Meal kit services deliver fresh ingredients right to your doorstep. They are ideal for you who loves to cook, but the daily life pressures do not allow you the time or energy to source for ingredients yourself. Many of them cater to people with specific dietary restrictions, including folks who need diabetic friendly recipes.
Most meal services cater to the general population, so it's a bit of a challenge finding that one service that will provide you with your nutritional needs as a person with diabetes.
Of the kits below, so far, my favorite (by a longshot) is SunBasket. Best flavor. Best meals. However, they have a limited number of diabetic friendly meals, so I can't say with confidence that you'll have the same experience. Try it for a month and leave a comment to let me know.
A better option IMO is PlateJoy, because it allows you to do much more customizing according to your specific dietary needs and tastes, including more meal options and more upgrade options. However, they are not a traditional ‘meal kit', which sends you an easy-to-use box every week.
They basically create a meal plan for you (recipes, ingredients), then forward that list to a local grocery store, and the grocery store delivers the ingredients.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many companies that specifically provide diabetic meal kits. Of the five on this list, two have already closed down, so there's are just three options.
If you precooked meals you just need to heat up, there are more options. Your particular needs may fit with one of the meal kit services below, so check them out and see which one fits your eating requirements the most.
Also remember, these are meal kits. Meaning you can customize these meals however you want with extra ingredients around the house, or by leaving certain ingredients out. This is a huge advantage over the “prepped meals” linked above, which you can't customize at all!
Diabetic-Friendly Meal Kits
Sun Basket is a particularly good meal kit company, with a decent selection of options and plenty of high-quality meals. This is a service that I’ve tried myself and it is one that I particularly enjoy.
They have two general meal plans. One is a Classic Meal Plan, which offers three recipes per week for either two or four people. It starts at $11.99 per serving. The other is their Family Meal Plan. This one is designed for a family of four and gives you two, three or four recipes each week, starting at $10.99 per serving.
For this discussion, we’re most interested in the Classic Meal Plan, as there are many individual variations to it. One of those is a Mediterranean plan. But, there is a diabetes-friendly option, which is especially relevant.
As for the meals themselves, Sun Basket uses a weekly rotating menu, which can be seen on their site. Each meal is tagged with the diets that it supports, including whether it is diabetes-friendly. The one limitation is the selection. For example, the week of May 21 had 18 different meals to choose from but only five of those were tagged as being diabetes-friendly.
Even so, few meal kit companies offer a diabetes plan, so this one is still worth trying out. Besides, their meals really do taste fantastic.
Strictly speaking, PlateJoy isn’t a meal kit company at all. It is a variation on this concept, one that focuses on meal planning instead. The basic idea is that their website will develop a meal plan for you based on your individual needs and preferences. Because they’re not creating traditional meal kits, there is much more flexibility here than you’ll see anywhere else.
The process saves you considerable time compared to regular cooking. It is also less expensive than a traditional meal kit and you get more control over the entire process.
There is still the option to get food delivered. PlateJoy does this by working with Instacart, which provides a grocery delivery service. Instacart does have its own fees and isn’t available in all states, so it’s not perfect. But, you are getting real groceries, not individual portions. You also have full control, so you can choose cheaper ingredients or skip ones you already have at home.
The meal plan customization is perfect for people with diabetes. This makes it easy to figure out what you should be eating and the types of meals that you can make. In fact, PlateJoy has a separate section for diabetes management, one that is covered by some types of health insurance.
The service is also inexpensive. If you buy the groceries yourself, you’re just paying $69 for a 6-month membership or $99 for a 12-month membership. You can also pay month-to-month, for around $14 a month. There is even a 10-day free trial to help you figure out whether PlateJoy is a good fit.
Some meal kit services have a chef or two, Chef'D works with several world-renowned Chefs. They ensure only the best ingredients get to you. Their meal plans include; American Diabetes Association for diabetes type 2 management, Atkins ideal for the Atkins Diet.
There is also New York Times Cooking for when you want to feel like a chef, the Spoon University meal for students. Weight Watchers is great for weight loss, the Runners World, and Tone it up is ideal for those working out regularly.
Their website is very well designed and has all the information you need. When you click on the American Diabetes Association plan, you proceed to an array of meals from which you can make your choice. For each meal there are details about the level of difficulty in preparing the meal, allergens included, list of ingredients they deliver and those you need to have, cooking time and nutritional facts.
The meal delivery service ensures you have tasty and filling meals. They have a variety of choices with a selection of 650 recipes. However, their recipes may sometimes be intimidating to beginners. Their instructions may also be confusing.
They have an A la carte menu and weekly meals. The price for meals ranges between $19 and $34. You can swap any suggested meals to suit your preferences or your pocket. Shipping is free for orders above $40 and $10 for any orders under $40.
Medifast is mostly a weight loss company and they don’t just focus on meal kits. Instead, most of their programs contain some meal replacement products, along with others that just need to be heated up. However, there is also a focus on preparing healthy meals, so Medifast does act a little bit like a meal kit service.
The most notable aspect is that Medifast has multiple diets for specific health conditions, including diabetes. These programs are still focused on weight loss but the meals are carefully chosen so that they work well for anyone with diabetes. The plans are appropriate for either type I or type II diabetes, although Medifast recommends that you still talk to your doctor before beginning any meal plan.
There are various plans available, each with different pricing. For example, their 30-day 5 & 1 Plan costs $390. Meals can also be purchased individually through the site. However, there are few details about the cost of the diabetic-specific plans. This is probably because these are customized to the needs of the individual, resulting in individualized pricing as well.
Terra’s Kitchen doesn’t specifically focus on diabetic meals. But, the company is an interesting choice, because they emphasize a Mediterranean diet. There have been many studies linking a Mediterranean diet to decreased diabetes risk and improved health outcomes. It has even been associated with lower type-2 diabetes risk and better management of diabetes. As such, it can be a good angle to consider.
Even so, it’s worth noting that Terra’s Kitchen isn’t entirely Mediterranean. Instead, it is best described as Mediterranean-inspired. This means you’ll still need to pay close attention to your meals and make sure everything is suitable for you. Doing so is important regardless of the company, as each person will vary in their needs.
There are some other interesting aspects too. Terra’s Kitchen uses separate containers for each individual, to make cooking easy. These are reusable, so there’s no concern about wastage. The food is easy to prepare too, with most recipes taking between 15 to 30 minutes from start to finish.
You order the meals individually and the prices vary depending on what you choose. But, you’re often looking at around $10.99 to $12.99 per serving.