Most people are more than capable of cooking for themselves in one way, shape or form. Some see it as a chore, others revel in being in the kitchen, cooking up a storm! Of course, this gets more challenging when you are cooking for just one or have a disability. The decision to purchase ready to eat or heat and eat meals is not about being lazy or reducing your ability to cook, but rather, about choosing the flexibility to live a more relaxed life. When you get home, after being out, the thought of standing and cooking a meal is not always a positive alternative to eating a take away meal.
The availability of heat and eat meals is greater now than ever before simply because providers see this market as a growth sector reflecting people’s desire to spend more time doing things they want to do as opposed to those (like cooking) that they need to or don’t enjoy doing.
With so many options to choose from, how do you choose a meal which represents the best value for you? Certainly the price of most heat and eat meals is a cheaper option, when all is said and done, than the time you’d spend travelling to the supermarket, wandering around the shelves, buying “stuff” that smart marketing people put under our noses and which we really don’t need. Sadly, at the supermarkets, meat, fruits and vegetables are not packaged or targeted at someone living alone. When you buy vegetables you need to eat that which you choose until it’s either gone or until it spoils and finds it’s way into the bin.
Buying a heat and eat meal is no different from choosing a restaurant to eat at. Meals can be very haute cuisine, some are more like cardboard than a nutritious meal and others in between. Heat and Eat meals all have features and benefits to offer you. These are different to every customer. Do you want to pull your meal out of the freezer or the fridge, are you concerned about the quality, portion or ratios of meat and vegetables in your meals? Are flavours, textures, shapes and colours of your meal important to you? Real gravy vs packet gravy over your meat? Fresh or frozen vegetables?
Every meal should have a balanced selection of main course, potato / starch and vegetables. Be careful that you are not going to be simply loading up on carbohydrates as opposed to having a balance of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. Variety is also good.
There are certainly lots of options for you out there. Try lots of different providers and then decide which one offer the closest thing to what you want to see in your meals.
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