specific physician ordered nutrient restrictions, should pay extra attention to nutrition labels prior to meal selections.
Diabetics should aim for 45-75 grams of carbohydrates/meal. Whereas those following a low-sodium diet should aim for ~500 mg of sodium/meal. Make sure to look over these labels BEFORE selecting your meals as some meal options may not be appropriate for you.
My Experience with Meal Kits
Just about a year ago I trialed a promotion of 3 free meals from a meal kit delivery service. While excited to try it out, my first concern was, what if I’m not home when the box arrives, how will the food keep from spoiling?
After arriving home from a full 8 hours of work, I discovered a sturdy box of meals meticulously packed, and food that had been delivered hours before still cool to the touch. In each meal kit you are provided with almost everything you need.
However, basic spices and kitchen staples such as salt, pepper, and olive oils are not included in the package. The recipes were very easy to follow and even had video demonstration if more guidance was needed.
Overall my experience was positive, the meals were easy to prepare and very tasty. As an amateur chef these recipes gave me new ways to explore with foods/flavors in the kitchen.
You’ve Decided to Try a Meal Kit, Now What?
May of the popular meal kits have promotional offers that you can take advantage of to start off. Choose one, and then customize the meals to meet your specific dietary needs and preferences and give it a go!
If you like the meals, save the recipes cards to re-use as these meals are easy to duplicate for future special events or family dinners.
Still not sure if a meal kit diet is for you? Visit our Nutrition Services to learn about other ways to have a healthy diet.
Alyson Nielsen is an Inpatient Registered Dietitian for CHI Health. Alyson is an avid runner and hiker who loves to be outdoors. Food and nutrition is a both a career and a passion for her. While she loves to help others, Alyson is also a strong advocate for food sustainability and sustainable food practices, promoting eating local and in season whenever possible!