mbg Deputy Commerce Editor
mbg Deputy Commerce Editor
Braelyn Wooden is the Deputy Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern College, together with a certificates in advertising and marketing.
Picture by Sean Locke / Stocksy
August 6, 2022
It’s no secret that diet performs an enormous position in your total well-being, however crafting scrumptious, well-rounded meals with all of the important macronutrients is usually simpler stated than carried out—particularly if you’re in a time crunch.
A frozen meal supply service is a straightforward manner to make sure you all the time have a handy, nutrient-packed choice available. In contrast to the frozen meals of your childhood, that are chock-full of extra sodium and preservatives, these modern-day choices incorporate fat, proteins, and carbohydrates right into a balanced providing that’s sure to go away you feeling recharged and satiated.
In fact, not all frozen meals providers provide the identical caliber of components and even dietary content material. Earlier than settling for a subpar choice that leaves your physique (and style buds) begging for one thing completely different, uncover our high picks under, which all prioritize high quality, sustainability, and diet in each entrée.
The advantages of frozen meals.
The obvious good thing about frozen meals is comfort, but it surely additionally comes with some surprising perks. When saved within the freezer, meals typically has an extended shelf life that stops it from earlier than you’ll be able to eat it. This contributes to a reduction of food waste, which is likely one of the causes some meal supply providers go for this transport methodology.
Plus, freezing sure meals can truly be useful when attempting to maximise the vitamins in your meals. “It will probably ‘lock in’ a number of the vitamins present in contemporary produce, akin to antioxidants, whereas they could lose their efficiency if these meals frolicked on the shelf or within the fridge for awhile,” in response to registered dietician Jess Cording Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN.
Simply do not forget that the dietary worth of produce begins to decline after more than a year in your freezer. Because of this, Cording recommends a “FIFO” or “first-in-first-out” system, which is practiced in hospital meals providers. She says this ensures you don’t overcrowd your freezer or by chance go away a meal at the back of your freezer for too lengthy.
The right way to choose a nutrient-packed frozen meal, per a registered dietician.
Cording gives a couple of ideas for looking for wholesome frozen meals. Step one is scanning the diet label to make sure it doesn’t comprise extra quantities of sodium or sugar. A meals is taken into account “high-sodium” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if it accommodates greater than 20 milligrams of your each day whole, whereas the each day worth for added sugars is about 50 grams. She additionally suggests holding a watch out for preservatives, akin to nitrates or sulfites.
One of the best ways to make sure a frozen entrée works on your most popular consuming plan is to evaluate the diet label. For Cording, this entails a vegetable ahead meal with not less than 15 to 30 grams of protein, in addition to fibers and wholesome fat. If a meal doesn’t meet your required breakdown, she suggests including some extra components to fulfill your targets, akin to greens for extra veggies, egg for added protein, or half an avocado for extra fats.
Don’t need to spend time scanning each meal? Skip to the perfect frozen meal supply providers, which we’ve already vetted for no preservatives or extra sodium, in addition to high quality components (i.e. natural or regionally sourced).
How we picked
The one similarity between a model’s entrées needs to be their dietary worth and comfort—in any other case we would like as a lot selection as attainable to maintain your tastebuds enthused.
The healthiest consuming plan for you will depend on dietary preferences and/or allergens. Our picks allow you to filter for a spread of diets or different restrictions.
An extended shelf-life makes frozen meals one in every of your greatest bets for purchasing in bulk and saving, however we additionally opted for picks in a spread of budgets to maintain supply accessible to all.
Particular person entrées produce essentially the most waste of any kind of meal supply service. We prioritized manufacturers dedicated to decreasing their footprint with extra sustainable meals.
mbg’s picks for the perfect frozen meal supply service of 2022:
- Sourced from Hudson Valley
- Household-style & particular person meals
- Fewer low-carb choices
- Paper cups not recyclable relying on location
- Delivery price on orders beneath $100
Dietary Concerns: Dairy-free, Plant-based, Excessive-protein, Nut-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Max meals per week: 8 gadgets
Delivery price:: $7.99
Value: From $5 per serving
Each recipe launched from Mosaic’s kitchen has a secret: it accommodates not less than 4 veggies to maximise the biodiversity in each chunk or sip. The plant-based model gives a wide range of meals and snacks together with veggie bowls, soups, and oat bowls—however the perfect discount is the family-sized bake. The frozen creations can feed as much as 4 members of the family with every serving priced at lower than $5.
