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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 meals based on dietary preferences, which is especially important when finding suitable meals for children.
- Best for all ages: Hello Fresh | Skip to review
- Best for dietary requirements: Sunbasket | Skip to review
- Best for vegans: Purple Carrot | Skip to review
- Best for microwave meals: Factor | Skip to review
- Best organic: Green Chef | Skip to review
- Best for older kids: Nurture Life | Skip to review
- Best for minimal preparation: Dinnerly | Skip to review
- Best for quick meals: Gobble | Skip to review
- Best for palate exposure: Little Spoon | Skip to review
- Best grocery service: HungryRoot | Skip to review
- Best for amateur cooks: EveryPlate | Skip to review
- Best for babies: Yumi | Skip to review
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
- Price: $8.99–12.49 per serving
- Meals per week: 2–6
- Dietary requirements: vegetarian, pescatarian, and low carb
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
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.
- wide variety of recipes
- healthy options available
- easy to prepare meals
- no vegan options
- fewer options for those with allergies
- $8.99 shipping fee
Best for dietary requirements: Sunbasket
- Price: $9.99–11.49 per serving
- Meals per week: 2–5
- Dietary requirements: paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, keto-friendly, low-carb, diabetes-friendly, and pescatarian
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.
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.
- suitable for a range of dietary requirements
- easy to follow recipes
- ready-to-eat meals available
- not suitable for people with celiac disease
- they do not deliver to all US states
Best for vegans: Purple Carrot
- Price: around $11–$13.25 per serving for meal kits, $13 per serving for ready-to-eat
- Meals per week: 3–4 for meal kits, 6–10 for prepared meals
- Dietary requirements: vegan and gluten-free
Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal delivery kit service.
It offers a range of vegan meals, including high protein and gluten-free 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
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.
- focus on seasonal produce
- ideal for those who follow a plant-based diet
- limited gluten-free options
- recipe customization is not available
Best for microwave meals: Factor
- Price: $10.99–13.49 per serving
- Meals per week: 4–18
- Dietary requirements: keto, vegan, vegetarian, and low-calorie
Factor 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 can choose meals based on their preferences.
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
- very little preparation required
- options for some dietary requirements
- may not be suitable for people who enjoy cooking
- does not ship to all US states
Best organic: Green Chef
- Price: $11.99-13.49 per serving
- Meal per week: 6–24
- Dietary requirements: keto, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, 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, with between 6 and 24 servings per week, depending on the plan.
Green Chef provides premeasured ingredients and step-by-step instructions with photos.
At the moment, the company only offers lunch and dinner options for meal kits. However, it offers breakfast items as add-ons.
Meal examples include:
- Peruvian-style roasted chicken
- Pecan-crusted sockeye salmon
- Blackened sweet potato bowls with dirty rice, pecans, and paprika-Dijon aïoli
- suitable for larger families
- gluten-free meals available on certain plans
- breakfast items are only available as add-ons
- does not offer meals that are specifically family-friendly
Best for older kids: Nurture Life
- Price: $6.49-7.49 per serving
- Meals per week: 6–15
- Dietary requirements: pescatarian, gluten-free, and vegetarian
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.
Meal examples include:
- Pesto and cheesy ravioli with hidden spinach
- Beef taco pockets with fiesta corn
- Cheese pizza pockets with broccoli
- focuses on child-friendly meals
- free shipping for orders of $59 or over
- no full vegan meals
- few gluten-free, vegetarian, and seafood options
Best for minimal preparation: Dinnerly
- Price: $4.99–7.04 per serving
- Meals per week: 3–6
- Dietary requirements: dairy-free, no added gluten, low-calorie, low-carb, and vegetarian
Dinnerly markets itself as an affordable meal kit option, providing 3-6 meals a week for 2-4 people.
Each meal has no more than five steps, making it attractive to busy families or those wanting to build up their confidence in the kitchen. There’s a variety of meals that meet dietary preferences, as well as one pot and picky-eater options. Ready meals are also available.
There is a catalog of over 100 recipes to try each week, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts. Kid-friendly recipes are labeled as such on their website. Dishes include:
- Pork katsu meatloaf
- Loaded veggie pot pie
- Crispy pork schnitzel with cucumber salad
- Flourless chocolate cake
- offers a wide variety of dishes
- has simpler recipes
- offers options specifically for pickier eaters
- does not offer enough meals for a larger family
- people can not filter recipes based on dietary requirements
Best for quick meals: Gobble
- Price: $11.99-16.99 per serving
- Meals per week: 2–5
- Dietary requirements: wheat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian, and low calorie
Gobble’s meal kits take 15 minutes to cook, making this service suitable for people who are on a tighter schedule.
This service may also appeal to those who prefer not to prepare ingredients, as the company pre-prepares them beforehand.
