Meal Kits: Pros & Cons
I am a fan of meal kits, chosen wisely. Just because it is served as a kit or touts being healthier, does not make it so. Do your homework to research what you are getting.
I have tried three meal kits: Green Chef, Sunbasket and Purple Carrot. I chose these kits because they tended to have healthy options and could best accommodate the needs of my family. Shop around when making your selection for a meal kit. Prices vary, menus vary and offerings change, and many offer free or discounted trials. That being said, remember that you generally get what you pay for - when it comes to healthier meal kit options. Also, remember that you are seeking to get nourishment without compromising for taste.
Here is a list of pros and cons, I have come up with so far.
Promotes healthier eating (when properly researched and selected).
Fun. Offers exposure to new recipes, new ingredients (both food and spicing) and new cooking techniques.
Convenience. Sends you all ingredients needed for the meal (except basics like cooking oil, salt & pepper.)
Thrifty. No food waste. Kits send exact quantities needed for the recipe. No purchasing of some obscure spice that you may never use again.
Time saving. It cuts time spent on planning and shopping, as it is delivered to your door.
Portion control. Kits are offered in various serving amounts (ex. kit I am currently using is offered in packages for 2 people or 4 people).
Easy. Kits provided easy step-by-step instructions for preparing meals. This also allows for inviting others to assist in the kitchen or novice cooks to enjoy cooking.
Nutrient transparency. All the recipes have this information available, it is just necessary to take the time to review it.
Improve food prep and cooking skills.
Accommodates food allergies and meal restrictions, based on kit selection.
Subscription frequency. I enjoy exploring meals and meal kits to gain exposure to new foods and flavors, with a weekly or monthly subscription.
Can be expensive. It can be more expensive than batch cooking from scratch, but less expensive if you are eating out healthier foods multiple days a week.
Perishable. It is necessary to commit to preparing meals in the first few days after delivery, especially if they include healthy perishable fruits and vegetables.
Prep and Cook time underestimated. Obviously, this will vary from meal to meal, but it appears that a professional cook is assessing time needed as most of the meals selected took longer to prepare than posted.
Unhealthy meals selections, if you do not do your homework. Many meals can be surprisingly high calorie, high sodium and/or high cholesterol, to name a few.
Challenge to replicate meals. Some of the meals that we would like to make again on our own require spice blends that are proprietary to the meal kit company. It is possible to repeat meals on your own, but it will require research and some flexibility to accomplish this.
The following are links to meal kits I have tried:
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