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Ultimate guide to meal delivery services

Hack your way to daily healthy meals with any of these meal delivery and meal kit services

Meal Delivery Meal Kit Services

Balancing demanding work schedules with healthy eating can be a challenge. That’s where premade meal and meal delivery services come in, offering convenience and nutritional balance. Find the best meal delivery service for you:

What is a premade meal or meal delivery service?

A premade meal is a dish that’s ready to eat or requires minimal preparation, from heating to light ingredient preparation. These meals are often designed by culinary experts to provide a balance of nutrients and calories, and many can be tailored to fit personal preferences. Premade meals come in various forms, including refrigerated or frozen, and cater to a range of diets from vegetarian to keto. They can range from single-serve options to a meal for four.

The benefits of meal delivery services for first responders

  • Nutrition: Meal delivery services aim to provide a balanced diet, incorporating vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates in proportions that support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Timesaving: With meals delivery services, all the planning and shopping (and with some, even the cooking) is taken care of. This is particularly beneficial for first responders who may find it difficult to make time for meal prep due to irregular or long hours.
  • Cost for value: Ordering premade meals can be cost-effective compared to dining out for a similar meal. Bulk ordering options often bring the cost down even further.

(Editor’s note: Most of the meal delivery services offer sign-on bonuses and discounts so you can maximize savings by trying a new service each month as you search for the best option for you.)

Top premade meal services for first responders

HelloFresh: Offers a wide range of recipes and meal plans that cater to various tastes and dietary preferences, focusing on freshness and simplicity. The company underlines that their produce is sourced directly from US farmers.

  • Plan options: You can choose plans that cater to 2 or 4 people. Pricing depends on the number of people and the meals per week per person. You can choose meals from a weekly menu of options. They also have a first responders discount.

Home Chef: Known for its customizable meal kits, Home Chef allows first responders to choose meals according to their dietary needs and preferences, with options to swap or upgrade ingredients.

  • Plan options: They offer two plans. The Home Chef Plan has recipes and pre-portioned ingredients you cook yourself. The Family Plan includes oven-ready options and servings for 4 people. They also have a first responders discount.

Blue Apron: Blue Apron is known for its chef-designed recipes that are as delicious as they are easy to prepare. They can come in at a higher price point, but their meals are often viewed as being more gourmet. They also have a first responders discount.

  • Plan options: This meal delivery service offers both meal kits and prepared meals. While the meal kits come in portions for 2 or 4 people, the prepared meals come in single servings only.

Eat Clean: Perfect for health-conscious eaters, offering organic and clean ingredients that cater to specific health and dietary goals.

  • Plan options: Eat Clean’s meal delivery service specializes in prepared meals that simply need to be reheated. It defaults to a plant-based plan if no meals were selected for the week.

Chef’s Plate: Like other meal delivery services, they tout easy and delicious meals that can be ready in 15 or 30 minutes.

  • Plan options: Plans are based on how many people (2 or 4) and how many meals a week per person (2 to 5). They also have a first responders discount.

Dinnerly: Targets families and budget-conscious consumers, providing simple, straightforward meals at an affordable price.

Green Chef: Specializes in organic ingredients with a variety of diet-based meal plans including keto, paleo, and plant-powered options.

Additional considerations about meal delivery services

Flexibility and Control: Many services offer options to pause, skip, or cancel deliveries, which is perfect for first responders who need flexibility due to their unpredictable schedules.

Nutritional Content: Look for services that provide detailed nutritional information, which is a must for maintaining the energy and health required for demanding emergency work.

Packaging and Sustainability: Consider the environmental impact of your chosen meal service, including packaging and sourcing practices.

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