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The best meal delivery services for families offer a range of menu options and serving sizes. They also let people customize different meals based on dietary preferences, which is especially important when finding suitable meals for children.

A quick look at the best meal delivery for families:

In this article, we will outline what to look for in a family meal delivery service. We will then discuss different meal delivery options suitable for families with varying dietary requirements and budgets.

Medical News Today chooses meal delivery services that fit the following criteria:

  • Nutritional value: MNT chooses meal delivery services that meet the average person’s nutritional needs and promote healthy eating habits.
  • Ingredient quality: MNT chooses meal delivery services that use fresh, high quality ingredients. Some also use organic produce or sustainably sourced ingredients.
  • Variety: MNT chooses meal delivery services that feature a range of flavors and ingredients to suit different taste preferences and diets.
  • Price: MNT chooses meal delivery services with different price points to suit a range of budgets.
  • Availability: MNT chooses meal delivery services available throughout most of the United States.
  • Sustainability: MNT chooses meal delivery services that reduce their environmental impact by employing recyclable packaging, carbon neutral shipping, local ingredients, and other sustainable practices.
  • Reputable: MNT only chooses brands that adhere to industry best practices and have passed our medical vetting process.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for all ages: Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh offers a variety of meals according to a set of preferences that the user opts for, including a vegetarian meal plan, with a range of chef-designed recipes that vary in cooking times.

Other options include meats, pescatarian, quick and easy, and family-friendly. Hello Fresh changes its menu of over 100 options every week.

People can choose from 2–6 meals per week, with two or four servings per meal. These include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

The more a person orders, the lower each meal costs. This could suit families who need to place large orders.

Meal examples include:

  • Thai coconut curry chicken with cilantro lime cauliflower rice
  • Grilled onion cheeseburgers with special sauce and potato wedges
  • Sweet and smoky pulled pork lettuce wraps with pineapple pico de gallo and tortilla chips

Aside from vegetarians, Hello Fresh also caters to those who want a more balanced diet, such as a Mediterranean and people following a low-carbohydrate lifestyle.

However, the range for these specific diets is quite small, and the company produces meals in a facility that processes common allergens, such as eggs, milk, shellfish, and soy. The brand also doesn’t offer vegan options at this time.

Servings cost around $7.49–$11.99.

Read our review of Hello Fresh here.

Best organic: Sunbasket

Sunbasket offers sustainable fresh ingredients and is certified organic by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

One of the upsides of Sunbasket in comparison to alternatives is its vast choice for people on different diets. These include:

Recipes also offer some child-friendly preparation activities, such as juicing a lemon.

Sunbasket caters for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. The menu varies weekly, and people can often choose from different sides.

Meal examples include:

  • Burmese salmon salad with lemongrass, cabbage, and apple
  • Latin-spiced sole with warm carrot salad and pumpkin seed dukkah
  • Spaghetti and meatballs in basil marinara sauce

Even though Sunbasket offers gluten-free specialty meals, it prepares its food in a facility that handles wheat. As such, it warns people with severe gluten intolerance that it may not suit them.

People can choose 2–5 meals per week, with two or four servings per meal. The cost of each meal reduces as people increase their order size. This could benefit families who need to order several meals. People can choose between meal kits and ready-to-eat meals.

Prices vary depending on whether people choose ready meals or meal kits and the above options. Each serving costs from $4.27–$11.49.

Learn more about Sunbasket here.

Best for vegans: Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal delivery kit service.

It offers a range of vegan meals with gluten-free and high protein options.

Purple Carrot provides breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options. People can choose from 2 or 4 servings.

Meal examples include:

  • Greek seitan gyros with quick pickles and lemon yogurt
  • Italian butter bean stew with crispy sausage and parmesan kale
  • Thai peanut noodles with chile garlic eggplant and bok choy

Some gluten-free options are also available. However, the weekly menu choices offer a limited selection.

Individuals can opt for meal kits or ready-to-eat meals. In the case of meal kits, people can choose from 8–12 weekly servings.

Meal kits cost around $11–$13.25 per serving, while ready-to-eat meals cost $13 per serving.

Read our review of Purple Carrot here.

