The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier]

Meal time just got a whole lot healthier and seamless with these 4 South African Food Delivery Services

 

If you don’t like cooking or struggle to make balanced meals, eating healthy and wholesome meals is hard. Ordering in or buying frozen meals is no longer the only option when it comes to meal time. These 4 food delivery services are making it as simple as a few clicks of your mouse to get healthy, wholesome meals delivered to your door. These food delivery services range from meal kits to enable you to cook for yourself (Ucook), Ready to eat dinners (The Flying Pan), daily meals including breakfast and snacks (Ihealth) and meals tailored to strict diet plans (Body Bites).

 

Each service was tested by our trusty taste testers to make sure we’re recommending services that we know are good and reliable.

 

Read on to find your perfect food delivery delivery service.

 

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Ucook

  The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier] - U COOK

What is it?

Ucook is a weekly food service that delivers fresh ingredients to your home, enabling you to make delicious meals in the exact right proportion. There are three plans, depending on how many servings per meal you want. Bachelor (1 person), couple (2 people) and family (4 people). Meals change weekly and you can view each week’s meals before ordering.  They offer three different menus – Low-carb, Vegetarian and Rustic.

 

What’s in it?

Your box arrives every Monday and contains all the ingredients you need to make three different meals. The ingredients sent are the exact amount you need for the portions you’ve requested (we got a ¾ cucumber). You’ll also find a recipe card with easy to follow instructions and if you prefer videos, Ucook often posts videos of the recipes on their Facebook page.

We got the vegetarian box, with ingredients to make a Mediterranean Veggie and Polenta Bake, Pure Health Power Crunch Salad (which was the favourite meal from the box) and a Vegetarian Paella. Ingredients come packed in a combination of brown paper bags, plastic bags, loose and vacuum sealed bags.

 

What we Love About it

For starters the meals are not a surprise –they put the menu of the week up on their website so you can see what you’re getting before ordering it, allowing you to skip a week if there’s nothing you want or change to another menu.

You get only what you need for each meal, and while getting ¾ of a cucumber and two halves of a lemon was odd, it means there’s no waste. On the flip side, having all the ingredients of each meal means if you don’t like an ingredient (like garlic) you can just leave it out.

All of Ucook’ ingredients are organic and come from ethical local producers. They support small local purveyors and rural & urban farming projects. We love that it means the ingredients are seasonal and support local vendors.

They also have a recycling program whereby you’re able to give the courier the box and packaging the next week and they’ll return it to Ucook to be recycled (a program they’re soon offering rewards for).

Most importantly, the dishes were great. They’re easy to make, tasty and different. They’re wholesome and we love the recipe cards which lets you remake your favourite dishes.

Their customer service is also incredible and they reply to emails fast.

 

The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier] - U COOK
Our recreation of the UCook Power Crunch Salad

It’s the service for you if..

Ucook is the service for people who enjoy making food and who want to learn how to cook. If cooking intimidates you or you don’t know how to plan meals, Ucook is perfect. You get the ingredients plus a recipe card, which means that you’re able to replicate your favourite dishes.

 

How Much does it cost?

Pricing varies from R234 to R708 per box, depending on how many portions and the menu you choose.

 

Value for Money

Prices per meal vary from R50.66 –R89 (Vegetarian meals are the least expensive and prices per meal go down the more portions you need).

The box we got was R438 and worked out to R73 per meal. They’re similar priced to the Daily Dish (a similar food delivery service we also love) and for organic ingredients to create a substantial meal it’s reasonable. It’s more expensive than a fast food takeout (but quality) and if you’d have to go and buy similar dishes this would work out less expensive.

 

What you should Know before Buying

Order before Wednesday noon to get the next week’s meal. Also check the meals before you order to make sure you like them

If you want to skip a week, you’re able to pause your subscription – meaning you won’t be charged and won’t get that box. If you don’t pause, you automatically get billed.

Unpack the box and refrigerate it as soon as possible. Ucook packs the food in insulated boxes which keep food fresh for up to 12 hours. Despite this we had to throw out the kale. We’d suggest unpacking the box as soon as it arrives so nothing goes bad.  In addition use up the ingredients within the week you order them and preferably in the first half of the week, they will go bad.

You only get 3 different meals per week. If you want more meals i.e. a full week’s worth, you can order more portions.

You do need a basic pantry (Olive oil, cooking oil, salt and pepper, sugar, flour, butter, eggs, and milk) to make most of the dishes.

 

To order or find out more about UCook click here

 

Ihealth Meals

 The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier] - Ihealth

 

What is it?

