The Paleo diet, also known as the Stone Age diet or hunter-gatherer diet, aims to emulate the foods that our ancient ancestors would have eaten. The diet restricts refined sugars, salt, processed vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners.
The diet allows lean meats, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, coconut oil and healthy cooking fats like ghee and lard. But it excludes dairy, legumes (including beans and lentils), grains and starchy vegetables.
Building the pyramids — hard. Getting all the nutrients you need on the food pyramid each and every day — we think even harder.
Joking aside, a struggle for most Americans is making sure to eat balanced and nutritious meals. Dare we say “healthy eating” can also mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.
From adapting a new diet like keto or paleo or just being aware of macros, calorie intake or just fruits and veggies can be the difference between feeling great after a meal or feeling sluggish.
Since we want you to be the former, we wanted to see if a meal kit could help families and individuals with their eating. We know meal kits take the grocery shopping and most of the prep work out of cooking, so perhaps there were some more nutritious options being offered by top brands like HelloFresh and Green Chef.
Sure enough, we found some meal delivery companies that fit the bill.
After reviewing almost every single option on the list below, we also factored in what types of diets the meal kits catered to, like vegan, vegetarian or low sugar. Then, taking a look at what constitutes healthy eating, made sure that each meal kit complied. Read on for a look at each kit, with a link to the dedicated review, plus an FAQ section and a comparison chart for when it comes time to choose which company to try first.
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1. Factor, starting at $11/meal
Factor in just how busy you are and the importance of healthy eating and you’ll come to the conclusion that Factor meals are the way to go. We wanted to start with prepared meal option, as not only does Factor take the stress out of planning nutritious meals, but it also takes portion control out of the equation, as well as prep and clean up.
They have options for different diets as well, such as keto, vegan and vegetarian, protein plus and calorie smart, as well as a chef’s choice option that includes a mix of delicious meals.
Read our review of Factor here
2. Green Chef, starting at $12/serving
For those that still like to cook but don’t love coming up with nutritious recipes, Green Chef is your answer. The traditional meal kit service sends all the pre-portioned ingredients to your door, based on the meal you choose from their rotating weekly menu.
They provide options for an assortment of different diets including keto, Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, protein packed and fast and fit meals that can be ready in under 25 minutes.
Read our review of Green Chef here.
3. HelloFresh, starting at $8.74/serving
HelloFresh is a household name at this point, but did you know they offered an array of meals tailored to specific nutritional needs and diets? The meal kit company is widely known and used by individuals, couples and families alike, as well as us, as we have reviewed the service numerous times and love it.
When creating an account, see options for Fit and Wholesome meals, which have about 650 calories or less per serving. You can also choose vegetarian, pescatarian or a meat and veggie option for balanced and nutritious meals.
Read our review of HelloFresh here.
4. EveryPlate, starting at $4.99/meal
If every plate served up was affordable and nutritious, the world would be a better place. Start that off in your own home with EveryPlate. Not only is this meal kit one of the most affordable ones we’ve seen (and reviewed) but each recipe is crafted with balance in mind, using fresh produce in most every meal.
EveryPlate also has some new features when choosing your plan, allowing you to select Nutrish and Delish meals as an option, with 650 calories or less in each serving. You can also choose veggie or meat and veggie for more balanced meals.
Read our review of EveryPlate here.
5. Purple Carrot, starting at $11/serving
Carrots are healthy, right? For those that already partake in a vegan lifestyle, Purple Carrot is a great way to shake things up and get new recipe ideas. And, for those that are not 100% plant-based but want a weekly way to get more fruits, veggies and animal-product-free alternatives, this is also just as much for you.
While being vegan is not inherently healthy, making sure you are getting enough protein, fresh vegetables and fruits and healthy fats is — which is why the recipes from Purple Carrot make this list. Each meal is plant based, so no need to choose a specific plan, aside from the typical frequency and amount of meals you need.
Read our review of Purple Carrot here
6. Hungryroot, starting at $65/delivery
We love options just as much as we value healthy eating. Hungryroot is a meal delivery and a grocery service that allows you to order specific groceries for a meal as well as other pantry and fridge staples all at once, filling your home with nutritious ingredients and ready-made snacks for on-the-go.
Since this is an a lá carte service, no need to choose a plan. Instead, when taking the quiz upon sign up, let the service know if you prefer to shop for vegan, vegetarian or any allergen-free foods. Then, add to cart what you need, shopping Hungryroot vetted brands as well as their own label.
Read our review of Hungryroot here.
7. Splendid Spoon, starting at $9.99/meal type (smoothies, bowls, noodles, dishes)
If you can spoon it or slurp it, we want it. Splendid Spoon specializes in plant-based and nutritious foods, all of which you can enjoy on the go. We love them for the ease of use, as their smoothies, juices, noodles, soups and bowls all come in easy-to-transport and re-heat containers — this makes healthy eating even easier!
