With our ever-increasingly busy days filled with places to be and things to get done, it has become harder and harder to incorporate a healthy lifestyle which includes healthy eating.
Over the past couple of years, meal kit subscriptions have been popping all over T.V. and social media as the answer to meal prep and healthy living. Global spending on meal kits has grown to a whopping $1 billion annually. With more than 10 million families buying subscriptions, and about 100 million more saying they’re interested, this may be the answer to everyone time and planning issues around cooking dinner. Right?
Well let’s take a look.
The best pros to using a meal service is saving time on shopping and providing you with ingredients your supermarket doesn’t carry, giving you a chance to try something new. The potential disadvantages to a lot of these meal kits can outweigh the positive of this experience, though.
For example, Hello Fresh listed on their website that subscriptions cost between $8.74-$9.99 per serving depending on your plan, plus shipping. Many plans charge about $70 a week for just a few meals.
I think meal kits are a great way to explore food and cooking, but for healthy eating it should be a resource or tool, not a be all end all solution to getting more healthy meals on the table.
Tips for getting the most out of your Meal Kits
If you decided to use a meal planning subscription, make sure you get the most out of it. Consider these tips, along with alternative ways to make healthy eating more convenient and delicious.
- Shop around. Look for plans that match your preferences and dietary needs, including any food allergies. If your schedule tends to change at the last minute, you may want to try on-demand options that will help you cut down on waste.
- Buy local. Many stores are starting to carry their own meal kits. The extra time you spend food shopping may be worth it because the prices are usually lower than subscription services.
- Cut down on salt. Many meal kits are very high in sodium, which can be an issue if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions. You can often lower your intake by using only half of the sauce packages and saving the rest for another dish.
- Smaller portions. Even if the recipes sound healthy, they may be high in calories and unhealthy fats. If you’re watching your weight, cut back on serving sizes and add more fresh vegetables.
Easy ways to making healthy eating more convenient
- Plan your menu. Home cooking is much quicker when you know what you’re going to have for dinner. Creating weekly menus will save you time at the supermarket and in the kitchen.
- Stock up. Would you be more likely to eat in if you knew you had all the ingredients you need for your favorite dishes? Keep your pantry and freezer filled with basics like beans, nuts, and pasta.
- Master quick recipes. Nutritious meals and snacks can be made in 15 minutes or less with just a few ingredients. Browse for recipes online, food apps are all the rage now with step by step videos to help you cook your meals.
- Cook in batches. One of my favorite ways to save time cooking. Use weekends or early mornings to prepare several meals at once. Cook chili or lasagna and freeze half for later.
Try This: Making Healthy Delicious
- Stay away from junk food. Ultra-processed food undermines your ability to appreciate natural flavors. Take a break from cookies and chips so you can appreciate the subtler taste of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Spice it up and add flavor. On the other hand, you don’t have to resign yourself to bland eating. Liven up your dishes with ingredients like vinegar, garlic, and healthy fats, including olive oil.
- Start a garden. This is a good one! Grow your own. Even without a backyard, you could start a container garden on your roof, deck, walkway, or in your basement. Research community plots or ask your neighbors if they’re interested in such a project.
- Dress up your plate. Elevate your dining experience by making your meals look attractive. Garnish your plate with flowers and set the table with cloth napkins and china.
Tip: You can make meal kits cheaper and healthier by buying them at local stores.
Once you discover recipes and ingredients you love, you may also want to switch to your own DIY strategies for making healthy eating convenient and delicious.
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