As we head into the holiday season, it can be difficult to keep up with errands, work, school, and of course, our health. With lots of plates in the air, it’s easy to prioritize other responsibilities above our own wellbeing. Meal delivery services, like Daily Harvest and Hello Fresh, can provide quick and easy meals, without having to step in the grocery store! With the current global condition, the meal delivery concept is even more appealing. But are they healthy? This article reviews 4 of the most popular meal delivery services and a few healthy choices from each.
Daily harvest offers a variety of wholesome meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are made with organic ingredients. An added plus for those with allergies/intolerances: all of their meals are gluten free, dairy free, and plant-based. Daily Harvest offers an assortment of smoothies, oat bowls and chia bowls with a diverse range of fruits and green vegetables.
A top pick for breakfast? The Ginger + Greens smoothie includes banana, spinach, avocado, ginger, lemon and flax seeds. Opt for a smoothie with greens, avocado, and veggies such as cauliflower, to increase the fiber and decrease the sugar content. The addition of flax meal or chia seeds to your smoothie also provides omega-3’s, protein, and fiber.
For lunch and dinner, they offer different harvest bowls, flatbreads, and soups with the same variety as their breakfast options. Daily Harvest doesn’t change their menu week to week, but introduce seasonal meals every so often to get that added variation.
A top pick for lunch or dinner? The dairy-free Broccoli + Cheeze harvest bowl includes broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, tomato, olive oil, and nutritional yeast to get that classic broccoli and cheese taste without loads of saturated fat. Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower are delicious sources of antioxidants and fiber.
Sakara Life has a unique approach to the modern meal delivery service industry. They offer three separate meal services including the Signature Meal Program, Level II: Detox, and the Bridal Meal Program which all include ready-to-eat meals delivered directly to your doorstep. Sakara’s menu changes week to week, so you are consuming different kinds of gut-health-inspired meals throughout your subscription. It is important to note that Sakara’s meals are more restrictive than other meal delivery services, since they are all vegan and often very low-calorie. Another con of this meal delivery service is their high prices.
Sakara’s meals are made with organic and plant-based ingredients with no refined sugar and include different teas and supplements. Within each program they also offer different levels of access to a health coach who will answer all of your questions throughout the week. However, if you have specific questions regarding personalized nutrition recommendations it’s always best to schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian. And it’s always important to first consult your doctor before starting any new supplements.
A top pick from Sakara? The Winter Sun Salad includes tricolor quinoa, roasted carrots, brussel sprouts and topped with honey dijon dressing. Choosing a salad with fiber-rich veggies and a complex carbohydrate such a quinoa is a nutritious choice for sustained energy.
Hello Fresh offers meal kits that will be delivered to your doorstep throughout the week with customizable options you can change based upon your preferences. These plans include categories such as: meat and vegetable, vegetable, family friendly, calorie smart, quick and easy, and pescatarian. You are able to further customize your delivery based upon how many servings you need for the week and the number of recipes you would like it to include. HelloFresh changes their menu week to week, so your subscription is always exposing you to different options vegetables, grains, and proteins. It’s important to note that a HelloFresh subscription only includes meals for lunch and dinner, so you are on your own for breakfast.
A top pick from Hello Fresh? The Chickpea-Powered Mediterranean Couscous includes chickpeas, zucchini, and grape tomatoes. Chickpeas and non starchy veggies provide fiber and essential vitamins, making this dish a healthy choice for lunch or dinner. Top over greens for extra antioxidants and nutrition.
Freshly offers one serving, pre-prepared meals that are ready to eat within 3 minutes. With a Freshly subscription you can customize the number of meals you want per week, and which recipes you want to receive. This subscription is a convenient choice for those who count macronutrients); each meal on Freshly’s menu lists the carbohydrate, fat, and protein content. Freshly has a variety of options for meals, however many of which fall into the “comfort food” category and not all are necessarily health-conscious.
A top pick from Freshly? The Chicken Livorno which includes oven roasted chicken breast over a bed of sauteed kale, white beans, and tomatoes. Chicken is a great source of lean protein. White beans, kale, and tomatoes are delicious sides which can help you reach your daily fiber goals.