“What’s for dinner tonight?” Those four innocent words, straight from the mouths of babes, can be just enough to stir up afternoon anxiety (especially after a long day of stuffed schedules or sitting in LA traffic). If staring at your pantry items, willing them to create a healthy, balanced magical meal on their own isn’t working, it’s time to think outside the kitchen. Cooking can be fun when there is time, but if you’re finding meal planning more stressful than serene, try placing an order with one of these yummy meal delivery services. Keep reading for our top picks of delicious options that really cater to freshness, fitness, and families.
photo: Sunfare via Facebook
21 years ago this company started out as a gourmet food delivery service to the stars, successfully pioneering the way for the meal convenience industry to burst onto the scene. Nowadays, Sunfare offers full-service food delivery that can customize healthy meal plans, considering everything from your weight, sleep habits, food aversions and more, to come up with the perfect daily menu. They offer gluten-free and vegetarian meal options as well as GMO, nitrate, hormone and antibiotic-free proteins.
How It Works: Once you sign up, a Sunfare client-counselor will contact you and ask a few quick questions to determine your best meal options. You’ll select your meal plan from a wide variety of options, like the Family Dinners plan, which includes an entrée and four sides to share. You can customize your menus and make changes as you go. Deliveries are made daily at 7 a.m. and arrive in an insulated cooler filled with all your meals for the day.
Cost: Prices vary depending on the plan you sign up for. The Family Dinners plan, for example, is $75.75 per day for four people.
photo: Z.E.N. Foods via Yelp
Standing for Zero Effort Nutrition, this company prides itself on dishing up fresh and healthy options for those looking to clean up how they are eating. With three in-house nutritionists guiding the menu choices, you and your family are sure to ingest ingredients that will make for strong bodies and minds. Sign up for their family dinners program that offers yummy menu items for mom and dad as well as kids meal add-on choices (honey chicken tenders for the win) for the younger set that do not sacrifice on taste or nutrition.
How It Works: After you sign up for the Z.E.N. Dinners Plan on their website, you will then select your desired program length and begin customizing your meals. Your first delivery will be made in just three business days after you place your order and entrees can be heated in under two minutes with a microwave. Place the empty Z.E.N. cooler and ice packs out on the day of your next scheduled delivery and their driver will collect them; easy peasy!
Cost: Meals start at $9.95 per meal per day with kid’s meals available to add on at $7 per meal per day. Delivery charges range from $6-$13 per day depending on zip code.
photo: Yumi via Facebook
Once upon a time, a pregnant mom was disheartened with the lack of fresh, nutritious and yummy baby meals that were readily available (without spending hours steaming and puréeing on a daily basis). Thus Yumi was born. The only meal delivery service made just for babies, this service offers healthy, nutrient-rich, fresh-made baby food, making it ultra convenient to feed your baby without the added sugars and preservatives found in store-bought options. You can now even find Yumi options on the menu at Au Fudge (yes please!) and they donate their unused perishable food to a local charity that feeds those in need, which we can definitely get behind!
How It Works: When you sign up, the Yumi team will ask for info on your little eater, like age and any food allergies. You’ll choose from a few different delivery plans depending on how much baby food you need per week. Your food will be delivered to your doorstep in an ice-packed cold tote. Each “baby meal,” which includes things like butternut squash and kale with flaxseed, is served in a sealed, four-ounce food-safe plastic jar (eco-friendly and reusable) and will last in the fridge (unopened) for about 7 days.
Cost: 6 jars per week is $35, 12 jars is $65, and 20 jars is $90.
Nurture Life is a meal delivery company that caters to babies, toddlers AND older kids with prepared meal menu plans tailor-made for ages 4 months to 14 years old and up. Order weekly meals for the kiddos to be delivered to your doorstep all freshly made and pediatric dietician approved!
photo: DoorDash via Facebook
Sure, instead of cooking at home you could take the family out to eat but sometimes heading to a restaurant with your hungry hippos is more of a hassle than helpful. Why not bring food from your favorite local restaurants right to your door without having to leave the house at all (or change out of your PJs)? DoorDash understands this need for culinary convenience and literally, delivers.
How It Works: Download the DoorDash app to your phone and enter your address to see what restaurants are available in your neighborhood. Peruse full menus from great local eateries (definitely not your standard take-out fare) and add what you want to your order with a few taps. The app will also show you just how long delivery time is for each restaurant and gives you the option to schedule a future order for up to four days in advance.
Cost: The food prices and delivery charges vary based on each restaurant. A tip is added to the total, which you pay via the app when you place your order.
photo: Munchery via Facebook
Who wouldn’t want a James Beard-caliber chef whipping up meals that are made fresh and delivered to your door ready to eat? Munchery knows that sometimes you crave the fine dining experience but in the comfort of your own home (or sweatpants). Let this meal delivery service elevate dinner time (without spiking your stress levels) by letting the professionals do all the heavy cooking for you.
How It Works: Make your picks from a wide variety of main dishes, sides, desserts, and drinks. Kids meals are portioned generously and offer one main and one side. Deliveries are made between 4-9 p.m. Meals come packaged and chilled so that all you have to do is heat when you’re ready to enjoy.
Cost: Main dishes and sides are $10-$19 each, kids meals average around $8 and desserts and drinks are $2-$5. There is a $3-5 delivery charge for same day delivery.
photo: One Potato via Facebook
Feeling like a short order cook come dinner time is never ideal, which is why One Potato’s belief that it’s possible to prepare one meal that will satisfy everyone at the dinner table is so refreshing. The idea behind this family-friendly company is to make it easy for parents to serve up healthy meals that appeal both to grown-ups and kids (even the fussiest of eaters). The best part, however, is that the prepped food kits are built to encourage your little chefs to get involved in the dinner making process. Another bonus: each meal delivery comes with your own organic slice-and-bake cookie dough guaranteed to delight your sweeties.
How It Works: Once you join, you’ll give One Potato the size of your family and typical meal preferences. They will send you an email with pictures and recipes of the meals you’ll be preparing and eating for the week. Your weekly box will arrive packed with all the healthy, organic, fresh ingredients you need to prepare three different meals. Ingredients are already measured and chopped so all you have to do is put it all together. Each recipe should take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Every week you’ll get new recipes and ingredients and you can cancel or skip a week with prior notice.
Cost: Plans are based on how many meals you want to be delivered weekly (or how many mouths you’re feeding) and range from $68-$132 per week.
photo: Dream Dinners via Facebook
Ok, so this one is technically not a delivery service, but it deserves an honorable mention for putting dinner on the table without setting foot in the grocery store or making a big ol’ mess in the kitchen. Dream Dinners features monthly meal planning, with a variety of delicious dinner options from grilled pork chops and tamale pie, to steaks and pasta dishes (steak tortellini anyone?). Instead of having a meal kit delivered, however, you go to Dream Dinners store where you’ll get all the ingredients you need to prep your meals and freeze them until you’re ready to cook.
How It Works: Every month you can pop online to view the new menu, place your order and select a session date and location. On your appointed day you’ll arrive at the location and in one hour you’ll prep all your meals with the provided ingredients in airtight freezer bags. Place them in the freezer at home and when you’re ready to eat, all you have to do is thaw and cook as directed, usually in less than half an hour.
Cost: Prices range from $14-$26 for 3-serving meals and $26-$48 for 6-serving meals (minimum order per session is 36 servings).
What other local meal delivery companies have you tried that you can’t live without? Please share your faves in the comments!
—Shahrzad Warkentin & Jenifer Scott