How Healthy Are Healthy Meals? (We Checked Different Meals)

Meal delivery kits have become increasingly popular over the years with HelloFresh being one of the big names in the industry.

Who wouldn’t be interested in healthy, quick meal kits delivered right to their front door? Still, many people wonder if HelloFresh is truly a good option for a healthy lifestyle. 

HelloFresh offers recipe options for people with specific dietary needs. Depending on your preferences, you can order low calorie or low-carb meals. Cooking the food yourself reduces the amount of processed ingredients you consume, making it a healthier option than restaurants or pre-made meals. 

What is HelloFresh and How Does it Work? 

HelloFresh is a meal-kit delivery service. Instead of grocery shopping for your ingredients, HelloFresh delivers everything you need to make a home-cooked meal right to your front door.

Inside the meal kit box, you’ll receive detailed recipe instructions and pre-portioned, pre-measured ingredients.  

When you sign up for HelloFresh, you select your preferences based on your specific dietary needs.

Currently, HelloFresh allows you to choose from the following preferences:

  • Meat and Veggies – These include typical meals with various meats, fish, and veggies.
  • Veggie – These are vegetarian meals without a meat-based protein.
  • Family Friendly – These are meals that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
  • Fit and Wholesome – These are low-calorie or health-conscious recipes. 
  • Quick and Easy – These are recipes that require minimal prep and cooking time, usually in 20 minutes or less. 
  • Pescatarian – These meals don’t contain meat like beef or chicken, but may contain seafood or plant-based proteins. 

Once you set your preferences, you can specify your meal kit options and create your own personal menu for each week’s kit.

Once you purchase a meal kit option, HelloFresh gives you access to their entire menu of over 25 different recipes that you can use to mix and match based on your tastes. 

After selecting your meal preferences, you choose how many people you’re feeding (two or four) and the number of meals you would like per week (two to five).

That’s a great feature for small families or couples that have a hard time cooking small batches of food at home. 

Then, you simply choose a delivery day and you’re ready to choose your first week’s meals.

HelloFresh meal kits are delivered weekly between 8:00 am and 8:00pm. They deliver anywhere in the continental United States. 

Are HelloFresh Meal Kits Healthy? 

HelloFresh meal kits can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Their ingredient choices include fresh, healthy proteins and seasonal produce.

Plus, cooking meals at home is almost always healthier than eating at a restaurant or picking up fast food on the way home from work.

Hello Fresh Kit

With the pre-measured and pre-portioned ingredients, you’re much less likely to cook (and eat) more than a normal portion size, which also translates to healthier eating.

And, if you’re watching your calories, there are many meal options that are under 650 calories.  

Overall, HelloFresh provides healthy meal kit options with recipes that include a good amount of vegetables that sometimes contain 75% or more of the daily recommended intake. 

The kits are very transparent with their nutritional information, as each meal kit is labeled with important information like calories, carbohydrates, protein, sugars, sodium, fats, and cholesterol. 

So, if you’re watching things like sodium intake or saturated fats, you can easily see how the nutritional information stacks up for your favorite recipes. 

Still, on average, HelloFresh meals contain about 60% of the recommended daily intake of sodium, so it’s important not to add too much extra salt and watch your sodium intake throughout the day when you’re using their meal kits. 

In fact, one university study found that HelloFresh meals contained twice as much sodium than some of their competitors.

That usually means that the food may taste better, but it may not be as healthy as a lower-sodium alternative. 

When it comes to sugar, HelloFresh meals do better than other options out there. On average, a HelloFresh meal kit contains about one-third of the recommended daily intake of sugar.

That means there’s still room in your diet for an extra treat sometime during the day without going overboard on sugar content. 

It’s important to note, however, that HelloFresh does not currently offer vegan-only meal plans.

There may be some vegan-friendly recipe options available, but it’s not a kit preference that you can select at this time. 

What Kinds of Recipes Do HelloFresh Kits Include?

HelloFresh meal kits include a variety of recipes to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of their most popular offerings to get a better idea of what you can expect with their recipe options.

Hello Fresh Ingredients

We’ll also include the calorie information as provided by HelloFresh so you can see how the recipes fit into a healthy diet. 

RecipeTotal Prep TimeCalories
One-Pan Santa Fe Chicken Tacos20 min. 790
Crispy Parmesan Chicken40 min.740
Melty Monterey Jack Burgers35 min. 1000
One Pot Beefy Black Bean Chili35 min. 810
One-Pan Santa Fe Pork Tacos20 min. 920
Brown Sugar Bourbon Chicken35 min. 600
Walnut Coated Chicken30 min. 700
Miso Maple-Glazed Salmon35 min.830
One-Pot Italian Noodle Soup35 min.820
BBQ Ranch Chicken Flatbreads25 min.980
Tropical Black Bean Patties45 min. 760
Ricotta Tomato Stuffed Ravioli20 min.630
Spicy Szechuan Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry25 min.770
Chicken & Pepper Cavatappi Milano35 min.1010
Sheet Pan Dijon Onion Crunch Chicken30 min. 730
Beef Wellington with Mushroom Sauce50 min.1270

As you can see, HelloFresh offers a wide variety of recipe options that feature all different proteins and cooking styles.

