Too busy to cook? We ask an expert if meal delivery services can serve up your nutritional needs

Prepared meal services are gaining popularity, especially for on-the-go professionals who value healthy eating but have limited time to prepare food. Meal delivery services provide convenience and consistency, but are they a healthy long-term solution?

“I recommend meal services to clients who work 40- to 60-hour weeks and train consistently, but don’t know where to start with nutrition,” says Jana Finkbiner, a registered holistic nutritionist in Vancouver.

“Prepped meals take away the guesswork. They teach you what a balanced meal looks like—this amount of protein, fat and carbs,” Finkbiner explains. That information may ultimately help you to plan homemade options, which is always the best route to healthy eating.

Meals are usually pre-portioned and include a nutritional breakdown, making planning your intake simple. However, meal services are more expensive than buying and preparing groceries. For the unenthusiastic cook who frequently throws away ingredients that have gone bad, it’s a helpful option, adds Finkbiner.

“I recommend a 50/50 approach,” Finkbiner tells Wellness Matters. “If you’re comfortable preparing breakfast and snacks, ordering prepared lunch and dinner can help you stay on track.”

Ultimately, assess what you want to get out of your meals and plan accordingly. Check with a registered dietitian to ensure you’re selecting a credible prepared meal service and choose an option that satisfies your taste buds and wallet; otherwise, you’re better off investing in a cooking class or two.