Eating out 60 years ago was not a very common trend. Fast food restaurants changed that and the food space has evolved. Meal delivery services generated over a billion dollars in 2016 and this is expected to grow even further in the next five years.

So, what does the concept of a fully prepared meal delivery service cover? Read on to find out.

What to expect from fully prepared meals

This service means companies or individuals offer fully cooked meals at affordable prices. All you have to do is reheat and eat a healthy meal. Every type of diet requirement is covered: Paleo, Mediterranean, Atkins, gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan. Choose between breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three. Many companies have comprehensive websites with pictures of meals and menus.

Whether you work from home or commute, you don’t need to compromise on your healthy eating; good food is just a phone call or a few clicks away. Free shipping is also offered on orders above a mentioned order amount.

Based on your needs, you can order meals for the whole week. Companies have meal plans that are stored in biodegradable containers and shipped in insulated containers to prevent spoilage. Many meal delivery companies also offer dishes made from certified organic ingredients and balanced to include all food groups.

What to look for before signing up

Whether you want to get meal kits along with recipes that are easy to follow or fully cooked meals, consider your overall goals.

  • Do you want to improve your cooking skills?
  • Do you want to try new recipes, but don’t know where to find the ingredients?
  • Don’t like to go out grocery shopping?
  • Do you want to change your diet, but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind before signing up for a delivery service:

fruit salad in cups

Budget

Meal delivery prices can vary wildly, depending on what you choose. Look at your previous grocery bills and see what you eat in a regular meal. This will offer insights into how much a meal should cost and will help you set a budget. In addition, check delivery schedules so that you know when you can expect your meal package to arrive at their doorstep.

Meal selection

Do you want to know in advance what you will eat or do you like to get a surprise in the box? If your household has picky eaters, choosing meals in advance is a good idea. Meal companies do have weekly menus and are also willing to customize meals for their clients.

Allergies

In the last couple of decades, more people have been diagnosed with food-related allergies. Doing research is key to finding the right delivery services. Some others want to eat dishes tailored to meet their religious beliefs and there are chefs who can cater to this segment as well.

Nutritional value

Meal quality is more than just calories. Check if your meal delivery service offers a breakdown of nutrition values per dish. This should include information on carbohydrate content, fat, fiber content, protein, etc. Having this information easily available will help you maintain your health goals and eat well.

Basic pantry items

Some delivery companies will expect that you have a few basic items in your pantry, such as oil, salt, and pepper. Having a few items like a frying pan, colander, cooking pot, cutting boards, and knives will also make your life easier.

Meal delivery services offer a healthy alternative to eating out at a restaurant or choosing fast food. Do some research and eat well; choose good food that meets your health and budget needs.