Meal Prep Services: What Are They and Why Should You Care?

Diets

Meal prep services are one of the great modern conveniences families have come to depend on. We’ve all got so much going on in our lives, it’s easy to put aside menu planning. Meal delivery services are a speedy way to make meals on the fly so you and your family can enjoy the benefits of healthy eating without the hassle.

Sure, popping through a drive-thru and grabbing some takeout is speedy, but it’s rarely the best option for healthy eating. Meal kits make grocery shopping a task you can cross off your list. Creating a healthy homemade meal can be done in as little as 30 minutes—faster than you can drive across town and order some fried chicken!

Meal delivery services enable you to experience all the benefits of healthy eating and none of the hassle. Doesn’t that sound like a relief? There are meal prep services that exist for all walks of life, from vegan and gluten-free to traditional meat-and-potato meals, culinary convenience is waiting for you!

Healthy eating is a lifestyle and a choice that we make every single day. By choosing to cook your meals, you’ll build healthy habits that last forever. Good food choices make our bodies happy and keep our minds clear.

Meal prep services exist to help you eat healthy on a budget and in a time crunch. They do all the work for you!

What Is a Meal Delivery Service?

meal delivery service plastic containers filled with different vegetables

Have you ever had a week that felt never-ending? The dishes have piled up, the laundry hasn’t been touched, and you are exhausted. The last thing on your to-do list is cooking a healthy meal for you or your family.

A meal delivery service is the answer you’ve been looking for. Delivered directly to your doorstep, these handy little meal kits are a cooking convenience not to be missed. They come pre-packaged with all the ingredients you need to make a meal. No chopping, slicing, or dicing required. Everything comes prepared to pop into a pan. Each kit includes detailed instructions and typically takes 30 minutes or less to put together. Some meal kit delivery services even offer “heat-to-eat” dishes which require even less effort to stay on top of your healthy eating goals. Meal prep services are a convenient way to eat healthy while feeling like a superstar chef. Move over Gordon Ramsay!

The meal prep services industry is booming. More and more families are subscribing to weekly or monthly meal delivery services to save time and to stay healthy. You can order an entire week’s work of meal kits for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. If you only want to have one meal delivery per week, you can sign up for that too.

Most of these services have a price per meal. You can budget for food ahead of time this way. You can also create a healthy eating meal plan. The benefits of healthy eating and meal kits go hand in hand.

Exploring the Benefits of Healthy Eating

Healthy eating does not have to be a chore. In fact, it can be super fun! Think of it as putting together all the puzzle pieces for the week. You’ve got to consider price, time, and healthy eating. Putting those three components together helps you create the perfect meal plan each week. Here are some of the benefits of healthy eating you have to look forward to:

Lose weight without losing your mind

meal prep service delivers salmon fillets ready for cooking

Meal planning has a direct relation to losing weight and healthy living. Planning meals ahead of time has been shown to aid in weight loss for both men and women.[1]

Have you ever noticed that you tend to pack on the pounds a bit easier as you age? And wouldn’t you know it, it gets harder every year to keep the weight off. In fact, studies show that eating meals cooked at home will help you lose weight and keep it off long-term.[2]

The benefits of healthy eating allow you to indulge and to keep your weight at a healthy level. Some meal kits even include dessert.

Buzz around with more energy

There is so much to do and so much to see in our lifetimes. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the energy to do it all? Healthy eating can provide you with vitamins and nutrients to keep you alert with a full tank of gas all day. You’ll have plenty of oomph left to cook up some delicious food with your meal kit delivery.

Feed your brain

meal kit with sliced avocado apple eggs and grapefruit

What you put in your belly indeed directly affects your brain. Certain nutrients can influence your emotional and cognitive functions. The starvation hormone, called leptin, is controlled in the brain. Your gut and brain get together and discuss whether or not you should be hungry. This conversation is dictated by what you eat. Eating foods considered high in leptin will make you feel less hungry.[3] For example, look for foods like hot peppers, grapefruit, and broccoli.

With so many options out there for meal delivery services, you will be able to hone in on the company that is going to package the best healthy ingredients accordingly.

Fun Fact: Apples are 25% air.[4] That is why they float! How do ya like them apples?