Dedicated to actual components, the model doesn’t embody any synthetic components or preservatives in any of its recipes. Each merchandise is vegetarian, however some are additionally vegan (i.e. they don’t contain any eggs or dairy). Fortunately the menu makes it tremendous simple to establish which class the entrée falls into, together with showcasing the important thing components in a recipe. Plus, on-site icons point out whether or not a recipe is made with out nuts, sugar, or wheat.
-Italian ‘sausage’ & pumpkin lasagna
-Coconut chickpea curry
Sustainability & High quality: Mosaic’s mission is targeted on making wholesome meals accessible and sustainable; a part of the choice to go frozen moderately than contemporary was to assist cut back meals waste. Naturally all packaging is curbside recyclable together with the field, lining papers, containers, and trays. The model additionally opts for dry ice moderately than ice packs to maintain items frozen; it typically creates much less waste and weighs lower than gel, making delivery extra environment friendly.
Additional factors? The model donates two kilos of meals to Metropolis Harvest for each Mosaic field offered.
- A number of meal plan choices
- On-demand containers
- Filters for style preferece
- New meals are restricted
- Pricier for small portions
- Not all meals equally filling
Dietary Concerns: Excessive-protein, Nut-free, Soy-free, Excessive-fiber, Low-sodium, Low-calorie, Low-fat, Low-sugar, Low-carb
Max meals per week: 20 gadgets
Delivery price:: Free
Value: From $8.75 per serving
Full transparency: Each merchandise shipped in your Splendid Spoon field received’t be frozen. Smoothies, wellness photographs, and cold-pressed juices arrived chilled and able to ship. Nevertheless the remainder of the model’s plant-based lineup—together with the nutrient-rich grain and soup bowls—arrive able to retailer in your freezer.
When deciding on your field gadgets, you’ll be able to simply filter for recipes containing much less sodium, energy, sugars, or fat, in addition to allergens akin to sesame, soy, tree nuts, or coconuts. In fact, there’s additionally the alternative; filters for recipes with extra protein and/or extra fiber.
The 5 out there plans regulate choices primarily based on desired meal occasions and may be delivered weekly, bi-weekly, or month-to-month. You’ll get whole management over the gadgets in your field and might select to skip components that you just don’t look after, akin to mushrooms, bananas, or spice. One other standout website function is the important thing ingredient field, which highlights the dietary good thing about key components within the recipe.
-Black bean and plantain grain bowl
-Kale pesto noodles
Sustainability & High quality: Each plant-based Splendid Spoon meal is GMO-free; smoothies and wellness photographs are 95% natural. Much like different frozen choices, the most important draw back of the corporate’s product is the quantity of packaging produced by every order, but it surely’s 100% recyclable with the corporate actively working in direction of 100% sustainability in all points of the enterprise, from rising to distribution.
- AIP-complaint meals
- Ships to all 50 states
- Smaller number of meals
- Excessive delivery prices for West Coast
Dietary Concerns: Excessive-protein, Low-carb, Keto, Coconut-free, Shellfish-free, AIP
Max meals per week: 16 meals
Delivery price:: Varies
Value: From $15 per serving
Together with a full paleo menu, this firm prides itself on providing the one meal supply service that is additionally AIP-friendly i.e. a part of the autoimmune protocol. Even stricter than the paleo food plan, it removes any inflammatory meals, akin to eggs, nuts, seeds, and goodies. Because of this, the menu provided by Paleo On The Go is pretty restricted and comparatively costly—but it surely squashes the difficulties of looking for meals with out the forbidden components.
Packing containers can be found with 8, 12, or 16 frozen gadgets out there in shipments each 2, 4, or 8 weeks. Every field has its personal delivery price, so we advocate maximizing your order measurement and together with add-ons, such because the bakery gadgets or bone broth. However even in case you go small, you should not have a problem hitting the $99 order minimal, as many gadgets are near $20.
-Coq au Vin with herb mashed Japanese white candy potatoes
-Moo shu pork taco equipment with AIP-friendly tortillas
Sustainability & High quality: Together with adhering to the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 list for natural produce, Paleo On The Go follows strict requirements for protein, requiring they be raised humanely or wild-caught. Packaging supplies comply with the identical requirements; they should be recyclable or compostable.
