The connection between healthy eating and maintaining a healthy immunity is well-known and well-documented by ample research. And as the coronavirus pandemic has shown, you can’t slack off on the health of your immune system. However, this same pandemic has also shown that eating healthy is more than a challenge to your willpower. Sometimes, it’s simply challenging to get access to a healthy, versatile, and yet nutritionally-balanced spread of foods. Meal kits are a solution that can provide you exactly that.
What Are Meal Kits and How Do They Work Exactly?
Meal kits are a subscription box service. But unlike the majority of such services, which deliver cosmetics or some novelty items, meal kits deliver food. Using this service, you can get a guaranteed regular delivery of prepped and sometimes pre-cooked ingredients. You can easily turn them into a delicious meal. The cooking process usually takes under 30 minutes.
As the popularity of this service is growing so does the versatility of meal kits. Today you can find a variety of them that deliver traditional or exotic foods. There are also kits catering to various diets, like Paleo or vegan. You can get more detailed info from the meal kits FAQ. It will also provide you with information on how much the kits cost and how deliveries work.
The cost of meal kits is higher than the cost of groceries. However, it’s lower than the cost of takeout. In a way, meal kits are a middle-ground that’s quite affordable overall. The portions in the kits are usually quite big. Many users report that they even get leftovers from these meals.
Also, you need to remember that the cost of groceries does not include the cost of gas and your time spent on shopping for ingredients. In some areas, ingredients themselves are an important factor. For example, people living in rural communities often don’t have access to fresh exotic foods. However, meal kits provide these ingredients to everyone within the company’s delivery range. And those networks are growing constantly.
Meal Kits and Healthy Eating: How Are They Connected?
Healthy eating can be a challenge for anyone if only for the reason that it excludes having ice cream for dinner. To eat healthy means to have a stable balanced diet that provides you with all essential nutrients. Maintaining this kind of diet will require effort from anyone. To do this, you’ll need to learn what foods exactly provide you with nutrients and their amounts. Then, you’ll need to plan your meals to ensure you get the recommended daily value of every essential vitamin and mineral.
Meal kits are designed with those calculations in mind. Therefore, you can be sure that this meal will be a good contribution to your diet. Moreover, the kit should include a detailed nutrition breakdown along with cooking instructions that even a novice cook can follow.
Of course, you can learn how to make different healthy dishes like a pro using the Internet. However, a meal kit will contain not only instructions for making 5-star burgers but also the exact ingredients you’ll need to achieve the desired taste and nutritional value. You won’t have to worry about buying the wrong kind of ingredients in the store and therefore throwing off your nutritional calculations.
Also, remember that meal kits must contain fresh ingredients. Therefore, their nutritional value is higher than whatever groceries have been lying in the store for a week already. Foods lose their nutrients rapidly, even if they are refrigerated. So, a top-quality meal kit might provide you with access to ingredients of superior quality and nutritional value.
Fresh Vs. Frozen: Why Meal Kits Are a Good Choice for Good Eating
Today meal kits are getting more popular because of the pandemic. Social distancing and lockdowns make it hard to shop. Also, there is a matter of every grocery trip being a risk to your health. Therefore, for some people, meal kits are the only way to get meals with fresh ingredients.
Traditionally, it’s believed that such meals are healthier than the ones made with frozen foods. But that is not entirely true.
The truth is that fresh, frozen, and even canned vegetables and fruits can be good for you. However, each of these types comes with some reservations.
Fresh foods are truly nutritious only while they are fresh. But they lose nutrients fast while waiting on store shelves or getting delivered to retailers.
Frozen foods retain quite a large number of nutrients if they are freeze-dried rapidly. But they lose some nutrients pre-freezing because they need to undergo a quick treatment with extreme heat.
Canned fruits and veggies, and other foods, go through longer heat processing. Therefore, more of their nutritional value is lost. Also, they often contain added sugars, salt, and chemicals that aren’t good for you.
All things considered, you shouldn’t skip an opportunity to stock up on frozen fruits and veggies. Especially when you know how to freeze them right. However, the value of fresh foods is still high. Therefore, you should keep your diet versatile.
Meal kits will deliver fresh and pre-cooked produce to your door even when grocery stores are closed. Frozen and canned ingredients can tide you over between these meals.
Bottom Line: Are Meal Kits Worth It?
Only you can decide whether meal kits are worth it to your family. Objectively speaking, they do offer an affordable and very convenient way to get healthy foods delivered to your home. Cooking the meal is very easy, so it’s as good as you can get without ordering takeout.
Note that meal kits offer more flexibility compared to takeout as you are the one to complete the cooking. Therefore, you can add some personal tweaks to the recipe. You also can be sure that the meal you serve your family from this kit is healthy and nutritionally balanced.
However, meal kits aren’t exactly cheap. Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, you’ll need to calculate your grocery costs carefully to see if a meal kit can fit.
Finally, think about how much time you have and what part of it you want to spend cooking. Making a meal from a scratch (grocery shopping included) takes a while. However, a meal kit delivers prepped ingredients. So the entirety of your dinner-making process takes about 30 minutes. If you think your time is worth a bit of extra cost on the groceries, meal kits might be right for you.