Is A Meal Delivery Service Right For You? – Staci O’Connor MS, RD, CDN


Are you short on time but want to have a healthy meal for yourself and your family?  Or do you have a limited culinary background but like to eat delicious meals?  Then a meal delivery service might be right for you.  As you may have seen on television or flipping through a magazine, meal delivery services are popping up all over offering fresh ingredients and unique recipes that can be ordered with all necessary ingredients, with perfectly portioned ingredients (which decreases food waste) and is sent right to your doorstep.  These companies make it easy to get back into the kitchen and fix a balanced meal.

Blue Apron:  Blue Apron aims to reach a range of customers from beginners to experienced cooks.  Their chefs and farmers work together to use farm-fresh and seasonal produce, meat that has no added hormones, and sustainably-sourced seafood.  They provide recipe cards as well as how-to-videos starting at $8.74 per serving. Blue Apron can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences and can also personalize your menu each week based on your food preferences with meals that fall between 500-800 kcal per serving.  Blue Apron aim to provide balanced recipes that include a healthful portion of vegetables, grains, and proteins and they deliver nationwide to most addresses (and you can skip any delivery before the weekly cutoff if you have to travel). (

Plated:  Plated focuses on fresh ingredients and globally inspired recipes.  They provide a new seasonal menu every week which is good for every cooking level.  Plated focuses on seasonality, quality, sustainability, and having specialty items that you may not find in stores.  The estimated calorie count for specific recipes can be found on the menu page but typically an entrée is around 600-800 calories.  Plated delivers to 95% of the US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and there are a few cities in Texas (San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland) that Plated do not ship to and if you have to travel you can change plans or skip weeks.   (

Hello Fresh: Hello Fresh uses fresh ingredients that are nutritionally balanced, meals are ready in 30 minutes or less with easy-to-follow instructions, and all of this is sent right to your doorstep.  The meal kits don’t cater to specific dietary needs, but in keeping with FDA regulations, they do disclose all allergens on nutrition labels.  They have a team of Registered Dietitians on staff that focus on nutrient content.  Meals generally contain anywhere from 500-800 calories each. They deliver across the continental USA and there is no commitment, you can skip or cancel at any time.   (

Chef’d:  Chef’d offers both a la carte meals and dessert offerings.  If you have any particular dietary restriction, preference, preferred skill level or cook time you are able to filter through 300+ available meals.  Chef’d also offers subscription-based meal plans for people that follow Weight Watchers or the Atkins lifestyle and there is also a plan that was developed in accordance with the American Diabetes Association and evaluated by dietitians. Chef’d delivers to all zip codes located in the Contiguous United States.   (

Green Chef:  Green Chef’s offer fresh, organic ingredients that can be tracked from supplier to the dinner table.  They have chef-crafted recipes that require 45 minutes or less to prep and cook and cater to a range of dietary preferences.  They carefully select the freshest seasonal ingredients ensuring that each dinner that you have is good for you as well as the environment. Green Chef delivers throughout the US (excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and limited areas in Wisconsin and Minnesota).  (

Remember that it is important to do research on any type of meal delivery service before starting one so for more information about a specific meal delivery service visit the web address as listed above to see if one is a good option for you and your family. Then hopefully once you have gained the confidence to make a few meals, you might even try to use the ingredients and techniques that you have learned and experiment on your very own.