Progress 2022 — Leanne McCrate: Choosing the Right Meal Delivery Kit | News

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Dear Readers: In today’s busy world, only half of American families dine together at least five nights a week. Both parents work full time; children practice football; there are PTA meetings, basketball games, tutoring sessions, and the list goes on. It’s hard to get everyone together for a meal, let alone take the time to plan a menu and cook dinner.

One solution to this conundrum is Meal Delivery Kits (MDKs). A complete meal for four arrives at your doorstep with pre-measured fresh ingredients for a delicious meal and includes cooking instructions. Dinner time made simple. More and more families are turning to MDKs, with sales expected to reach $10 billion by 2024.

There are several MDKs in the market, and they are tailored to the needs and wants of consumers. They all have a variety of menu choices. They are configured for two to four people per meal, and you select the number of meals per week. Prices are competitive and many offer substantial discounts to get you started. Many of them even offer free shipping. All plans offer nutritionally well-balanced meals, and some offer special diet selections, such as WW (Weight Watchers) and low-carb plans. Meals are easy to prepare and are designed to be ready in 30-45 minutes. In many ways, the food is tasty. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time.

We reviewed three highly rated MDKs. Pricing is based on 20 meals per week and may include introductory discounts.

1. Blue Apron Meal Plans

• Signature — meat, fish, Beyond Meat (meat substitute)

• Well-being: balanced meals approved by a nutritionist

• Vegetarian (a plant-based diet that includes dairy and eggs)

• Offers meals adapted to WW

• Cost: $85

• Free delivery

2. Meal plans for every plate

• Classic — meat, seafood

• Family friendly – child friendly

• Veggie (plant-based meal including dairy and eggs)

• Easy, hassle-free meals with little cleanup

• Cost $45

• Shipping $9.99 per week

• Much more economical than other packages

3. Factor Meal Plans

• Calorie smart – different calorie levels aimed at weight loss

• Keto-low-carb, high-fat meal plans

• Vegetarian (includes dairy and eggs) and vegan (strictly plant foods)

• Meals are designed by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists

• The meals are already cooked; just reheat and enjoy.

• A free nutritionist consultation is included.

• The maximum number of meals offered is eighteen per week. Cost: $100

• Shipping: $9.99

Who would benefit the most from MDKs? A novice who needs step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a meal, a busy family who has enough disposable income, a single professional, or someone who frequently dines out. The average cost of a restaurant meal (excluding fast food) is $12.

Call me old fashioned, but some of the best meals I’ve eaten were around my grandmother’s dinner table. She loved bringing the whole family together for a big meal. Then we would sit on the porch swing, sip iced tea, and talk about Aunt Edna’s gallstones. Oh the nostalgia!

LEANNE McCRATE, RDN, LD, is an award-winning registered dietitian based in Missouri. Its mission is to educate consumers about healthy, science-based nutrition. Do you have a nutritional question? Email him today at [email protected] Dear Dietitian does not endorse any product, health program or diet.


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