 Ihealth Meals delivers fresh, nutritionally balanced prepared meals and meal plans daily. They offer delicious meals according to your dietary needs. Ihealth has 8 different menus – Paleo, Banting / LCHF, Mediterranean Weight Loss, Lean Balanced, Normal Balanced Fitness and Body Extreme Meals.

Being that iHealth is geared towards people following diets, all meals are created with specific certain nutrients in mind.

 

What is in it?

iHealth delivers fully prepared meals every day between 6am and 12pm. When you sign up you choose how many meals you want delivered. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as snacks. We received a sample of meals from the Mediterranean weight loss plan, balanced plan and fitness meal plan. Some of the meals we tried were the Bircher Muesli, Grilled fish fillet with roasted butternut and steamed veggies, Healthy Shepard’s pie with steamed veggies and iHealth twisted fruit punch.

The meals come in microwave friendly containers (aside for the lids) to be warmed up before eating.

 

What we Love About it

The portion sizes are satisfying (tested by a buff guy) and not a small diet dish. The meals also taste good and the food pairings were thoughtful.

Meals are delivered daily, so they’re freshly made and you don’t have to worry about them going off. They contain no preservatives or additives so it’s like having your own personal chef.

Most food delivery services only offer dinner and occasionally lunch. Ihealth offers breakfast as well as up to 3 snacks a day, which could quite literally eliminate the need to do grocery shopping.

 

The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier] - Ihealth
The Salmon and broccoli cakes with watercress, avocado and tomato salad from the fitness meal plan

It’s the service for you if..

Ihealth offers both moderate and strict diet meal plans. If you’re looking to eat healthier but aren’t concerned with weight loss and want the convenience of premade healthy food, Ihealth is great.

Alternatively, the Fitness and Body Extreme meal plans are targeted to fitness fanatics who keep a strict diet. This plans would eliminate the hours spent prepping food and working out macros.

As they offer 3 meals plus 3 snacks a day, it’s also a great option if you don’t have access to a kitchen due to travels or renovations but still want to eat healthy.

 

How Much does it cost?

iHealth charges per meal. Breakfast is R34.99, Snacks are R33.99 and lunch and dinner are R50.99. You can choose a 10 or 20 day subscription.

 

Value for Money

The meal prices are reasonable but we feel that the snacks are a bit expensive (R33.99 for a fruit punch).  You also have to factor in delivery charges.

Taking into account the time and effort it saves, especially when following strict diets, it’s great value for what you get.

 

What you should Know before Buying

The dishes don’t come with a calorie or nutritional breakdown so they are not for a person who is tracking their numbers, but rather for someone who wants healthy convenience.

When your food arrives, you need to separate the dishes according to what needs to stay warm and what must stay cool. We received mixed salad vegetables and items that need to be warmed up in one container, so you cannot pop the entire thing into a microwave to be warmed up.

Delivery occurs daily between 6am and 12pm, with areas further away from their kitchens getting meals later. If you’re ordering breakfast or an early morning snack, and receive it only at 12pm you’ll need to carry that onto the next day.

They only deliver in Cape Town and Johannesburg

You will be charged for delivery, which is based on the distance you are from their offices.

iHealth is Halaal certified.

Food is delivered in insulated boxes with ice packs, however it should be refrigerated until you’re ready to eat. Meals can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

 

Order or find out more about Ihealth here

 

The Flying Pan

 

The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier] - The Flying Pan

What’s is it?

The Flying Pan is a daily dinner food delivery service. They deliver delicious and healthy dinners every day to make dinnertime that much easier. Food is made fresh everyday using locally sourced, high quality ingredients. All you need to do is warm up and serve. They offer 3 menus – classic, low-carb and vegetarian. They also offer both corporate and private catering services.

 

What’s in it?

Your dinner arrives every weekday between 10am and 3pm. It comes in microwave friendly plastic packaging that can be recycled.

We received a low-carb and vegetarian meal. Both came in a see-through plastic “takeaway” style box that has a similar look to picking up a ready-made dinner from woollies. There are no separators inside the container, so your protein and veg sits layered/ side by side.

 

What we Love About it

It is really simple, easy and no fuss. Your meal comes in one container and even though they recommended heating it in an oven, we heated it in a microwave which not only warmed it easily and well, but didn’t ruin the cook of the lamb inside the low-carb meal. Packaging is recyclable and you can send it back with the driver the following day.

We also loved that despite how simple it looks when you pop the container open, it is seasoned very well and the spice combinations were surprising (in a good way).

The Flying Pan is also very accommodating when it comes to changing your order, as long as it’s done before 11am you can cancel or even add extra portions to your order.

 

Traditional roast lamb served with seasonal greens, creamy cauliflower and gravy from the Low-Carb Meal plan

 

It’s the service for you if..

