Image Credit: Supplied


Gone are the days when you had to spend hours preparing that healthy meal. Weekly meal planning is the ultimate answer, being less costly, hassle-free and an all-out time saver

Regardless of your skill levels in the kitchen, healthy food delivery services can be a major relief for anyone — especially if you have limited time to shop for groceries and cook at home during the week. The best meal delivery services make prep smooth and use good-for-you ingredients to keep you feeling your best, whether you’re trying a new diet, fueling a fitness plan, or being a fastidious eater (or a combination of the three).

So, is the convenience worth it? That depends on how you feel about finding recipes and going to the store to buy groceries. When you subscribe to a meal delivery service, you don’t have to worry about either of those things. Also, some companies take it a step further by prepping meals with consideration to dietary preferences such as gluten-free, low-carb, keto, sugar-free, lactose-free or vegan. In these cases, you have even less work to do, bumping up the convenience premium.

Andreas Lindgreen Borgmann, Co-Founder and CEO, Kcal

“Depending on your nutritional needs, we build a meal plan that matches our customers’ requirements,” says Andreas Lindgreen Borgmann, Co-Founder and CEO, Kcal. “In addition to spending hours each day sourcing fresh ingredients, our kitchen chefs and nutritionists spend a lot of time on feedback and research to ensure the consistent quality of our meals. We also follow the international standards of ISO and HACCP, and we are a certified Grade A kitchen from Dubai Municipality, to ensure the best standards of hygiene.”

While the pandemic allowed for most people to reflect on their work-life balance (or lack thereof), most of us find ourselves getting back to old habits, forced by the fast-paced environment in which we live. This is where Nyum, a ready-meals company, aims to alleviate the added stress of planning and preparing home-cooked meals.

“We provide our customers with restaurant-quality meals without compromise and understand the importance of eating honest, clean, wholesome food,” says Tarryn-Leigh Green, Chef and Co-founder, Nyum. “We select dishes that provide nostalgia and delight when you eat them. Once conceptualised, only clean label, and wherever possible, locally sourced ingredients are procured, allowing for years of experience to safeguard the development of each meal.”

Tarryn-Leigh Green, Chef and Co-founder, Nyum

Each meal by Nyum is hand-made by its trained chefs, using only ingredients people would be happy to use at home, and preparation methods traditionally used by chefs for the best eats. “The convenience of our meals being frozen allows our customers to stock their freezers and heat our meals according to their needs, giving them flexibility, variety and removing the risk of food waste,” says Green.

The company, Meals on Me tries to accommodate different nutritional needs and the taste preferences of its customers. It offers professional meal planning services to help dieters maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on their taste buds.

“We are in fact busting the famous myth ‘healthy food is always boring’,” says Vanessa Jeremiah, Managing Director, Meals on Me. “With our experienced chefs and diverse menu, our aim is to make everything healthy and tasty. There are many things that happen in the kitchen for every single meal that goes out.”

Vanessa Jeremiah, Managing Director, Meals on Me

Meals on Me conducts a nutritional analysis to ensure if meals are going ahead with perfect ingredients, and also takes care of all the allergy instructions that need to be followed while making the meals. “Menu planning and food choices also play a very crucial role. We meticulously design our menu, providing at least 25+ choices every day, so our customers can experience authentic and delightful tastes,” says Jeremiah.

You’ll eat healthier

Often, the tasty foods aren’t the ones that are good for us, and the foods that are good for us can be unappealing. This makes eating healthy a challenge for even the most committed of health nuts. Quick and easy food is rarely healthy food, so those on a time crunch often opt for sodium-filled ready meals or fast food.

Using a meal plan service also means that you can remain consistent with your diet by choosing an option that allows for a meal to be delivered for almost every day of the week. A meal delivery service can definitely be used as a support tool when you’re trying to make a lifestyle change, lose weight, or try a different diet.

“We make it a point to understand our customers’ diet and exercise histories; this is the key to resolving issues,” says Borgmann. “The goal is to develop new habits that will last, resulting in a positive lifestyle change.”

