Having a food allergy or sensitivity can make finding the right meal subscription quite the challenge for some individuals. While many meal subscription services claim to have plenty of meal options that are friendly for most diets, there still seems to be a handful of ingredients that slip into most of their food choices that aren't compatible with certain dietary restrictions. Despite their best efforts, the majority of meal kits and ready-made meals available today fall short when it comes to meeting the needs of people who require further customization to meet their dietary needs.
So, are there any meal subscriptions available that actually work for these individuals? Yes, and we're here to help you discover them!
Here, we'll discuss some of the major dietary restrictions that people may have and review which brands meet these dietary needs. We've done our best to only include brands that meet certain dietary requirements and handle their ingredients following strict protocols in order to accommodate specific allergens. We've also included an overview of the top 16 meal subscriptions by diet, allergen, and source to help guide you further on selecting a plan that's best for you.
Special thanks to MSA reader, June, for making this request in our Weekly Meal Kit Menu!
Meal Subscriptions By Dietary Needs
Low-FODMAP Meal Kits
Generally, people on a low-FODMAP diet remove all high-FODMAP foods and slowly reintroduce them one at a time to figure out which ones trigger inflammatory reactions. High FODMAP foods include dairy products, wheat products, beans, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables. A gluten-free diet is tailored to individuals with Celiac disease as well as to those who have gluten sensitivity or an allergy to wheat. As such, a gluten-free diet should not contain wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and, in some cases, oats as well.
Epicured allows customers to filter meal options by an extensive list of dietary preferences and restrictions which includes extra sensitive for IBD & IBS symptoms, Partnering for You (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency), GERD-Friendly: Low Acid (no citrus or tomato), and all major allergens. Epicured is incredibly strict with its food safety protocols, with all equipment, surfaces, tools, and appliances being cleaned and sanitized before and after each use, as well as tested for gluten traces and its gluten-free areas are segregated from non-gluten-free areas. Epicured can be customized to meet the following additional allergy restrictions: nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, seafood-free.
Modify Health is a meal subscription that offers plans that are tailored to both low-FODMAP and the Mediterranean diet. It offers two meal plans for Low-FODMAP, with one being a full-fledged program that comes with GI specialty-trained dietitian support and the other being a standard meal kit subscription. Both meal plans support IBS, IBD, SIBO, and Celiac Disease, and Modify Health's entire facility is gluten-free. Additionally, Modify Health is the first and only nationwide meal delivery service that possesses Monash University Low FODMAP Certification. Modify Health can be customized to meet the following additional allergy restrictions: soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, seafood-free.
AIP-Friendly Meal Kits
An autoimmune protocol diet is very similar to a FODMAPs diet in that it removes inflammatory foods from the diet so that those who struggle with food sensitivities and inflammation can heal. AIP is designed for those affected by autoimmune conditions and, unlike low-FODMAP, those who follow this diet cannot consume any grains at all and AIP differs in its allowances for certain fruits, nuts, vegetables, and herbs.
Generally, an AIP elimination list includes the following foods:
- Nuts and Seeds
- Seed-Based Spices (like cumin, peppercorns)
- All nightshades (peppers, paprika, tomato, potato, eggplant)
- Beans (even green beans)
- Grains (all grains, even white rice)
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Dairy (including ghee and butter)
The only meal kit we've come across that meets this highly specific dietary need is Paleo On The Go. Paleo On The Go is focused on AIP compliant and paleo meals, but also offers options that fit almost every other diet except for plant-based. A standout feature of Paleo On The Go is that it does everything in-house within its dedicated grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free commercial kitchen in Largo, Florida. Paleo-On-The-Go can be customized to meet the following additional allergy restrictions: nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, seafood-free.
Vegan Meal Kits
Vegan diets require the avoidance of all animal products and by-products, and while finding a vegetarian-friendly meal subscription isn't incredibly hard as most brands offer some options for plant-based meals, finding one that's strictly vegan can be difficult. However, there are a handful of meal subscriptions that are tailored to a vegan diet and a few of these are also able to offer accommodations for certain allergens as well.
If you're looking for a meal subscription that's vegan and strives to accommodate major allergens, then look no further than Splendid Spoon. All of its meals are gluten-free and vegan, and customers are able to remove options for meals that contain soy, tree nuts, cilantro, coconuts, spices, beets, bananas, and mushrooms. Additionally, Splendid Spoon's kitchens follow strict protocols to control allergen cross-contamination, conduct regular in-house product testing, and complete annual compliance audits. One thing to keep in mind when considering Splendid Spoon is that its soups and smoothies are made in a facility that sometimes handles common allergens such as dairy, eggs, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, wheatgrass, and soy.
Keto Meal Kits
In general, a ketogenic diet (keto) is one that prioritizes the consumption of fat for energy in place of carbohydrates. Strict keto diets typically contain less than 5% of carbs, with the rest being fat (at least 70%) and protein (around 20%). These diets are designed to transition your body into a state of ketosis where your body runs off of ketones (fatty acids) instead of sugars.
While there are plenty of low-carb meal plans available today, most do not adhere to a strict keto diet. However, Trifecta specializes in keto and also happens to offer one of the best meal subscriptions available today for accommodating major allergies as well. Trifecta can be tailored to paleo, keto, vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian diets and its kitchen is both gluten-free and peanut-free. Customers can also remove other major allergens, like dairy or soy, when building their weekly plan and there's also the option to choose A La Carte or Classic Meals where you can select the exact foods you want.
Stayed tuned for our upcoming article on Readers' Choice Awards for the best meal subscriptions for further details!