Best for teens: Factor 75

Factor 75 offers different meal plans comprising fresh ingredients and lean meats.

Meals are fully prepared and only require heating up in an oven or microwave, which may suit families looking to reduce meal preparation time.

People can choose from 4–18 meals per week while selecting their serving sizes for each meal. If a person struggles to decide what they want, Factor 75 can choose meals based on their preferences.

Dietary choices include low-calorie, keto, and vegan. Meal types include breakfast, juices, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Meal examples include:

  • Keto chorizo chili with shredded cheese and scallion sour cream
  • Peanut buddha bowl with cilantro quinoa, gochugaru-spiced peanuts, and sesame broccoli
  • Peppercorn-spiced filet mignon with browned butter potato mash, broccolini, and peppers

Meals cost between $11–$15 per serving.

Learn more about Factor 75 here.

Best gluten-free: Freshly

Families with gluten intolerance have several meal delivery options catering to a gluten-free diet, with some providers offering certified gluten-free meals.

Freshly’s complete menu is certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). GIG-certification ensures stricter gluten-free standards than the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The company also caters to low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, peanut-free, dairy-free, and vegan dietary preferences.

Plans include the choice of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Meal examples include:

  • Cauliflower shell beef bolognese
  • Veggie-loaded burrito bake
  • Shrimp & andouille paella

Freshly offers from 4–12 meals per week, which accounts for three meals a week for a family of four. All meals provide one adult serving.

Meals come fully prepared in a microwavable container, so they simply need heating up. Meals cost start from $9.58 per serving.

Learn more about Freshly here.

Best organic: Green Chef

Green Chef’s meal preferences include keto, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean, and gluten-free.

The Green Chef Keto and Paleo meal plan is certified gluten-free with the GIG. Meal plans can feed up to a family of six, while people can order 2–4 recipes each week.

Green Chef provides premeasured ingredients and step-by-step instructions with photos. Green Chef is also certified organic by the USDA.

At the moment, the company only offers lunch and dinner options.

Meal examples include:

  • Peruvian-style roasted chicken
  • Pecan-crusted sockeye salmon
  • Blackened sweet potato bowls with dirty rice, pecans, and paprika-Dijon aïoli

Meals cost from $11.99–$13.79 per serving.

Read our review of Green Chef here.

Best for young kids: Yumble

Yumble offers over 100 breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks for young kids. The company does not add preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial colors and says that its meals have no trans-fats.

People can choose between 4–12 meals per week. Some meals are gluten-free or vegetarian.

On the downside, many meals contain added sugar or are very high in carbohydrates and sodium and low in fiber. The amount of protein per meal is also on the lower end compared to other services.

Meal examples include:

  • Cheesy Fusilli Pasta with hidden veggies, organic tomatoes, and broccoli
  • Orange-ginger chicken with rice and organic green beans
  • Presto! pesto chicken sandwich meal

When ordering, people receive fully cooked and ready-to-heat meals, which they can do so in a microwave or oven.

Meals cost from $6.99–$9.99 per serving.

Learn more about Yumble here.

Best for picky eaters: Real Eats

Real Eats states that it uses clean, minimal ingredients, whole grains, and lean proteins. It also states that it doesn’t use artificial sweeteners.

Many Real Eats meals target young and picky eaters. However, some of its meals contain added sugar.

People can choose between 4–12 meals per week. Dietary preferences include low-calorie, high-protein, carb-conscious, vegetarian, and vegan. Some gluten-free options are also available.

Aside from lunch and dinner options, people can also choose breakfast, soups, chilis, drinks, and snacks.

Meal examples include:

  • Korean BBQ beef
  • Tofu cashew korma
  • Grilled BBQ shrimp

Meals cost from $13.49–$15.99 per serving.

Learn more about Real Eats here.

Best for older kids: Nurture Life

Nurture Life offers ready-to-heat meals for both picky eaters and older kids. Most meals range from around 200–300 calories. Options include breakfast, lunch, dinner, finger food, smoothies, and snacks.

Unfortunately, many meals contain added sugar. There are also no vegan full meals and very few gluten-free, vegetarian meals, or seafood options.

