Commercials and ads touting the benefits of healthy meal delivery services designed to improve family life seem too good to be believed, yet plenty of people are getting onboard this “gravy train” because they see it as a way to simplify their lives and save time.
Where did this idea begin? In 2012 Blue Apron, Inc. took restaurant food delivery to a higher level by marketing ingredient-and-recipe meal kit services to consumers eager to find ways to feed their families healthy meals without having to do the time-consuming prep work.
Fans adopting this service joked that they were putting pizza delivery kids out of business, but it was the idea of freshly-prepared meals plus pre-planned menus that sold the concept to busy men and women. By 2016, Blue Apron had shipped 8 million kits and went public.
These days, competitors are popping up faster than dandelions from coast to coast, and that includes healthy meal delivery Orlando services that are becoming especially popular throughout the middle of the Sunshine State.
Will meal delivery services ultimately be declared a fad or a trend? It’s hard to tell, but for consumers looking for any way they can find to save time while keeping family members healthy, the future looks promising and every cardboard box landing on a doorstep is greeted with relief and at times, joy.
What constitutes a healthy meal?
According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a healthy meal provides nutrients the human body needs daily to fuel activity. For meal kit manufacturers, sticking to NIH guidelines is a big reason meal delivery kit popularity continues to grow. Included in the NIH guidelines are:
-Emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
-The inclusion of lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts.
-Limited saturated fats, sodium, and sugars.
-Controlled portion size.
-Calorie consumption appropriate for an individual’s activity level and size.
10 Pros of using a healthy meal delivery service
- Kits dramatically reduce the number of supermarket runs harried homemakers dread.
- For unimaginative cooks, tips, ingredients, and recipes help them turn out gourmet meals effortlessly.
- Consumers use downtime more productively once meal prep is streamlined via kits.
- The variety of menus offered by meal delivery services far outweighs most cook’s repertoires.
- Meals get to the table in 30 minutes or less, which eliminates snacking.
- Because ingredients are fresh, there are more nutrients in each dish than fast foods deliver.
- Busy cooks say they like preparing meals once the prep work is eliminated.
- Meal delivery companies hire nutritionists and dieticians to verify the flavor and health of dishes.
- Children are exposed to healthy foods their parents may not have the time to prepare.
- Because healthy meal delivery resources are growing, consumers have myriad choices.
10 Cons of using a healthy meal delivery service
- Because ingredients and proportions are set in stone, deviating from recipes isn’t possible.
- For consumers committed to sustainability, packaging requirements may be a deal breaker.
- In return for this convenience, meal delivery subscribers pay a healthy price for this service.
- Households with big eaters may find the amount of food in portions to be insufficient.
- Because these programs are subscription-based services, quitting can be a hassle.
- Some consumers count on leftovers for additional meals or lunches thus delivered meals don’t work.
- For people on restrictive diets, choices of meal delivery services could be limited.
- Though dishes are rotated, continue use of just one meal delivery service could lead to menu burnout.
- Service users have no control over the sourcing of produce and meats and must trust the provider.
- Though meal delivery businesses try hard to avoid it, package mix-ups have been reported, thus consumers wind up with someone else’s meal components.