For busy families looking for convenience, meal delivery kits are a tempting choice. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know what to pick. Here’s a quick recap of some companies my family has tried.
Freshly: If you are short on time and absolutely, positively don’t want to do anything harder than put something in the microwave, Freshly is a great option. They are an upscale version of TV dinners and have choices for multiple dietary needs. The downside is that after a couple of weeks of eating Freshly meals, my family had burnt out on them. I could have eaten them forever because yay, no cooking, but I couldn’t justify tossing uneaten food.
Daily Harvest: If your teenager suddenly announces she’s vegan and you have no idea how to accommodate that, fill your freezer with harvest bowls, flatbread pizzas and smoothies from Dairy Harvest. After a few weeks of eating so many vegetables, she’ll either be ready to learn how to cook her own meals or else be running back to your macaroni and cheese. Daily Harvest is also a great choice if you want to stock up on healthy lunch items for yourself, but only if you’re willing to pay a premium for convenience.
Revive Superfoods: A cheaper alternative to Daily Harvest, Revive Superfoods has fewer options but a smaller price point. If you have a kid who refuses to eat breakfast but desperately needs calories before they head off into the world, a Hazy Cocoa smoothie might be worth it, especially before a big math test.
Purple Carrot: Coming in with another solution for “Help! My teen says she’s vegan,” Purple Carrot is a great option for plant-based meals. Bonus: the step-by-step recipe cards will teach your teen to cook. The drawback is the price point. You’ll pay a lot for meals based on inexpensive ingredients. Cooking time will also be a factor to consider.
Sunbasket: If my husband and I were empty nesters and money was no object, Sunbasket would be my top choice. Each meal tastes like something you’d order at a fancy restaurant in Napa, but the prepped ingredients and straightforward instructions make them easy to cook. Got little kids who will only eat chicken nuggets? This might not be your best option.
Hungryroot: This is my top pick out of all of them for our family. When Hungryroot began years ago the focus on was on vegetarian meals that usually involved some sort of slaw. But the company evolved, and now they appeal to omnivores too. The price point is higher than the grocery store, but not by much. Most meals take about 20 minutes to cook and my kids love them. You can also order staples like oatmeal and yogurt, which saves a trip to the grocery store.
When life is good and my workload is under control, I do all my own grocery shopping, menu planning and cooking. But when something throws that balance out of whack, I need help, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at email@example.com.