Dining Strategies For Those On Restricted Diets: A Review of Tummy-friendly Meal Delivery Services

Posted on April 8, 2016

Dining Strategies For Those On Restricted Diets: a review of tummy-friendly meal delivery services_draft

Let’s face it: eating healthy can often take a lot of work. You have to plan meals, keep fresh food on hand and spend some time in the kitchen. Sometimes it is just plain easier to grab a sandwich on the go.

Fortunately, some savvy entrepreneurs have solved this dilemma and created affordable food delivery services that will keep make eating healthy meals and discovering new recipes easier than ever. Here are some of the healthiest options:

Blue Apron

Delivery area: Nationwide (contiguous United States)

Cost: $59.94 per week/couple; $69.92 or $139.84/family of four

Once a week, you will receive a delivery that contains all the ingredients you will need to cook dinners for either a couple or a family of four. Recipe cards are included. Delivery is free. The ‘couple’ option includes three great dinners. Families of four can choose either a 2 or 4  meal plan. You can specify preferences for beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish or shellfish. We initiated a trial signup on March 30th and were advised that the first possible delivery date in the NYC metropolitan area would be April 12th. Specific delivery times are not available, but food is shipped in a “refrigerated box.” You can skip a delivery. Click here for a limited-time offer.

Plated 

Delivery area:  (At press time): We deliver to 95% of the US, though we’re not currently shipping outside the continental states (sorry Hawaii and Alaska!). There are also a few cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland, that we don’t ship to yet.

Cost: $12 per plate, but the site also offers 2,3, or 4 dinner/week options for 2. Price points are $48 for 2 dinners/wk (plus $6 shipping); $72 for 3 dinners/wk (free shipping); $96 for 4 dinners/wk (free shipping)

This service is geared towards foodies who want to cook and eat like their favorite television chefs. You can skip a delivery.

Online chat is available (Mon-Fri 9am to 10pm EST and Sat-Sun 9am to 5pm EST) if you’d like to ask questions.

We were told that the service doesn’t offer “individual menus tailored to dietary restrictions or allergies” but does “try to offer recipes each week that will work for vegetarian, gluten free, etc. ” A detailed list of the ingredients you’ll be receiving” is available so you’ll be able to see if there are ingredients you can omit or substitute to fit your needs.

Hello Fresh 

Delivery area: Nationwide (contiguous United States)

Cost: The Classic (for omnivores) costs from $69 per week (2 people, 3 meals) to $109 per week (4 people, 3 meals) 

The Veggie costs from $59 per week (2 people, 3 meals) to $89 per week (4 people, 3 meals) 

The Family Box costs from $79.95 per week (4 people, 2 meals) to $109 per week (4 people, 3 meals) 

Family Box meals are designed “with families in mind. We hold back on the spice and choose nutritious ingredients that kids and adults love to eat.”

All of the recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Hello Fresh is known for providing a wide array of healthy options.

FreshDirect 

Delivery area (At press time): Select counties in the following states (Year-round):

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware

Summer only: Jersey Shore and Hamptons

Cost: Minimum order: $30 ($99 in Hamptons) Delivery fee: ($5.99 to $15.99)

In addition to offering a fairly wide range of groceries and household items, the service offers low-calorie (500 maximum) and vegetarian meals.

FreshRealm

Delivery area (At press time): “California, Wyoming, Arizona, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oregon and Nevada.” Website advises more locations will soon be added.

Cost: No weekly minimum, individual dinners range from $9.50-$16.00

All of the ingredients are chopped “by your personal sous chef” making preparation as simple as many traditional convenience meals. Meals are delivered in a reusable, wireless mini-fridge.

Select meals based on a range of cooking times and protein sources. Entrees are vegetarian, poultry, beef, pork or seafood.

No subscription is required, so you’re not tied to a delivery plan.

Reviews

Each service posts onsite testimonials. For additional information, please visit the following links to read reviews from independent sources.

Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh, etc. reviews

Fresh Realm review

Discounts and trial offers 

Blue Apron discount http://www.retailmenot.com/view/blueapron.com

Plated free dinner for two with onsite sign-up http://plated.me/1TewhAm

HelloFresh discount http://bit.ly/1ZGsIDH

Fresh Realm discount https://freshrealm.co/ expires soon!

Fresh Direct onsite 1 cent delivery offer, good for 2 months http://fdirect.co/1qkCkYJ

It’s becoming easier to maintain a healthy diet regardless of where you live or how much time you have to devote to menu planning and preparation. You can scale these plans to provide a weekend or week night respite, or opt to for seven days of catered meals. Take advantage of the introductory offers and other discounts to see which plan suits your tastes. Once you find the right service, compare its cost with the week’s grocery receipts and any delivery, take-out or restaurant charges. Remember to include those lunches at work or school! Also, be honest with yourself about how much you may be wasting in tossed leftovers or uneaten produce. You may be surprised to see how affordable that delivery service really is!

When trying new foods or seasonings, you may sometimes experience uncomfortable gas and/or bloating. Take CharcoCaps® dietary supplement, it relieves Gas and Bloating FAST!*  Enjoy your favorite foods without worry!

*These statements have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.