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Meal kits: Pros and cons

Delivered right to your door, meal kits offer convenience, healthy eating and less food waste. This year, Americans will spend $400 million on the new industry. 

Meal kits:

  • are a great way to experiment with new foods, flavors and cooking methods 
  • offer many convenient choices for busy families who want to prepare more meals at home or those who are trying to eat healthier
  • are a good way to try new flavors and foods 
  • can reduce food waste, as kits include just the amount you'll need for the meal 
  • offer a wide range of meal choices, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.

How well do meal kits stack up?

Today's Dietitian and Consumer Reports magazine compared cost, freshness, nutritional value and convenience of various meal kit brands. While meal kits offer many benefits, cost savings isn't one of them. Most kits cost about twice as much per serving as you'd spend if you bought your own ingredients; however, because you receive just the amount you need, there's less food waste.

Only you can determine if meal kits are a good fit for your family. If you're intrigued and want to try it, here are some tips:

Check out several companies to find the best fit. For example, if nutrition is important, look for a company that includes nutritional information with their recipes.

Have your kids help. Let your family help choose your meals and cook together. It's a great way to spend time with your kids while expanding their food palate and experimenting with new flavors and ingredients. 

Evaluate your total weekly food costs. The total cost of meal kits may strike a balance with less time spent grocery shopping, fewer fast food and takeout meals eaten and less overall food waste.

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