mbg Deputy Commerce Editor
mbg Deputy Commerce Editor
Braelyn Wood is the Deputy Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University, together with a certificates in advertising.
Image by Sean Locke / Stocksy
August 6, 2022
It’s no secret that vitamin performs an enormous function in your general well-being, however crafting scrumptious, well-rounded meals with all of the important macronutrients is usually simpler mentioned than completed—particularly if you’re in a time crunch.
A frozen meal supply service is a simple means to make sure you at all times have a handy, nutrient-packed choice readily available. Unlike 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.
Of course, not all frozen meals companies provide the identical caliber of substances and even dietary content material. Before 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 vitamin in each entrée.
The advantages of frozen meals.
The most evident advantage of frozen meals is comfort, however it additionally comes with some surprising perks. When saved within the freezer, meals usually has an extended shelf life that stops it from earlier than you may eat it. This contributes to a reduction of food waste, which is among the causes some meal supply companies go for this transport methodology.
Plus, freezing sure meals can really be useful when attempting to maximise the vitamins in your meals. “It can ‘lock in’ some of the nutrients found in fresh produce, such as antioxidants, whereas they might lose their potency if those foods hung out on the shelf or in the fridge for awhile,” in keeping with registered dietician Jess Cording Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN.
Just do not forget that the dietary worth of produce begins to decline after more than a year in your freezer. As a outcome, Cording recommends a “FIFO” or “first-in-first-out” system, which is practiced in hospital meals companies. She says this ensures you don’t overcrowd your freezer or unintentionally depart a meal at the back of your freezer for too lengthy.
How to choose a nutrient-packed frozen meal, per a registered dietician.
Cording gives just a few ideas for looking for wholesome frozen meals. The first step is scanning the vitamin label to make sure it doesn’t include extra quantities of sodium or sugar. A meals is taken into account “high-sodium” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if it comprises greater than 20 milligrams of your day by day whole, whereas the day by day worth for added sugars is about 50 grams. She additionally suggests preserving an eye fixed out for preservatives, resembling nitrates or sulfites.
The greatest means to make sure a frozen entrée works to your most popular consuming plan is to assessment the vitamin label. For Cording, this entails a vegetable ahead meal with no 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 further substances to satisfy your objectives, resembling 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 most effective frozen meal supply companies, which we’ve already vetted for no preservatives or extra sodium, in addition to high quality substances (i.e. natural or regionally sourced).
How we picked
The solely similarity between a model’s entrées ought to be their dietary worth and comfort—in any other case we wish as a lot selection as potential to maintain your tastebuds enthused.
The healthiest consuming plan for you is determined by dietary preferences and/or allergens. Our picks allow you to filter for a variety of diets or different restrictions.
An extended shelf-life makes frozen meals one among your greatest bets for getting in bulk and saving, however we additionally opted for picks in a variety of budgets to maintain supply accessible to all.
Individual entrées produce probably the most waste of any sort of meal supply service. We prioritized manufacturers dedicated to lowering their footprint with extra sustainable meals.
mbg’s picks for the most effective frozen meal supply service of 2022:
- Sourced from Hudson Valley
- Family-style & particular person meals
- Fewer low-carb choices
- Paper cups not recyclable relying on location
- Shipping payment on orders beneath $100
Dietary Considerations: Dairy-free, Plant-based, High-protein, Nut-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Max meals per week: 8 gadgets
Shipping payment:: $7.99
Cost: From $5 per serving
Every recipe launched from Mosaic’s kitchen has a secret: it comprises no 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 most effective cut price is the family-sized bake. The frozen creations can feed as much as 4 relations with every serving priced at lower than $5.
Committed to actual substances, the model doesn’t embody any synthetic substances or preservatives in any of its recipes. Every merchandise is vegetarian, however some are additionally vegan (i.e. they don’t contain any eggs or dairy). Luckily the menu makes it tremendous straightforward to establish which class the entrée falls into, together with showcasing the important thing substances 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 & Quality: Mosaic’s mission is targeted on making wholesome meals accessible and sustainable; a part of the choice to go frozen relatively than recent was to assist scale back meals waste. Naturally all packaging is curbside recyclable together with the field, lining papers, packing containers, and trays. The model additionally opts for dry ice relatively than ice packs to maintain items frozen; it usually creates much less waste and weighs lower than gel, making delivery extra environment friendly.
Extra factors? The model donates two kilos of meals to City Harvest for each Mosaic field bought.
- Multiple meal plan choices
- On-demand packing containers
- Filters for style preferece
- New meals are restricted
- Pricier for small portions
- Not all meals equally filling
Dietary Considerations: High-protein, Nut-free, Soy-free, High-fiber, Low-sodium, Low-calorie, Low-fat, Low-sugar, Low-carb
Max meals per week: 20 gadgets
Shipping payment:: Free
Cost: From $8.75 per serving
Full transparency: Every merchandise shipped in your Splendid Spoon field received’t be frozen. Smoothies, wellness photographs, and cold-pressed juices arrived chilled and able to ship. However 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 may simply filter for recipes containing much less sodium, energy, sugars, or fat, in addition to allergens resembling sesame, soy, tree nuts, or coconuts. Of course, there’s additionally the alternative; filters for recipes with extra protein and/or extra fiber.