There are plenty of options hovering around the 700 – 800 calorie mark, making many of the recipes a great alternative to fast food or other restaurant options.

Another feature is that most of the recipes take 20 – 35 minutes to prepare. For many families, that can mean the difference between cooking a meal at home versus picking something up on the way home from work. 

Since the bulk of the prep work is done for you (portioning and measuring out ingredients), it’s an added time-saver for busy families.

The meal kits are designed to be user-friendly and non-intimidating to any home cook, and the recipe cards are clear, detailed, and easy to follow.

How Do HelloFresh Boxes Stay Cold When I’m Not Home?

HelloFresh meal kits are delivered in a large insulated box packed with ice packs. If your meal kit includes meat items, they’re typically packed underneath or between ice packs to ensure food safe conditions. 

The meal kits are packaged to withstand two full days of shipping along with 12 hours of potentially sitting outside your front door.

HelloFresh tests their packages frequently to ensure that they’re staying food safe for the full two days and then some. 

In fact, HelloFresh claims that your box can stay out of the fridge for up to 24 hours after delivery.

Even once the ice packs inside the box have melted, the vacuum packaging helps to maintain the ingredient temperatures and keep the items safe and fresh. 

Each recipe is packed in its own individual paper bag, labeled with the recipe’s name so you know which one to grab. Meat items are always packed and kept separate from fresh ingredients (like produce).

In addition, you get to pick your delivery day, so you can try to schedule it for when someone will be home at a reasonable time to receive the meal kit box. 

How Much Does HelloFresh Cost? 

The price for HelloFresh meal kits ultimately depends on how many people you’re feeding and how many meals per week you choose.

You make these selections at the beginning of the process, so the pricing is very clear from the start. 

The lowest price per serving is $7.99, and that requires a minimum purchase of four meals per week for four people.

The highest price per serving is $11.99, which is what you’ll pay for two meals per week for two people. 

The most popular option is the three recipes per week for two people option, which is priced at $9.99 per serving or $59.94 total. 

In addition to the cost of the meal kit itself, HelloFresh charges $9.99 for shipping. That helps to ensure that your meal is delivered safely to your door in a temperature-controlled box on your selected delivery day.

HelloFresh Pricing

Number of PeopleMeals Per WeekTotal Box PricePrice Per Serving

Who Should Use HelloFresh?

HelloFresh is a great option for busy couples or families who don’t have a lot of extra time for grocery shopping or preparing meals.

It can also be a really good program for people who don’t like to plan out their meals for the week. 

For anyone who is relatively new to cooking at home or an inexperienced home chef, a meal kit service like HelloFresh is a great way to learn the basics and put together some tasty meals without having to know a lot of recipes. 

Even if you’re an experienced cook or you’ve spent enough time in the kitchen to easily throw together a meal on your own, HelloFresh offers the added benefit of convenience.

For many busy people, grocery shopping is an inconvenient, time consuming addition to their weekly to-do list. Plus, how many times do you find yourself in the grocery store without a clue of what you actually need to buy?

HelloFresh solves those problems by delivering just the ingredients you need – and the quantities that you need – right to your front door. 

HelloFresh is a budget-friendly option if you buy in larger quantities, since you would have a hard time feeding a family for under $8 per serving anywhere else. That’s especially true for anyone trying to eat healthier. 

Buying fresh produce and high quality proteins can add up quickly when you’re at the grocery store checkout.

By purchasing meal kits, you eliminate waste and help save money while working toward a healthier, home-cooked lifestyle. 

The Bottom Line

For anyone looking to change their mealtime habits from fast food or eating out to preparing more meals at home, HelloFresh is an easy way to make that adjustment.

Cooking your own meals is definitely healthier than eating pre-made processed foods or having dinner from a restaurant. 

If you’re looking to eat healthier or lose weight, HelloFresh can help you with that because they have so many low-calorie options.

Any balanced meal is better for your health than something that’s heavy in saturated fats, salt, carbs, and all those other things that taste good but aren’t good for your body.

Even better, HelloFresh meal kits cost a fraction of what you’d pay to feed two or more people at a restaurant.

Plus, depending on what you’d normally buy at the grocery store, you might also save on your weekly grocery bill. 

The bottom line is that for anyone wanting to skip the hassle of grocery shopping or trying to figure out what’s for dinner, a meal kit is a great option.

It’s even better if you’re new to cooking or don’t have many recipes to choose from. 

HelloFresh is a healthy alternative to processed or restaurant foods which allows you to prepare fresh ingredients right in your kitchen.

It’s a must try for busy professionals or families who want to make the most of their mealtimes. 

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