People can choose from breakfasts, lunches, dinners, sides, and desserts for a range of dietary requirements, including vegetarian. Some menu options include:
- Thai-style pork burger with crispy yuca fries
- Spinach and arugula salad with apricots & goat cheese
- Ribeye steak Diane with mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and asparagus
- Hazelnut gianduja cake
- time-saving recipes
- variety of dishes available
- shipping costs $8.99
- fewer options for picky eaters
Best for palate exposure: Little Spoon
- Price: $4.99-6.49 per serving
- Meals per week: 4–6
- Dietary requirements: nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sesame-free, and vegetarian
Little Spoon provides pre-prepared organic and non-GMO food for babies, toddlers, and young children.
The company offers meals for different age groups. People can choose from breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
Little Spoon states it has over 100 ingredients in its recipes for palate exposure that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. Some meals include:
- Chicken supper nuggets
- Mini kale turkey meatballs
- Three cheese egg bites
- Farro pizza bites
- different meal types based on age
- no artificial ingredients
- a range of ingredients to expose children to different flavors and textures
- just for babies and young children, so it is not suitable for the whole family
- can be more expensive than store-bought baby food
- offers limited vegan options
Best grocery service: HungryRoot
- Price: $65–129 per delivery
- Meals per week: 6–16
- Dietary requirements: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and egg-free
HungryRoot describes itself as a grocery shop and meal kit delivery service. People must take a quiz covering their preferences, allergies, and dietary needs.
After filling in the quiz, people can choose from a small, medium, or large delivery. Each delivery includes recipes, fresh produce, proteins, and snacks.
Example recipes include:
- Spinach artichoke and mushroom tortelloni
- Summertime shrimp tacos
- Red-sauce ravioli with Italian chicken sausage
- 100% plant-based pizza
- suitable for a wide range of dietary requirements
- easy to prepare recipes
- might be more expensive than grocery shopping and sourcing free recipes
- online reviews on the taste of the meals are mixed
Best for amateur cooks: EveryPlate
- Price: $4.99–7.49 per serving
- Meals per week: 3–6
- Dietary requirements: meat and vegetable, family favorites, vegetarian, quick and easy, and nutritious and delicious
Every Plate states it offers affordable meal kits that are quick and easy to prepare. Each meal is ready in around 30 minutes, and the company claims that the recipes only require basic cooking equipment.
As this service does not require specialized equipment, it may appeal to more amateur cooks.
Customers can choose from 26 recipes per week, which can feed 2 or 4 people. Meals include:
- Cajun chicken sandwiches with roasted potato wedges
- Creamy corn and bacon chowder
- Sweet soy and pepper stir-fry
- Kung pao beef bowls
There is also the option to include customizable add-ons and desserts to meal kits.
- reportedly quick and easy to prepare
- weekly rotating menu
- vegetarian dishes available
- no options for dietary requirements such as gluten-free or vegan
- no breakfast options
Best for babies: Yumi
- Price: $3.49-4 per serving
- Meals per week: 8–16
- Dietary requirements: vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and kosher
Yumi offers meals specifically for babies and infants.
The company provides different options for ages 6–11 months and over. These include baby food blends, finger foods, and small snacks.
People can order weekly or monthly, from boxes containing 8–16 servings.
All ingredients are 100% organic, and all meals are plant-based. Products do not include shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs, fish, sesame, or soybeans. Options include:
- Peach puree
- Pea carrot combo
- Banana bread bites
- Sweet potato latke
- free shipping
- caters for a range of dietary requirements
- not suitable for the entire family
- may be more expensive than comparable baby food in grocery stores
Here is a comparative overview of the above meal delivery services for families:
|Meal types||Vegan options||Gluten-free options||Delivery frequency||Price from|
|Hello Fresh||breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, and more||no||yes||2–6 meals per week||$7.49|
|Sunbasket||breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks||yes||yes||2-5 meals per week||$4.27|
|Purple Carrot||breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks||yes||yes||8-12 meals per week||$11|
|Factor||breakfast, juices, lunch, dinner, and snacks||yes||no||4–18 meals per week||$11|
|Green Chef||lunch and dinner||yes||yes||6–24 meals per week||$11.99|
|Nurture Life||breakfast, lunch, dinner, finger food, smoothies, and snacks||no||yes||6–15 items every week||$6.89|
|Dinnerly||breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts||no||yes||3–6 per week||$4.99|
|Gobble||breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, and desserts||ingredients containing dairy can be removed||ingredients containing wheat can be removed||2–5 per week||$11.99|
|Little Spoon||breakfast, lunch, dinner, smoothies, finger food, and baby food.||dairy-free is available||yes||4–6 per week||$4.99|
|HungryRoot||breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks||yes||yes||6–16 per week||$10|
|Every Plate||lunch and dinner||no||no||3–6 per week||$4.99-7.49|
|Yumi||breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks||yes||yes||8–16 per week||$3.49|
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.
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 unhealthy. A
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
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 the opportunity to learn more about food.
There are various pros and cons to using meal delivery services for families:
- 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
- maybe 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.
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.
How many people does each meal kit feed?
How many people each meal kit feeds depends on the plans a service offers. However, these kits are typically suitable for families of 2–4 people.
Larger families may need to supplement the meal kits with grocery shopping or choose a company that offers more servings per week.
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.