Regardless of your skill level in the kitchen, healthy food delivery services can be a major game changer for anyone—especially if you have limited time to shop for groceries and cook at home during the week. The best meal delivery services make prep painless and use good-for-you ingredients to keep you feeling your best, whether you’re trying a new diet, fueling a fitness plan, or being a proud picky eater (or any combination of the three).
One quick search will pull up dozens of options, and with all of those brands competing for your attention, it’s tough to pick the exact right option. No more poring over page-long recipes to get delicious meals on the table; here’s everything you need to know before deciding on one, according to nutrition experts, plus a guide to the best options on the market right now—including plenty we’ve tested for ourselves.
Our top picks
Are food delivery services better than eating out?
“Unfortunately, not always,” says Karman Meyer, RDN, culinary nutrition coach and author of The Everything DASH Diet Meal Prep Cookbook. “It may seem like cooking a meal, mostly from scratch, at home would automatically be fewer calories, less total fat, and just all around better for you. But it really depends on what meals you select as part of your meal kit and what type of dish you choose when eating out.”
Tiffany Ma, RDN, says that to ensure you’re actually getting something healthy, it’s worth doing a bit of extra research: Look into each brand’s philosophy and mission statement and see just how serious they are about delivering nutritious—rather than just convenient—meals. Before you select your food, Meyer recommends taking a quick look at their nutrition facts to make sure they align with what you want to be eating.
Also, if you end up choosing a service that delivers ready-to-eat meals instead of kits or ingredients, both experts recommend looking closely at the amount of salt in each dish. “The higher sodium content in some of these premade meals may be a concern for those who have hypertension or are worried about their blood pressure,” Ma warns, even if they’re lower in calories or fat.