- No dedication (order as you go)
- 100+ menu gadgets
- Snacks out there
- Meal plans do not have fastened costs
- Might have so as to add protein to maximise macronutrients
Dietary Concerns: Dairy-free, Excessive-protein, Vegan, Low-sugar, Keto
Max meals per week: 24 gadgets
Delivery price:: Free
Value: From $8.49 per serving
Whereas all picks on this checklist could possibly be categorized as wholesome—it is a subjective term after all—Every day Harvest stands out for delivering recipes designed to maximise the biodiversity of your meals. This lets you get a wider vary of vitamins from a handful of various sources, akin to smoothies, chia seed bowls, bakes, and flatbreads.
Meals are typically on the lighter aspect, however that is not a foul factor in case you’re keen on doctoring your recipes at dwelling with further protein-packed toppings, like hummus or shredded hen. All in all, you will get greater than 100 completely different gadgets to select from with a spread of components which might be simply as numerous.
Choose a small, medium, or small field relying in your wants. Costs range by the gadgets chosen, however the model will ship a textual content the day your order processes, which supplies you ample time to alter your order if wanted (or to cancel altogether).
-Mint and cacao smoothie
-Mulberry and dragon fruit oat bowl
Sustainability & High quality: Every day Harvest prioritizes natural components with a particular emphasis on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen checklist. The corporate additionally helps farmers and helps new contractors convert to regenerative meals methods. Practically all packaging is recyclable, however a couple of gadgets should be taken to an area facility to make sure they’re repurposed.
Take a look at our full review of Daily Harvest.
- Extra inexpensive
- Produced sourced from on-demand growers
- No subscription
- Recipes do not swap frequently
- Should order giant containers
- Fewer menu filters
Dietary Concerns: Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Beef-free, Hen-free
Max meals per week: 20 meals
Delivery price:: Varies
Value: From $8.99 per serving
Mealpro takes the guesswork out of meal prep with wholesome, balanced recipes out there on a finances. The subscription-free providers delivers nationwide with scrumptious meals typically priced beneath $10 per entrée.
The smallest plan begins at 18 entrées per field with an choice to buy the curated menus or to create your individual meal plan, which entails deciding on your required protein, sides, and toppings. Whereas customization is barely pricier, it ensures you are actually consuming the meals you need—and even gives real-time insights into the macronutrient breakdown of your creation. The one draw back? The restricted menu means meals may begin to really feel repetitive, particularly when you have extra restricted dietary restrictions.
-Lean beef lasagna
-Alaskan code with yams & string beans
Sustainability & High quality: Mealpro is severe on the subject of sustainability, all the time utilizing BPA-free plastic and 100% recycled cardboard containers with insulation comprised of eco-friendly supplies. The carbon-neutral firm additionally donates portion of each sale to the starvation banquet.
All components are GMO-free and sourced from completely different components of the world primarily based on season; January by way of Could is Mexico; June by way of October is California; November by way of December is Florida. No matter supply, you’ll be able to besides no refined sugars or synthetic preservatives, in addition to sustainably sourced seafood and humanely handled proteins (no hormones or antibiotics).
Can you purchase frozen meals on-line?
Sure! Tons of providers will supply frozen meals on to your door. They’re typically shipped with both a gel pack or dry ice to maintain them cool. Simply bear in mind to verify that they arrive at a secure temperature of beneath 40 levels Fahrenheit, in any other case they will should be tossed out.
What are the cons of frozen meals?
Most frozen entrées want to enter the microwave, which may go away it with an unappealing texture as soon as cooked. One other draw back of this cooking methodology is that it could possibly doubtlessly go away chilly spots all through the meal. Fortunately you’ll be able to all the time comply with the manufacturers reheating directions to make use of the oven or stovetop as a substitute, which can cut back counteract these damaging (however will probably take longer).
Is frozen meals wholesome?
The time period “wholesome” is absolutely subjective primarily based by yourself dietary wants and preferences. Most specialists would categorize a meal with balanced macronutrients, minimal salt and sugar, and no preservatives as wholesome. If that is the case, you will discover many frozen meals manufacturers able to ship, but it surely actually comes down the businesses you are shopping for from the the components that they embody of their meals.
Nothing beats the comfort of frozen meals if you’re attempting to get a wholesome meal on the desk quick. These frozen meal supply providers prioritize nutrient recipes with out the surplus sodium or preservatives seen in conventional frozen meals. Plus, they’re delivered to your door to avoid wasting you a visit to the grocery retailer. What extra may you need?