Balance your moods

Eating yummy foods can turn on your brain’s pleasure center. Consequently, you are more likely to eat things that prompt happy responses from your brain when you are inevitably stressed out. Hence, by having meal kits at the ready, you can avoid falling into the trap of eating unhealthy snacks to make yourself feel better.

Anxiety and depression sometimes choose foods for us. Studies show that continually selecting high-calorie foods can lead to obesity and even more anxiety and depression.[5] Ultimately, by choosing nutrient-dense foods, you’ll ward off potential threats to your mood and emotions. Think avocado, kale, and garlic.

Banish hunger

meal delivery containers filled with greek salad and orzo pasta

Veggies are high in fiber.  A lot of meal prep services offer vegetarian or vegan options. Adding lots of vegetables to your diet is a great way to stay satisfied. You’ll get the benefits of healthy eating while feeling fuller longer. Vegetables are rich in vitamins A and C. These are the winning nutrients that ward off inflammation that could lead to cancer or heart disease.[6]

Get a brain boost

What you eat can forever affect your memory and even your ability to learn! Without a doubt, balanced nutrition equals superior brain function. Fruits like blueberries and avocados have been proven to enhance your focus. Broccoli and beets can help sharpen your memory.[7] Any meal delivery service worth its salt will keep this in mind, ensuring that their meal kits are always filled with fresh produce and nourishing ingredients.

Be the mane attraction

woman with luscious long hair standing among plants

Having shiny, naturally luxurious hair can become a reality. Iron, vitamin B, and vitamin C stimulate hair growth. In addition, getting enough zinc in your diet can prevent hair loss. Meal delivery services with foods like black beans, strawberries, and kiwi can definitely make your next trip to the salon less pricey.

Fun Fact: Did you know that honey never EVER expires?[8] There’s no reason to throw out that jar that’s been hiding in the back of your cupboard!

How Can Meal Prep Services Help You Eat Healthy?

Meal prep services are a fantastic way to stay on top of your grocery shopping. When you don’t have the time or energy to cook up a healthy dinner, a meal delivery service offers the perfect solution.

No more time crunches

meal kit of 2 fresh burger patties with vegetables and spices on the table

Meal kit delivery makes eating healthy super easy. These services were literally invented for people with hectic lives. You won’t spend hours at the supermarket looking for a bunch of different ingredients. Meal kits come ready-made with everything you need.

Additionally, you won’t need to break down complex recipes to figure out the calories. If you are trying to eat more nutritiously, a meal delivery service can help. These services show you the breakdown of each ingredient and the entire meal. That means no more tedious calculations! Some meal kits even offer the benefit of “heat and eat.” In fact, you won’t have to cook anything, dirty any dishes, or worry about clean-up.

Bond over healthy habits

Perhaps you want to spend time cooking dinner and drinking a glass of wine with a loved one. Cooking healthy meals together is a way to bond and learn new things at the same time. Eating healthy is about putting good foods into your body. It is also about creating a positive connection to experience the benefits of healthy eating.

Having a meal delivery service takes the guesswork out of shopping and buying a host of ingredients will allow you to spend more time on the important things.

Build good habits

six bowls of healthy colorful soups on a table from meal prep services

Good habits happen one choice at a time. If you are just beginning a healthy eating journey, meal prep services are a great tool. You’ll be able to see how each ingredient in every meal is part of a bigger picture.

You can use meal kits as a building block to healthy eating. Overall, understanding how and why each component is a part of the dish will help you appreciate the calories and nutrients going into your body.

Portion control

One of the hardest parts of eating healthy, especially for weight loss, is portion control. When you dine out, do you find that you tend to get way more food than one person can (or should) eat in one sitting? Instances like that skew our ideas of appropriate amounts of food.

Meal prep services remove the guesswork and portion each meal properly. The meal kits include recipe cards, and they also include caloric and nutrient breakdowns. Definitely look for meal kits that break down each component of every meal.

Get balanced

meal kit boxes of fresh salad and healthy vegetables

Sometimes it is confusing with all the charts and graphs with “eat this” and “never eat that” everywhere. Meal kits provide all the benefits of healthy eating because each meal is balanced for maximum health. Naturally, when you sit down to eat, you would want to eat foods that give you the biggest bang for your buck. Meal kits are designed for proper nutrition and a balanced diet.

