You always hear about how the best thing you can do as a parent is make sure to have dinner with your kids at least a couple times a week. Countless studies have shown that family dinners are like a miracle pill for raising healthy, well-adjusted children. Kids who frequently eat dinners with their families are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables, earn higher grades in school, avoid drugs and alcohol, and have a lower risk of depression and suicide.
There’s no downside to sitting down to family dinners at least 3-5 nights a week—except for the part where working parents have to scramble around like crazy people to buy, prep, and cook meals which often don’t seem as important as decompressing after a long day. For parents of young kids, this is even harder, since they tend to go to bed earlier, so you’re talking about sacrificing one-on-one time for meal preparation. It’s a tough balance to strike.
That’s why I love the idea behind Fresh Dish, a subscription meal delivery service that launched Tuesday. It’s a very different spin on the traditional meal delivery service, which actually drops off already-cooked meals. Fresh Dish delivers kits—premeasured, chopped, and prepped uncooked food that you throw together yourself in under 30 minutes.
I really, truly love this idea, since I’m a bit of a food snob and want to know exactly what’s going into each meal. This obviously gives you a little leeway to get creative as well. But the time savings angle is priceless when you think about how much time you could potentially waste going to the store to get all the ingredients, only to get home and find out you forgot the parsley.
To get started, customers sign up on the Fresh Dish website, choose a meal plan, and for as little as $8 per person, Fresh Dish will deliver a meal kit to your doorstep. Some examples of the meals you can order include lamb meatballs with hummus, flank steak salad, and peach pork chops, among others.
Fresh Dish doesn’t yet offer vegetarian or organic options, but says it will in the near future.
The company is the latest from LA-based incubator Science Inc., and it has already raised $500,000 from Battery Ventures. The service is currently available in a number of cities throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona, and will be available nationwide in early 2013.
“An average family spends an average of over 2.5 hours planning, shopping for and preparing one home-cooked meal. Americans also spend an eye-popping $550 billion annually on groceries, and throw out approximately 40% of the food they buy,” said Science Inc CEO Mike Jones, in a statement. “Fresh Dish is going to change how we save money and make it easier for families to spend time together over meals by eliminating all the time-consuming and money soaking chores that come with meal planning."