Kcal’s nutrition DNA is based on the Paleo or caveman diet. That means the company does not use any processed and refined ingredients. “With more than 13 years of understanding of good nutrition, we have helped tens of thousands of people change their lifestyles for the better,” says Borgmann. “We offer various kinds of support, such as the support we provide for handling some medical conditions (diabetes, high cholesterol, high uric acid, PCOS, and many others) or providing personalised meal plans, nutrition advice, and fitness tips.”

On the other hand, Nyum’s adult meals are developed to balanced portion sizes and it provides all the necessary nutritional information on pack for customers’ reference. The company says it uses only the best quality ingredients, cooked in traditional methods, resulting in a guaranteed fresh and nutritious wholesome meal, with the quick-freezing method used. Besides, they avoid the use of additives, preservatives, hormones or antibiotics.

“For our children’s range, we take all these core values further by including a minimum of one portion of fruit and or vegetables into each dish,” says Green. “That equates to a minimum of 80g of pure fruit and vegetables per portion, providing parents with ease of feeding their children a nutritious meal, safe in the knowledge that each meal contains a minimum of one of their five-a-day requirements.”

The plans from Meals on Me focus on nutrition and portion control to ensure that customers receive a healthy balance of nutrients to support their weight loss objectives. “We offer a range of meal options, including low-carb, high-protein, and plant-based options, catering to various calorie needs and eating preferences,” explains Jeremaiah. “With our vast selection of food, we strive to prevent monotony and help customers stay committed to their fitness goals. Our aim is to transform healthy eating and weight loss into a sustainable lifestyle change, rather than a temporary fix.”

It can also be difficult to gauge portions at home, unless you are weighing and measuring everything. “Portion sizes and carbohydrate addiction are two major issues,” says Borgmann. “Carbohydrates act as a drug for the brain; the more you eat, the more you want. Focus on greens, protein and healthy fats. Of course, carbs are still required, but not in the quantities we see.”

Lead 2
Image Credit: Supplied

Save time and money

In a month, we eat more than 100 meals. The food choice, then is in our hands, but with 100 meals, you may be left wondering what to eat next? After all, who eats the same meal for 30 consecutive days?

“Finding tasty and healthy options is much more difficult than finding random high-carb foods,” says Borgmann. “So, our meal plans save time cooking or looking for food options, and they’re custom-made for you. Consider how much time we spend trying to be healthy but failing because of hassles. We make changing eating habits simple. Good nutrition is not cheap. Carbohydrates are inexpensive, which is why many meal plan services use a lot of them. Protein greens and good fats are more expensive, but they also produce the best results. That is why we focus on that.”

Nyum’s ready-to-heat meals are a great solution for working professionals and busy mothers, absolving them of guilt for not preparing food themselves.

“It costs more to make meals from scratch than to buy a Nyum meal,” says Green. “If you think of all the ingredients required to make a delicious, wholesome meal and then consider that you are unlikely to use all the ingredients at once, you realise very quickly that these meals provide restaurant-quality food, at lower costs and without the risk of food waste.”

Jeremiah adds that the main aim of her company is to help minimise the stress and indecision that typically accompanies mealtimes. “Our meal plans also help you save money as we are super affordable,” she adds. “One of the major reasons for choosing our meal plans is saving money. In the competitive market of expensive meal plan options we pledge to serve meal plans at a very fair price, without compromising on the taste and quality of food.”

Reduce food waste

Companies are also realising how important sustainability is to customers, and have made considerable efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Food waste is a major issue all over the world, and our meal plans help to reduce it,” says Borgmann. “We ensure that clients get the exact amount of food they need by serving meals in exact nutrition amounts, which means no leftovers. Our well-organised kitchen is on top of their game, which means very little waste, and of course our meal plans use biodegradable packaging.”

While meal plans do offer fresh food, it also presents the risk of limited time frames in which to consume, brands like Nyum offer frozen meals that promote both freshness and convenience. “You heat to eat, removing the risk of food waste,” says Green.

Meal plans from Meals on Me enable people to plan their meals and only purchase the materials they actually need apart from cooking which can help reduce food waste. “By opting for our meal plans, you can delegate the responsibilities of shopping and cooking to us, saving yourself from the guilt of food wastage,” says Jeremiah.