As Brian and I prepare for our first baby to arrive sometime soon, we tried several meal kit services to see if any of them may be useful during the immediate postpartum time period where we are trying to figure life out with a baby. I realize all babies are different and some moms have plenty of time to make a meal, but other moms that I’ve spoken with feel like they could barely leave the chair or couch because they are nursing very frequently during those first few weeks.
That being said, Brian and I are making a plan that will allow him to do much of the meal prepping and cooking with the assumption that I will be busy with baby things. Because Brian will also be adjusting to this new life and doesn’t love cooking the way I do, I thought looking at meal kit options may help reduce some of the stress associated with preparing a meal.
Here are the meal kits we tried!
My favorite meal kit!
This meal kit was created by my friend who is also a fellow dietitian, Michelle Dudash. She is a trained chef and cookbook author and creates mouth-watering recipes, so she took those skills and developed spice packets that require minimal ingredients to create the meal and the meals come together in about 30 minutes or less.
The recipes are easy to follow, I love that we can use items we have on hand at home (helps reduce food waste), and the spice packets won’t “go bad” if our plans change the week when I plan on preparing a meal with one of them.
Price: $3.99-$4.99 for one packet, or you can subscribe to save some money, or purchase a variety pack for a discount.
We plan on purchasing some of these to have on hand for after baby is born.
I’ve seen Daily Harvest meals at FNCE and all over social media for quite some time, so I added them to the list of meal kits I should try.
Basically, you select the meals you want and they all come frozen. The options included things like smoothies, chia pudding, grain bowls, and soups. For the smoothies, you just add almond milk and blend, for the chia pudding you just add almond milk and allow it to set in the refrigerator, and for the bowls and soups you microwave the meal.
These meals were fine, but they were super expensive, involved no cooking and were essentially fancy microwavable meals. We don’t plan on ordering any more of these.
Price: (based on pricing and discounts I received in Jan 2020) For 9 items weekly I paid $44.75 for a taster box, then $69.75 for future boxes
I was introduced to Epicured at FNCE and love that they specialize in low FODMAP meals. That being said, this was one of my least favorite options. The meals are delivered to your door, then essentially you just store them in the fridge and microwave your meals.
While this would save a ton of time, I just didn’t LOVE eating a microwave meal that was served in a plastic container. Also, the flavors just weren’t as vibrant as I thought they could be. As a low FODMAP recipe developer, I thought their recipes could have used a bit more seasoning.
Price: The cost for 2 entrees was about $30, and there is a delivery fee on top of that.
If someone is working to complete the low FODMAP elimination diet, and needs help navigating the restrictions during the elimination phase I think Epicured could be a really great tool, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for at this time.
With all of these meal kits, I didn’t love the amount of packaging involved. With Hello Fresh, I appreciated that many of the items used in their packaging were recyclable (including the ice pack!).
This meal kit was a step up from Dash Dinners in terms of what they provide. Not only do they provide the recipe cards and spices, but they also include nearly every single ingredient needed for the recipe (aside from some staples like salt and pepper). Brian actually made a meal from one of the kits we received (and I wasn’t even in the kitchen!) and said he was able to follow the instructions. The meal was very tasty, and I thought he did a great job.
Some of the cons: excess packaging, receiving ingredients I may have already had on hand, receiving fresh ingredients so if our plans changed the food may go bad. I also felt like the portions for some of the recipes were rather large.
Some of the pros: you actually had to cook the food, the recipe cards were easy to follow, we can keep the recipe cards to use in the future (we just shop for our own ingredients).
Price: there are SO many discounts out there (I get offers in the mail and on social media all the time), if you’re interested in trying Hello Fresh, absolutely hunt for a discount code.
After reviewing all of these kits, we plan on purchasing a few Dash Dinners but as far as meal kits that’s it! I am working on a list of simple breakfasts, lunches, and dinner for Brian to put together and then I plan on batch cooking (I’ve already done a few recipes) then freezing a few items so we can simply reheat and serve with a side salad.
I’ll make sure to keep you posted on how all of this actually pans out 🙂