Home Meal Delivery – Is It for Your Family?
Home meal kits are all the rage now. With over 150 companies offering some type of home meal kit in the United States, it’s obvious that this is a business model that has developed into a gamechanger when it comes to putting dinner on the table. One of the questions many families ask is whether or not these simple meal solutions are designed for an adult audience, or if there are choices available that would appeal to their children as well.
One of the reasons home meal kits are so popular for couples without children is that it can be more difficult to shop for ingredients for a meal when you’re only cooking for two. Typically, you’ll be buying more of the quantity required for the meal when you’re shopping at the grocery store, and many recipes will make more than you’d like to eat at one time. Most people cooking for families will run into this problem much less often, which makes parents think that home meal kits delivered to their front door are less suitable for their situation. However, many families who try home meal kits find that there’s a number of reasons they’re an easy solution to the never-ending question of “Mom! What’s for dinner?”
With new recipes available on a rotating basis, your family isn’t likely to be bored. Instead of the constant merry-go-round of pizza, tacos, hamburgers and chicken nuggets when you’re at a loss for a new idea, you can do something fresh and exciting with a single click.
Keeping It Healthy
If you’re trying to get your family to cut down on high-fat, high-calorie over-processed food, meal kits can be a great alternative to do-it-yourself meal planning. Meal kits have choices that reduce calories, fat, salt or gluten, along with vegetarian options. Meals also come to you in the amount needed to feed each family member, which can help children learn portion control at a young age.
Plans allow you to stop and start whenever you like. You can skip dates, move between companies, and order from several at a time, choosing the individual meal that appeals to you on any particular day. Most plans have introductory specials, so your first delivery from them will be discounted, allowing you to bounce around at a reduced rate. Many plans allow you to “size up” if you’re feeding family members with larger appetites, or to allow for leftovers.
Take Back Some Time
If your family is juggling a busy schedule, having meals on the table within 30 minutes - with no shopping or planning required – can be essential on the days you’re juggling working overtime with Eli’s basketball game, Lucy’s band recital and play practice for Gretchen.
When it comes to cooking, many of us either love it or hate it. Introduce your kids to cooking by having them help prepare the dishes, or have your older children put dinner together for the family if Mom and Dad won’t have the time. Instilling a love of cooking in your children can serve them well for the rest of their lives.
However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when you’re considering a home meal kit plan.
Yes, some of the plans may cause a bit of sticker shock. Some of the meal choices can be pricey, especially if they feature expensive ingredients. Weigh the cost of the meal per person against what it would cost to purchase the ingredients at the store. Keep in mind that when shopping in the store, you’re often buying more of certain items that you’ll need, and some if it may go to waste. If you have the wiggle room in your budget, the savings when it comes to your time and energy may add value to the deal.
You’ll Still Need to Shop
Meal kits won’t replace every meal your family eats, and you’ll always need to buy snacks and beverages.
If you have family members that aren’t open to new things on their plate, you may have trouble finding kits that will satisfy everyone. However, if you’re only dealing with one family member’s reluctance to experiment, keeping a supply of their quick and easy favorite meal on hand can cover their needs while the rest of the family branches out.
Are you ready to give home meal kits a whirl? If so, here’s some of the companies that are the most successful feeding families:
One Potato – Keeps it’s promise to provide truly family-friendly recipes. The company also sends along some slice and bake cookie dough in every box.
Sun Basket – Their Family Plan meals feature familiar themes such as Taco Night and Pasta Night. They specialize in special diets such as paleo, gluten free and vegetarian, along with breakfast and lunch options. Ingredients are organic and sustainable, and each box comes with tips for cooking with your family.
Hello Fresh – With recipes contributed by famous chefs and farm fresh ingredients, this meal kit provider ratchets up your cooking skills a notch with recipes that will stretch basic skills.
Blue Apron – Receives high marks from picky eaters, as you can customize kits according to dietary preferences. You won’t get anything you don’t want to eat. Their meals are also among the easiest to create of all meal kit companies.
Purple Carrot – If vegan is your jam, this is the company for you. Reviewers praise their horizon-widening recipes and organic ingredients.
Green Chef – Another company that offers organic paleo, gluten-free and vegetarian options, Green Chef checks the quick, easy preparation box and serves up a high level of health consciousness.
Martha and Marley Spoon – Leave it to Martha Stewart to develop a home meal delivery kit that offers more options per week than many other companies, and you can order up to four weeks in advance. All options have six or less steps to complete. It also serves up some great international choices.
Terra’s Kitchen – Gets top marks for ease of preparation and speed. Most of the ingredients come pre-chopped and pre-measured. Lots of options for customizing, including add-ons and special diets. One of the very few companies that send your choices in a reusable container that you send back for refilling.
Red Velvet – This unusual home delivery kit is for bakers only. Choose the treat you like and all the ingredients come to you, along with a detailed recipe. Ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day or any day you want to feel a little special!