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If there’s ever a time in your life where you need easy, healthy meals that take minimal time to cook and serve, it’s now while you’re dealing with a crying, sleep-resisting, cute-as-a-button infant.
Not only are you walking around in a zombie-like state with little-to-no free time, but your arms are almost always tied up, either breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, cradling, burping, or playing with your new baby.
If only you had a live-in chef whipping you up hot meals every couple of hours, right?
While the live-in chef may not be a real possibility, the good news is that the concept of home-cooked meals that can be ready to eat in minutes isn’t a long shot. In fact, it can easily become your reality thanks to an influx of meal delivery subscription services.
Since there are so many options to choose from these days, for this list we’ve narrowed down your choices to the least labor intensive and the most satisfying.
These recommendations are highly rated subscription services that offer well-balanced and nutritious meals for you and your growing family.
A note on price
One of the great things about meal delivery services is how customizable they are. Some subscriptions charge per item, some per week. We listed the current starting price for basic subscription options, but exploring each company’s website will give you the most accurate pricing for your family’s needs.
Price: Starting at $71.94 a week
Some meal subscription kits still leave you chopping and grating enough for you to feel like your kitchen is the set of “Top Chef.”
With Gobble, every ingredient comes diced, peeled, puréed, seasoned, and measured in individual portions so there’s literally nothing left for you to do but heat it up.
Each week you can choose three meals (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) from their menu of options, and every recipe (including gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, and vegetarian) is crafted to be table-ready in 15 minutes.
Price: Starting at $58.99
As a new parent, cooking a meal all day is the last thing you want — unless, of course, you have a slow cooker.
What a Crock takes the ease of a slow cooker to the next level by doing all the prep work for you. Except, you know, putting the food in the pot itself.
They deliver homestyle meals that come ready to be thrown in the slow cooker, including favorites like chicken pot pie, jambalaya, and cheesy chicken. You can customize the pricing, too, based on how many people and how many meals per week you’d like to get.
Price: Starting at $109 per week
If your menu preferences are a bit more narrow or you’re focusing on your macronutrient intake as part of your postpartum fitness routine, you might want to consider Trifecta.
They deliver fresh, never frozen food that’s designed to complement your fitness or weight loss goals, so every meal is intentionally minimalistic.
Trifecta meals are all organic, soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free, and they cater to just about every style of eating out there, from paleo and keto to vegetarian and vegan. Plus, their customizable à la carte section operates pretty much like an online grocery store, so you can be choosy when it comes to what you get.
Price: Starting at $65 for 4 meals
As it turns out, J.Lo and A Rod know what it’s like not having enough time to whip up a delicious, home-cooked meal. That’s why they founded Tiller & Hatch, a subscription-based meal service that delivers premium, chef crafted meals in frozen portions created for a pressure cooker.
Whether you’re feeling like a southwestern stew or a turkey bolognese, these meals are made with wholesome, flash frozen ingredients.
Because they’re designed for the pressure cooker, you can order each meal based on the amount of servings you need, making this option great for larger families.
Price: Varies depending on selection.
The great thing about Cup O’Noodles is that it’s ready to go in minutes — all you need to do is add water. The bad thing? They’re terrible for you and loaded with more sodium than you need all day.
Daily Harvest takes the same easy-to-fill cup concept but adds clean, nutrient-dense ingredients that make you feel energized throughout the day. They deliver soups, oat bowls, smoothies, and more in preportioned bowls.
Choose how many items you want to be sent on the regular (and how often) and boom — delicious food arrives at your doorstep.
Price: Starting at $22
While this isn’t a meal delivery service, it’s worth mentioning as new parents might find it tough getting to the grocery store as often as they did pre-baby.
Misfits Market makes it easy to have fresh fruits and veggies at the ready — delivering 100 percent organic produce at up to 40 percent less than grocery store prices.
Each box includes a mix of 12 different kinds of fruits and veggies, from mangoes, apples, and peaches to kale, zucchini, and eggplant. They’re called “misfits” because they source produce that, while perfectly fine to eat, doesn’t meet the beauty standards of most grocery stores. So not only are you getting quality produce, you’re helping eliminate food waste.
Price: Starting at $46 per box for 4 meals
With Freshly, order delicious, healthy, and fuss-free meals to be delivered to your door on a weekly basis. Meals come frozen and all you have to do is pop it in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Yes, seriously.
The best part about Freshly is that these aren’t your average microwaved meals — they’re meals you’d actually want to eat after a hard worked day, like beef chili, steak with peppercorn sauce, and chicken teriyaki.
Each meal is gluten-free and created with a food philosophy centered on less sugar, less processing, and more nutrients.
Price: Starting at $4.50 per meal (in a box of 24)
If you thought feeding yourself a well-rounded meal was challenging enough, just wait until you have to do it for your little one (around 6 months). While for starters they’ll stick mostly to purées, before you know it, they’ll be interested in some of what you’re having too.
That’s where Tiny Organics comes in handy. They deliver safe food for your little eater that’s 100 percent organic, plant-based, and free of all Big-8 allergens with a 6-month shelf life when stored in the freezer as directed. All you have to do is select a meal plan that’s suited to your child’s developmental milestones.
Price: Order minimum of $39
Although it might seem far away, your little one will eventually start joining you for meals at the table. When they do, you might want a meal delivery subscription that can feed the whole fam.
In addition to adult meals, Nurture Life delivers fresh, never frozen, veggie-forward meals that your child will (hopefully) like, made specifically for their age range — babies (10 months–24 months), toddlers (1–4 years), kids (5–10 years), kids (11–18 years).
They’re on the pricier end, but the meals for kids are just as appetizing as the adult offerings. After all, how often do you look at a toddler’s meal and think that looks good?