Is it just me or are your kids also constantly eating and snacking, making meal prep a perpetual job?? Enter meal and meal kit delivery services. With some services also offering snacks and smoothies, you will never be caught short-handed or fazed by the question, “Can I have a snack?” and “What’s for dinner?” Best of all, there is minimal to no clean up! We scoped out several options for you and your family consider to de-stress meal time and help you focus on the more important things (and people).
Fresh meals from local chefs straight to your door equals taking your dinners to the next level and with gluten, refined sugar and dairy-free recipes, your health and wellness goals are easier than ever to meet. Subscribe to a plan while filtering your preferences and choose for delivery even for only once a week. Our tasters loved everything we tried from the mexican ceviche bowl to the roasted salmon but the pesto chicken with roasted zucchini stood out in flavor and texture (super important with kids, amiright?)
We also loved that every packaging item was either recyclable or compostable which is important to us plus the ability to donate meals to our local community means you can feel super swell about your meal delivery service.
Best for: delicious, super fast meals prepared by local chefs
Cost: starts at $10.95/meal for the smaller “boost” size or $13.95/meal for standard size
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Have 30 minutes and can follow six easy, precise steps? That is all it takes to allow your inner Martha to shine with this cook-at-home food delivery service! With 29 menu choices every week and meal tags such as family-friendly, under-30 minutes, gluten-free and other categories, there is something for everyone. Favorites include: turkish pilau and bunny chow chicken curry on ciabatta rolls . The website provides big, colorful step-by-step photos for kids who want to help.
Best for: families who enjoy cooking together
Cost: Plans start at $7.99/portion + $8.99 shipping
One pan. 15 minutes. That is the only requirement before dinner can be on your table! Gobble shops, chops and delivers gourmet three-step recipes for one-pan cooking with zero prep required. In fact, their main selling point is that every recipe takes 15 mins to cook, which is something we can all get on board with. Choose between Classic vs Lean and Clean recipes and personalize it as you see fit. Having been voted by Parents magazine as the #1 Meal Kit delivery service means that picky eaters are sure to find something they like.
Best for: speed and ease of recipes plus picky eaters
Cost: Prices start at $11.99/serving
A weekly subscription with Freshly means that fresh, chef-cooked meals are delivered to your doorstep that are heated and served up in three minutes. Unlike meal kits, all you need is a microwave, fork and plate (optional!) to get a satisfying lunch or dinner on the table.
With a food philosophy centered on less sugar, less processed and more nutrients, the menu features better-for-you versions of comfort foods with smart ingredient swaps. For example, my five and 10 year old taste testers were wild over the Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese which snuck in carrots and celery into the marinara sauce. The Chicken Tikka Masala with its seven spice biryani was also a win.
Best for: families that want super fast, ready to eat options
Cost: starts at $8.49/each for 12 meals to $11.49/each for four meals
Blue Apron has been part of the meal delivery game for a long time and their expertise shows. We love that the meals typically take 40 minutes or less and include kid-friendly ingredients like baked chicken and pasta while exposing kids to different flavors such as curry and chile-lime. With super easy-to-follow recipes, you can definitely get the kids involved in the cooking process.
Blue Apron recently collaborated with Partnership for a Healthier America, a campaign aimed at making at-home cooking more affordable with a limited time offering of their Pass the Love boxes. Three meals per box are included that serve four people per meal at $6 a serving and are available for order without subscription the weeks of August 23 and August 30.
Best for: families who enjoy cooking together, multiple serving options
Cost: Meals cost $7.49-$8.99/serving with free shipping
Home Chef meal kits offer fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes delivered weekly. With different menus each week, you curate a box to find the cooking experience you want: 30 vs 15 min meal prep, grill ready, oven ready, or even special occasions in which a premium meal ups the ante. Most recipes include a "Customize It" option to accommodate any dietary needs or preferences. The meals are convenient, delicious and kid-friendly.
Our taste testers enjoyed the Cheesy Steak and Chipotle Ranch sandwiches and were licking their fingers at the end of the meal while the French Onion Chicken was also delectable and essentially French Onion soup on a plate.
Best for: variety of options including special occasions
Cost: Meals start at $6.99/serving
If your goal is to get a wholesome, easy meal on the table for your family, then Dinnerly is the meal delivery option for you. Each week Dinnerly customers choose from over a dozen options which change each week. The choices are totally kid-friendly with options like sweet and sour Swedish meatballs, turkey burgers and enchiladas. Each meal has only five prep steps and takes less than 30 minutes to get on the table, perfect for rushed weeknight dinners. Not interested in getting your box this week? No problem! You can skip any time.
Best for: kid-friendly meals in under 30 mins
Cost: Meals start at $4.69/person
With plans like Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living and Plant-Powered, healthy eating at home is the name of the game with Green Chef. Organic produce and eggs delivered to you with easy recipes means eating well and healthy go hand in hand. Set up your deliveries to come weekly or less frequently if you prefer. Menus change every week and you'll enjoy options like Steak & Cheddar Melts, Salmon with Creamy Chimichurri, and Creamy Baked Penne Pasta.