The 5 obtainable plans modify choices primarily based on desired meal instances and could 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 substances that you just don’t take care of, resembling mushrooms, bananas, or spice. Another standout web site function is the important thing ingredient field, which highlights the dietary advantage of key substances within the recipe.
-Black bean and plantain grain bowl
-Kale pesto noodles
Sustainability & Quality: Every plant-based Splendid Spoon meal is GMO-free; smoothies and wellness photographs are 95% natural. Similar to different frozen choices, the most important draw back of the corporate’s product is the quantity of packaging produced by every order, however it’s 100% recyclable with the corporate actively working in direction of 100% sustainability in all facets of the enterprise, from rising to distribution.
- AIP-complaint meals
- Ships to all 50 states
- Smaller number of meals
- High delivery prices for West Coast
Dietary Considerations: High-protein, Low-carb, Keto, Coconut-free, Shellfish-free, AIP
Max meals per week: 16 meals
Shipping payment:: Varies
Cost: From $15 per serving
Along 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, resembling eggs, nuts, seeds, and goodies. As a outcome, the menu supplied by Paleo On The Go is pretty restricted and comparatively costly—however it squashes the difficulties of trying to find meals with out the forbidden substances.
Boxes can be found with 8, 12, or 16 frozen gadgets obtainable in shipments each 2, 4, or 8 weeks. Each field has its personal delivery payment, so we advocate maximizing your order dimension and together with add-ons, such because the bakery gadgets or bone broth. But 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 & Quality: Along 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 observe the identical requirements; they have to be recyclable or compostable.
- No dedication (order as you go)
- 100+ menu gadgets
- Snacks obtainable
- Meal plans haven’t got fastened costs
- May want so as to add protein to maximise macronutrients
Dietary Considerations: Dairy-free, High-protein, Vegan, Low-sugar, Keto
Max meals per week: 24 gadgets
Shipping payment:: Free
Cost: From $8.49 per serving
While all picks on this listing may very well be categorized as wholesome—it is a subjective term after all—Daily Harvest stands out for delivering recipes designed to maximise the biodiversity of your meals. This means that you can get a wider vary of vitamins from a handful of various sources, resembling smoothies, chia seed bowls, bakes, and flatbreads.
Meals are usually on the lighter facet, however that is not a nasty 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 variety of substances which are simply as numerous.
Select a small, medium, or small field relying in your wants. Prices range by the gadgets chosen, however the model will ship a textual content the day your order processes, which provides you ample time to alter your order if wanted (or to cancel altogether).
-Mint and cacao smoothie
-Mulberry and dragon fruit oat bowl
Sustainability & Quality: Daily Harvest prioritizes natural substances with a particular emphasis on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen listing. The firm additionally helps farmers and helps new contractors convert to regenerative meals programs. Nearly all packaging is recyclable, however just a few gadgets have to be taken to an area facility to make sure they’re repurposed.
Check out our full review of Daily Harvest.
- More reasonably priced
- Produced sourced from on-demand growers
- No subscription
- Recipes do not swap frequently
- Must order giant packing containers
- Fewer menu filters
Dietary Considerations: Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Beef-free, Chicken-free
Max meals per week: 20 meals
Shipping payment:: Varies
Cost: From $8.99 per serving
Mealpro takes the guesswork out of meal prep with wholesome, balanced recipes obtainable on a price range. The subscription-free companies delivers nationwide with scrumptious meals usually 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 personal meal plan, which entails deciding on your required protein, sides, and toppings. While 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 solely draw back? The restricted menu means meals may begin to really feel repetitive, particularly you probably have extra restricted dietary restrictions.
-Lean beef lasagna
-Alaskan code with yams & string beans
Sustainability & Quality: Mealpro is critical on the subject of sustainability, at all times utilizing BPA-free plastic and 100% recycled cardboard packing containers with insulation created from eco-friendly supplies. The carbon-neutral firm additionally donates portion of each sale to the starvation banquet.
All substances are GMO-free and sourced from completely different components of the world primarily based on season; January by way of May is Mexico; June by way of October is California; November by way of December is Florida. Regardless of supply, you may 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?
Yes! Tons of companies will supply frozen meals on to your door. They’re usually shipped with both a gel pack or dry ice to maintain them cool. Just keep in mind to verify that they arrive at a secure temperature of beneath 40 levels Fahrenheit, in any other case they’re going to have to be tossed out.
What are the cons of frozen meals?
Most frozen entrées want to enter the microwave, which may depart it with an unappealing texture as soon as cooked. Another draw back of this cooking methodology is that it may possibly doubtlessly depart chilly spots all through the meal. Luckily you may at all times observe the manufacturers reheating directions to make use of the oven or stovetop as an alternative, which can scale back counteract these damaging (however will doubtless take longer).
Is frozen meals wholesome?
The time period “healthy” is admittedly 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, however it actually comes down the businesses you are shopping for from the the substances 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 companies prioritize nutrient recipes with out the surplus sodium or preservatives seen in conventional frozen meals. Plus, they’re delivered to your door to save lots of you a visit to the grocery retailer. What extra may you need?