All of Splendid Spoon’s offerings are plant-based, gluten free and non GMO, so no need to sign up for a specific plan for dietary needs. However, you can sort the menu by nutrition information, such as higher fiber, higher protein, lower sodium, lower sugar and lower fat to name a few.
Read our review of Splendid Spoon here.
8. Daily Harvest, starting at $5.99/serving
If you have freezer space and an appetite for fresh fruits, veggies and grains, this is for you. Daily Harvest is a great way to make sure you are getting in all the nutrients you need, despite not having time to grocery shop, cook and clean before your produce goes bad.
Each recipe at Daily Harvest is chef-crafted to be both nutritious and delicious. The majority of their ingredients are organic and all recipes are 100% plant-based. When browsing the menu to build your box you can also select dietary filters, such as Whole30, FODMAP foods, keto, paleo, low sodium, low sugar and more.
Read our review of Daily Harvest here.
9. Fresh n’ Lean, $85 minimum order/delivery, a lá carte options for meals
Fresh and lean? This sounds promising! This meal delivery service is a pre-made option, crafted by chefs with not only time-saving in mind, but nutrition, too. All Fresh n’ Lean meals are organically sourced and then cooked up by their team of expert chefs, before being sent to your door to be enjoyed right away or refrigerated for later. Speaking of later, they are also vacuum sealed, which makes taking them to work or school a breeze.
This service also caters to an amazing range of dietary preferences. Browse their meals, including options for protein plus, keto, paleo, vegan, Whole30, low carb vegan, Mediterranean and bulk meals with premium protein.
Meal Kits compared
|Name||Price||Shipping||Diet plan options|
|Factor||$11||$9.99||Keto, vegan and vegetarian, protein plus and calorie smart|
|Green Chef||$12||$9.99||Keto, Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, protein packed and fast and fit|
|HelloFresh||$8.74||$9.99||Fit and Wholesome (under 650 calories) vegetarian, pescatarian and meat and veggie|
|EveryPlate||$4.99||$9.99||Nutrish and Delish (650 calories or less) veggie or meat and veggie|
|Purple Carrot||$11||Free on first box, then $10||100% plant-based, vegan|
|Hungryroot||$65 min order||Free on orders over $70, $6.99 otherwise||Most all diets, vegan, vegetarian, most allergen-free|
|Splendid Spoon||$9.99||Free on orders over 10 meals||Plant-based, gluten-free, non GMO|
|Daily Harvest||$5.99||Free||100% plant-based, Whole30, FODMAP foods, keto, paleo, low sodium, low sugar|
|Fresh n’ Lean||$85 min order||Free with standard Friday delivery ($40 for Alaska and Hawaii)||Protein plus, keto, paleo, vegan, Whole30, low carb vegan, Mediterranean and bulk|
Healthy meal kit FAQ:
What is the difference between a meal kit and a meal delivery service? Well, this one is a bit tricky, as both are included in this roundup and there is some overlap. A meal kit is usually a subscription-based program that sends ingredients and recipes to your home. A meal delivery service may be the above, or be pre-cooked meals or grocery items in addition or instead of ingredients for a specific meal.
What does healthy eating really mean? This is also a tricky question, as everyone is different and needs a different amount of calories, fats and nutrients to maintain a healthy weight for their build. According to the World Health Organization, a healthy diet includes fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains, which all of the meal kits above contain. They also warn against a surplus of 10% of saturated fats and trans-fats to less than 1%, as well as a reduced amount of sugar and salt.
Can I only eat meal kits for a healthy lifestyle? A healthy lifestyle is a balanced one, and for that reason we would suggest also incorporating other foods into your diet. This depends on which of the meal kits you choose above, and if they offer options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as you should be eating and drinking three meals a day as well as some snacks as well.
Are these meal kits for dieting? The short answer is that when looking to diet, the first person to consult is your doctor. The meal kits listed above are not intended for weight loss or weight gain, and instead tools to help stock your home with nutritious meal choices. All diet concerns should be addressed with a medical professional.
What to look for when choosing a meal kit:
Diet: Pay attention to the dietary options each service caters to, from vegetarian and vegan to Keto and paleo.
Household Size: Count the number of people in your family and then account for how much they eat to best calculate how many servings you need to feed everyone. Some kits detailed above have larger portions, while others are single serve only.
Budget: Meal kits and services have a wide range of prices. Some offer free shipping while others have a minimum spend, and other specialty or health-related plans may cost more.
Time: Think about how long you want to be cooking for each night. Some meals require 30 or more minutes to cook, not including cleaning up. Others are microwavable and thus don’t require clean up time, either.
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