Meal examples include:

  • Pesto and cheesy ravioli with hidden spinach
  • Beef taco pockets with fiesta corn
  • Cheese pizza pockets with broccoli

When ordering, people can choose between 6–15 items every week.

Meals cost from $6.89–$7.99 per serving.

Learn more about Nurture Life here.

Here is a comparative overview of the above meal delivery services for families:

Meal typesVegan optionsGluten-free optionsDelivery frequencyPrice from
Hello Freshbreakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, and morenoyes2–6 meals per week$7.49
Sunbasketbreakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacksyesyes2-5 meals per week$4.27
Purple Carrotbreakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacksyesyes8-12 meals per week$11
Factor 75breakfast, juices, lunch, dinner, and snacksyesno4–18 meals per week$11
Freshlybreakfast, lunch, and dinneryesyes4–12 meals per week$9.58
Green Cheflunch and dinneryesyes6–24 meals per week$11.99
Yumblebreakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinksnoyes4–12 meals per week$6.99
Real Eatsbreakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, soups, chilis, and drinksyesyes4–12 meals per week$13.49
Nurture Lifebreakfast, lunch, dinner, finger food, smoothies, and snacksnoyes6–15 items every week$6.89

Family meal delivery services work in the same way as similar providers. They include a weekly selection of premade meals or premeasured ingredients for home delivery.

People choose their meals and request how many servings they need each week. There are options to avoid certain foods or tailor meals to suit dietary requirements.

Many meal delivery services have child-friendly meals, while some offer discounts if people order a certain number of meals per week.

Planning, shopping, and preparing healthful, home-cooked meals for busy families is difficult. With this in mind, some may eat out or order takeout for convenience.

These meal options can save time and potential stress. However, they may lead to people consuming meals that are high in calories but low in nutrition. The American Diabetes Association says restaurant meals are usually larger and contain higher amounts of fat, sugar, and salt than home-cooked foods.

Research focusing on the nutritional density of restaurant food also suggests that children’s meals can be unhealthful. A 2015 study found that most children’s meals in United States chain restaurants contained high levels of fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories.

Therefore, where possible, people should opt for home-prepared meals rather than eating out. Ideally, these home-cooked meals should contain plenty of vegetables and whole grains.

Research supports the benefits of eating healthy home-cooked meals as a family. A 2015 study found a link between frequent home cooking and a healthier diet.

Meal delivery kits and healthful ready-to-eat meals may help bridge the gap between convenience and the time people invest in cooking.

Another benefit of meal kits is that they encourage families to cook together while providing children with opportunity to learn more about food.

There are various pros and cons to using meal delivery services for families:

Pros

  • convenience
  • opportunities to learn new recipes
  • rotating menus
  • opportunities to try different diets, such as plant-based and paleo options
  • potential discounts when people order more meals
  • flexible subscription options
  • organic and sustainable food sources
  • typically nutrient-dense food

Cons

  • may be more expensive than home cooking
  • some services may have limited options for certain diets
  • unused ingredients may contribute to food waste
  • some companies may use excessive packaging
  • less flexibility for fussy eaters

Here are some of the top questions about meal delivery services:

Are meal delivery services for families economical?

It depends. People may find that planning food shopping, looking for discounted ingredients, and cooking at home reduce meal costs more than meal delivery services.

However, some people may find the convenience of meal delivery saves money on traveling to food shops and reduces time spent planning meals.

Many services offer meals of up to around 500 calories. This can make it quite expensive for people who eat 2,500 calories or more, as they will need five or more meals daily.

What are the best family meal services for picky eaters?

People should choose services that offer a wide variety of meals that are high in nutrients and make eating vegetables, meats, and fish enjoyable. Options like this include Sunbasket and Real Eats.

How much do meal deliveries for families cost?

Cost can vary on many factors, including the number of meals, family size, and dietary preferences. On the low end, one can expect to pay at least $100 per week for a family of four, considering two meals each for five days.

Busy families may find meal delivery services save time by reducing meal planning and preparation.

People who regularly eat out or order takeout may find these services offer healthier and more affordable alternatives. Many meal delivery options cater to specific dietary needs and a range of budgets.