Variety prevents boredom

One of the greatest benefits of a meal delivery service is the variety. You can mix and match tons of different foods to meet your dietary needs. You can eat healthily and also experience a wide range of foods. Boredom actually promotes unhealthy eating.[9]

Sometimes the hardest part about eating healthy is staying the course. Over time it’s easy to get tired of the healthy food options in your fridge. You’ll never be bored with the endless food options available with meal prep services. With the unlimited selection of foods and brands, you can indeed eat a new, healthy meal every day for a long while.

Adventurous eating

meal prep service delivers spicy thai soup with limes, chili and prawns on a table

Not only does using a meal delivery service provide variety, but it adds spice to your life (literally!) If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at homemade Thai food, or made-from-scratch Indian dishes, now is your chance. There are meal delivery services that offer an extensive range of ethnic dishes. One of the yummiest benefits of healthy eating is trying new things!

Stay satisfied

Eating a variety of healthy foods leaves you satisfied. In fact, one of the benefits of healthy eating is that you will never feel deprived. You will feel fuller longer, and with less effort than going it alone.

Meal prep kits are created to be well-balanced. You’ll be eating lots of vitamins, protein, and the right amount of carbs. In fact, when you eat a properly balanced diet, you’ll never feel the need to overeat or snack excessively.

Customize your meals

meal kit of raw tuna on plate with condiments and spices on a table

You can customize every meal delivery service entree to your exact specifications. The guarantee of a safe meal can mean the difference between life and death.[10] Meal kits are absolutely perfect for those who have health or safety issues concerning certain food items.

If you live with food allergies or sensitivities, you’re in luck. For example, there are meal kits for diabetics, those with autoimmune disorders, and even kits that are 100% organic. Furthermore, lots of meal prep services are gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian. You can find kits that are dairy-free, nut-free, and paleo and keto-friendly. The choices are positively endless! Consequently, there is a meal delivery service for you, no matter what your dietary restrictions are.

Obviously, meal prep delivery services continue to rise in popularity for a good reason. First, they save you trips to the supermarket. Second, you will save time with your meal prep and clean-up. Finally, and most importantly, meal kits are perfect for creating and sustaining healthy eating habits. You always feel better and look your best when you eat healthy foods.

The benefits of healthy eating are an essential factor when looking for a meal delivery service that is right for you. Subscribers will be able to easily keep track of vitamin, nutrients, and minerals.

Tips for Choosing a Meal Delivery Service

meal prep delivery containers with rice, meat, and veggies

1. Consider your budget

Typically, meal prep services range in price from $7.99 per meal to over $20 per meal. Some services offer a weekly rate, and some meal kits cost per dish.

2. Check the ingredients

Many meal delivery services offer vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian options. If you have serious allergies to things like gluten or nuts, it’s imperative that you choose the right meal delivery service. Ingredients and their sources should absolutely be checked thoroughly. Usually, there are chef’s notes about each meal. Confirm that the meals you are purchasing are USDA-certified.

3. Research shipping

The coolest thing about meal prep services is actually the coolest thing—their refrigerated boxes! Be certain that your chosen service delivers to your area. Also, make sure to check their delivery schedules. Some services deliver only once a week, some deliver twice a week, and some deliver every day.

4. Stock up on staples

You will still need your healthy pantry staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper. Most meal delivery kits do not include those basic ingredients. On top of that, make sure to have the proper equipment on hand like pans and spatulas.

5. Look for healthy labels

Check the nutrition information on each label for each meal. Meal kits are great at spotlighting the benefits of healthy eating, but not all dishes are created equal. Make sure that each ingredient fits into your nutrition roadmap for best results.

Conclusion

Meal delivery services aren’t just for decadent, elaborate meal creation. This culinary convenience is a wonderful and versatile foundation for healthy eating. Instead of choosing fast food, make healthy food easily with a meal prep service! Having a meal kit delivered to your door will save you time and improve your overall health.

Want to learn more about fast options for healthy cooking? Why not give pressure cooking a try?

References

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