Best for: health conscious families
Cost: Meals start at $11.99/serving
The goal of HelloFresh is to bring the fun of cooking back into people’s lives by doing all the planning, portioning and shopping for in-season, sustainably-sourced, healthy and flavorful ingredients. HelloFresh prides itself on its delicious recipes with quick cook times; all your chopping, zesting and sautéeing will take less than 30 minutes. Family-friendly meals include Tomato Tortellini Bake, Ginger Plum Chicken and Pork Chops with Apple Rosemary Pan Sauce.
Cost: Meals $8.99/serving. Delivery is free for all orders.
With 100% organic, vegan and gluten-free chef-prepared entrees, soups and juices there are no animal products of any kind here, ever! Chick'n Nuggets with chipotle dipping sauce complete with veganaise will do the trick and no one will miss the meat. Veestro food is available a la carte, in full Meal Packs and they also carry a surprisingly delicious weight loss menu plan. Meeting your family’s dietary needs has never been easier or more delicious!
Best for: Vegan and vegetarian families, low-fat diets
Cost: Starting at $9.90/serving, free shipping on auto-delivery options
Purple Carrot brings you plant-forward meals that are good for you and good for the planet. Choose from Quick & Easy, High-Protein, Gluten-Free or Chef’s Choice dinners and customize your choices to your liking. All meals are meat-free and easy to prepare. You can add on breakfast, lunch and snack items to get you through the week. Skip or cancel any time.
Best for: plant-based and gluten-free families, families that want snacks and other add-ons
Cost: Plans start at $9.99/serving
Sun Basket’s meal kits come with organic produce with paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian and family menu selections. The option to upgrade to premium meats like grass-fed filet and jumbo shrimp will broaden your culinary horizons with family-friendly meals like chicken tagine and Taiwanese noodle soup. Their "super speedy" meals go from box to table in less than 20 minutes, "one pot" meals keep the dishes to a minimum and Fresh & Ready meals are pre-cooked, pre-packaged to go from oven/microwave to dinner table in six minutes. WIN.
Parents will love how Sun Basket encourages kids to participate in the cooking process (which has been shown to create more adventurous eaters). Each recipe includes a "Kids Can" section with suggestions of how kids can contribute to the meal prep by juicing a lemon, timing the orzo or strip the mint leaves.
Best for: variety of options between meal kits and heat-and-serve meals, young chefs to participate
There's nothing fussy here—organic, non-GMO ingredients come pre-chopped, pre-measured and ready to go from box to table in less than 30 minutes. Kid-sized portions (about half of an adult-sized portion) and pricing is available by indicating how many children are in the family. Bonus: free, gourmet and organic cookie dough is included in every box!
Best for: kid size portions and pricing, free cookie dough—need I say more?
Cost: Plans start at $7.32/serving
If you are looking to up your family's health quotient this year then Thistle is the meal delivery service for you. They offer fully-prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as juices, snacks, wellness shots and more. Every menu item is gluten and dairy free with vegan and non-vegan options. While the majority of the Thistle menu appeals to greens-loving adults, kids will love the 24 Carrot Gold muffin and the nourishing green juice.
Cost: Fully-customizable packages start at $42/week.
As a pre-prepared food delivery company, Methodology aims to nourish your body with foods that help it perform at it's tip-top level. This means that delectable meals like short ribs with truffle risotto and miso ginger soba bowl with shiitake chicken will be on the table in less than five minutes. With a menu designed by food lovers for food lovers, your taste buds will be thanking you.
Best for: super fast meals and no clean up!
Cost: meals start at $15.99 each for lunch/dinner and $11.99 for breakfast
Flexibility is the name of the game with Good Eggs as you can choose a single meal kit, 3-Dinner Kit, instant pot kits, add on a bunch of side salads for work lunches or just shop from their robust offering of pantry items to do meals your way. We love their family-friendly meal kits like the Pappardelle with Pork and Beef Ragu, that comes with fresh pasta and a delicious sauce that's already been simmered until tender. Simply heat and toss to get a comforting meal in minutes (add a side salad and take-and-bake garlic loaf for a complete meal).
Best for: variety of meal options
Cost: meal kits start at $6.66/serving
For a meal service of a different style, enlist the help of a professional chef in your own home! Pocket Chefs enables families to hire affordable and experienced culinary professionals to assist with everyday cooking needs. This service enlists vetted, culinary professionals who have served many years as private chefs, caterers or restaurant chefs. All of their chefs pass a background check and are certified through SafeServ for cleanliness standards. Pocket Chefs understands the needs of your family and aims to deliver delicious and affordable meals in the comfort of your home. You can simply create an account, pick your preferred package and schedule when you'd like your Pocket Chef to arrive and start cooking!
The chef will call you beforehand to go over your meal plan and grocery list, taking into consideration any food restrictions or allergies. You purchase the groceries according to a list provided by your chef and then the chef shows up at the agreed-upon time to cook the meals for you. You receive four meals with 3-4 servings each, great for prepping for the week. Bonus: your kitchen will be left in tip-top shape when the chef is done!
Best for: the ultimate meal service
Cost: Packages start at $179
Featured photo: iStock