What if a few days or a week’s worth of healthy, organic, local food was sitting in your fridge waiting for you to heat up for your family? Talk about peace of mind! Read on to discover four meal prep and delivery services we found that are guaranteed to make your life easier – and maybe even a bit healthier.
photo: Farm to Fit via Yelp
Farm to Fit
How it Works: Choose from 3, 5, or 7-day meal plans delivered throughout Portland every Monday and Thursday, with an options to pick-up in Vancouver.
Kid Faves: The chef creates a new menu each week, but generally, we bet kids will love many of the offerings, like Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and Turkey Sausage Pizza.
Cost: $65-$225/week, depending on the number of days, household members and calories.
Special Diets: They can accomodate Low Carb, 1200-, 1600- and 2000-calorie diets, as well as gluten-free and diabetic options.
You’ll Eat Up: If you’re trying carefully to watch what your family eats, you’ll be happy to know that everything is fresh, delicious, locally-sourced and portion-controlled. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you can order anywhere from 3 dinners all the way up to 21 meals in any given week.
2608 NE Sandy Blvd.
photo: Fully Belly Fare
Full Belly Fare
How it Works: Order a full week’s worth of meals and they’ll be delivered on your specified weekly delivery day. You can choose from four main dishes along with sides, including grains, veggies and dessert. Full Belly Fare’s owner, Lyla Wolfenstein, also offers an option for out-of-towners who want to contribute any amount to an expecting family’s meal train online. The recipients will either get a gift card to Full Belly Fare to choose their own meals or she will make a menu for them.
Kid Faves: Much of this food would go in the gourmet category, but every week there is at least one dish that even the pickier ones would scarf down, from lemon chicken to chicken pot pies.
Cost: Entrees typically run $10.95 to $14.95 per portion, with sides, salads and desserts ranging from $1 to $10/serving. The minimum weekly order is $75. Wolfenstein says she will soon be able to accept SNAP food stamps.
Special Diets: This is the place to go for special diets. All entrees are marked with their qualifications, from gluten-free to Paleo and everything in between.
You’ll Eat Up: The variety that is offered here is fantastic and all meats are local, antibiotic and hormone free. Most produce is organic and locally grown, and most of their dairy products are organic, local, and from grass-fed animals.
Dine In 2Nite
How it works: You pay on a subscription basis a month in advance and you can use it flexibly to pause or skip when you need to. They cook every afternoon and deliver the hot meal that day. Choose dinner delivery 3-5 times per week. Your dinner will be delivered hot during your chosen time frame.
Kid Faves: There are no special kid meals, but you can request “kid prep” and you’ll get sauces on the side. However, they stress that all their recipes are accessible, meaning that it’s going to be an “Applebee’s” style version of an Asian or European dish. Authentic-ish, we’ll call it.
Cost: $10 per meal, which is 14 to 16 oz. portion. Typically a family of four will order three, unless they want lunch leftovers.
Special Diets: They can always replace the protein and make any meal vegetarian.
You’ll Eat Up: The total flexibility for the delivery time. They’ll come between 4 and 5:30 p.m. or 5:30 and 7 p.m. depending on what you choose as your ideal dinner time. They also source local and sustainable ingredients whenever possible.
photo: juansonin via flickr creative commons
And finally, we had to include this final service – think of it as a Match.com for a chef. Even though we can’t all be Princess Kate, we can feel like her with our own personal chef.
An awesome local mom started this service for busy families who don’t have time to prepare meals. But, there’s a twist…instead of being a delivery service with set menus, etc., you browse the profiles of local cooks and find someone who can give you what your family needs. Maybe you want dinners five nights a week or just on Mondays when you have a late meeting and soccer practice? Maybe you want the cook in your kitchen, or maybe you hate the mess? Do you want someone who makes vegan or low-carb food – or who makes ooey gooey comfort food? Check out the chefs available, pick the one that fits you and work out the deets yourselves.
Have you tried delivery services with success? We’d love to hear about your favorite!
— Suzie Ridgway