You don’t like to cook or aren’t a good cook but want to eat flavourful and well balanced meals. It’s also great for you if you’re short on time and the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is think about what to cook. It took a few minutes to pop these in the microwave and onto a plate.

 

We also think it’s a really nice option if you’ll be in Cape Town for business and don’t have access to a full kitchen. You only need a microwave to warm up the food and it’s a nice alternative to eating out.

 

How Much does it cost?

The classic and vegetarian meals are R60 per portion, whilst the Low-carb menu is R68 per portion.

 

Value for Money

The serving size was incredibly generous and left overs can easily make a lunch the next day. There was also a great veg to protein ratio in the low-carb dish. It was way nicer than a frozen meal which is the obvious alternative to not wanting to cook or not having time. It’s great value for money and very reasonably and competitively priced.

 

What you should Know before Buying.

They only deliver to Cape Town and currently only certain areas – Cape Town’s City Bowl or the Southern Suburbs. Some areas do incur a R15 delivery charge.

You need to order before 11am to get delivery and it needs to be refrigerated when it arrived so make sure someone is around to receive it.

 

To order or for more information on The Flying Pan click here

 

Body Bite

 The 4 Food Delivery Services That’ll Make Meals Easier [and Healthier] -BodyBite

 

What is it? 

Body Bites cooks, prepares and delivers healthy meals throughout South Africa. Founded by health coach. Eddie Posthumous, each meal has exact micros and macro nutrients so that you can track exactly what you’re eating. Body Bites has 3 different meal plans – healthy, wholesome and kiddies meals. You’re also able to select the protein choice in healthy meals – chicken, fish, beef, ostrich and more. You can either order when you need or you can order from their 14 or 21 day packages.

Body Bites also has café’s with their own healthy menus.

 

Whats in it?

Your prepacked meals arrive frozen in microwave friendly dishes. Bodybites uses special cold flus machine which freezes the food instantly and locks in all nutrient value and favour. Each meal is labelled so you know what’s what and you can find every meal on their website with a detailed nutrient breakdown.

We received about 20 meals from their wholesome range. Most were a combination of protein (fish, chicken or beef) with vegetables (potato, broccoli).The favourite was the beef strips with sweet potato. And although the flavour was nice and the meat cooked well, the chicken meals got a bit boring, and adding sauces helped spice them up.

 

What we Love About it

We loved that you can easily find every meal on the website with a nutrient breakdown. It helps you track your meals, calories and macros.

The convenience of being able to order over a week’s worth of food at once.

They’re also the only food delivery service that offers kid specific meals.

They also offer 3 different meal sizes 200g, 400g and 600g. This means that if you know you’re a small eater, you’re able to order a smaller portion and not have leftovers.

 

Each Body Bite Meal Label is colour coded to a specific protein for maximum organisation

It’s the service for you if…

Bodybites is ideal for people looking to get in shape, who are struggling to get meals in order and need it to be premade.

It’s also great for people who have struggled with weight loss because of diet. It is a Great introduction into prepared meals and dieting. It takes thinking out of it, is super convenient, easy and may make it easier for you to do learn how to food prep in future.

As they provide exact macros it’s also a good option for body builders of fitness competitors prepping for competition.

 

How Much does it cost?

Meals are individually priced, so you pay per meal. Meal prices range from R33-R157, this depends on the size as well as the protein (Fillet is the most expensive, fish and mince the least). Alternatively you can opt for their 14 or 21 day packages which give you 14-21 meals. The packages range from R565.63 to R1201.60 (14 days) and R844.37 to R1790.47 (21 days).

 

Value for Money

Meals are well priced and the convenience factor and the fact that it can shave hours off your weekly meal prep makes it great value for money.

 

What you should Know before Buying.

When ordering, look at the size and order the size that’s best for you. A 200g meal for a well-built guy is going to be too small, whilst a 600g meal for a petite person is going to go to waste.

You need to order a minimum of 14 meals

There is a delivery charge

Meals get delivered on Tuesdays and Wednesday’s. You can get your full order delivered at once or request a weekly delivery.

If you get bored with food easily, it’s not the service for you. Meal plans change every 6 months, but as they’re following strict diet plans they’re not going to vary by much.

 

To order of for more information click here

 

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All images and graphic work by Feige Lewin

 

Zissy Lewin

Zissy Lewin

Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. A Wits University graduate, she earned a Bcom (Hons) (Cum Laude) in Business Management. She’s a writer, runner and passionate about the 3 f’s – food, fashion and fitness. When she’s not inhaling the latest news, trends and ideas you can find her in the kitchen figuring out how to turn a broccoli head into a meal.
Zissy Lewin
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