Are Meal Kits A Good Alternative To Cooking From Scratch?

Over the past year, health has been in the spotlight. While the focus has been on a virus that attacks the lungs, the comorbidities point to a broader problem. The stark reality is that COVID-19 is far more dangerous for anyone with obesity or diabetes. For this reason, people have become more aware of what they eat.

At the same time, we’ve all been stuck at home without the option of eating out much of the time. Food doesn’t travel well from good restaurants and fast food is strongly linked to poor health. People who do not know how to cook or don’t have time for meal planning have been searching for alternatives.

One alternative that has been touted is the meal kit. Let’s take a look at what meal kits are and whether they are a healthy option.

What are meal kits?

Meal kits subscriptions are services that send a box to your house with all the ingredients you need for one meal – cut and prepped. All you need to do is follow a simple recipe and pop it in the oven.

Meal kits have become popular over the past few years for people who don’t have the time or skills to cook meals. They take between fifteen minutes to half an hour of your time, none of which involves particularly hard work.

Are meal kits healthy?

The important question is just how healthy meal kits are. The good news is that they can make a huge difference to your nutritional balance.

Meal kit companies provide the choice between a number of different popular diets. You can select all your meals from one diet or switch between them. Whatever you choose, they are balanced according to the latest nutritional guidelines.

Meal kits are also a good alternative as you only get what you need for that meal. The proportion is perfect and you will finish the meal feeling satisfied but not bloated.

Let’s face it. Most people are totally unprepared for weekly meal planning. If it was easy, we would all do it. Having a service do it for you gives you a sustainable alternative.

Are meal kits cost effective?

While meal kits are healthy, delicious, and incredibly convenient, many people get stuck on one point: the price. Are meal kits cost effective? Compared to the cost of a normal home-cooked meal, the answer is definitively no. Most meal kit companies charge about $10 per portion per person.

You can make the case that since you are saving on produce that would go to waste, you are getting value for money. However, the reality is that you are not going to come out even. For many people, the health benefits and the time-saving is well worth the cost, but for some, meal kits are unaffordable.

There are more affordable options. Dinnerly, for example, costs only about $5 per portion per person. You can explore this review for more information on their service and whether they hold up against other meal kit companies.

Do you get family kits?

Another common question is whether meal kits are good for families. Since they are generally priced per adult portion, parents often assume they are geared specifically towards single people and couples.

But most meal kit companies do provide options for whole families. Children’s portions will generally be priced down, or you will receive ingredients for a big sharing dish.

Once you are cooking for a whole family, though, the difference in price between cooking from scratch and buying a meal kit is starker.

Is it worth it?

Are meal kits worth the money? I definitely think so. The term “time is money” is thrown around quite a lot these days, but it really is true. How much is an hour of your time worth to an employer? Chances are, it is worth far more than the extra few dollars you will spend on meal kits.

Furthermore, few people are choosing between meal kits and home-cooked meals. Rather, they are likely to buy fast food options much of the time when they simply cannot cook from scratch.

Meal kits are well worth it for the health benefits of eating nutritionally balanced meals multiple times a week. This is especially so in a time of increased health issues.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

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