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What to know, how to use and more

What to know, how to use and more

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Meal planning apps can help people better manage both their time and their food choices. They may also have other beneficial qualities meant to help people organize their day.

A quick look at the best meal planning apps of 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) argue that planning meals in advance helps people make better food choices.

This article takes a look at some of the best meal planning apps for 2022. We also take a closer look at meal planning and answer some frequently asked questions.

A doctor may suggest a person keep a meal plan if they have certain illnesses or are at risk for certain illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes. They may also recommend this to people looking to manage their weight. Individuals can keep a handwritten meal plan, but they may find meal planning apps more convenient.

Meal planning apps can help a person manage their time better and make healthier food choices. This, in turn, can reduce their risk of disease and aid in weight management. A study 2021 looked at meal planning apps within a group of working parents and concluded that the apps can save time and promote healthy eating.

Health benefits associated with meal planning Involving overall better health, reduced risk of illness and disease, and being able to track progress.

Other benefits can also include: Involving more food variety, better adherence to dietary guidelines and successful weight management.

In addition, a person can also save money and reduce food waste.

A study 2019 found that meal planning was associated with higher intakes of fruits and vegetables and lower body mass index (BMI) in freshmen.

Meal planning apps are easy to download for Apple or Android devices from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Every app works differently. However, a person can usually customize them by selecting:

  • food preferences
  • eating pattern
  • weight
  • height
  • specific goals

Below we take a look at some of the best meal planning apps for a person to consider.

Best for Couples: MealPrepPro

MealPrepPro allows a person to enter their goals and ideal calorie intake and provides recipes based on these preferences.

It has more than 15 plans to choose from, and a person can add their partner to their account. In addition, private individuals can make shopping lists with the app.

There are some pros and cons to consider, such as:

Advantages:

  • new recipes added weekly
  • the company states it works with dieticians
  • can filter out allergies and unpleasant foods
  • 1 week free trial

cons:

  • limited customer reviews
  • currently not available on Android devices

Best Interactive: Paprika

This app is highly interactive and allows a user to import recipes they find online, cross out ingredients as they add them to a recipe, add images and mark instructions, bold or italicize.

The app also has a “tap to start” timer and can also automatically scale ingredients to the correct serving size.

Paprika features a smart shopping list feature, allowing more than one list to be edited at a time if they want.

Some considerations are:

Advantages:

  • the screen does not go into “sleep” mode while cooking, so a person doesn’t have to unlock their device all the time
  • the app can convert measurements from metric to imperial

cons:

  • the app does not have a Trustpilot page which means there are limited independent reviews
  • it does not offer a free trial
  • it does not have its own recipe database

Best Vegetable: Forks over knives

This website contains a database made up entirely of vegetable recipes designed by chefs. It offers recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A person can also customize their plan and add their own recipes.

Forks Over Knives also has a smart shopping list.

While there is no specific app for a person to download, the company claims that the site is mobile-friendly and its design allows individuals to save it to the home screen of a mobile device.

A person can consider the following advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • the company offers a 14-day free trial
  • people can access the site from any compatible device

cons:

  • the app has no reviews about its trust pilot page
  • it is more expensive than some competitors

Best for Weight Management: DietWiz

This app helps individuals plan meals for weight management. It can meet a variety of dietary requirements, including vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, sugar-free, non-dairy, keto, and low cholesterol.

It also features a macro calculator, calorie and BMI counter, and a community forum to share recipes. The app has preloaded recipes and can generate shopping lists.

Below we take a look at some pros and cons for a person to consider.

Advantages:

  • the app keeps track of the progress
  • individuals can add their own recipes

cons:

  • there are no Trustpilot reviews
  • it can be more expensive compared to competitors
  • it is unclear how regularly the company adds new recipes

Best for Families: cozi

Cozi is a family organization app that also offers meal planning. It has a recipe database that a person can browse through, or they can import their own database if needed. The app allows family members to add meals to the family calendar that everyone in the family profile can view.

The app also includes a shopping list and a person can save their favorite recipes.

Some considerations are:

Advantages:

  • the app has a family calendar for anyone under that profile to access
  • there is a free version available

cons:

  • the app has no reviews on Trustpilot
  • individuals have to pay to get an ad-free experience

Best for all budgets: meal plate

This app has a handy budgeting feature that displays the price of ingredients when a person adds them to their shopping list. It also allows users to add an inventory of ingredients in their cupboards to avoid buying unnecessary products.

A person can add recipes or import their online favorites, but the app does not provide its own recipes. It features a calendar view that allows people to add or change meals to aid in scheduling.

There are some pros and cons that a person can consider:

Advantages:

  • the app helps to prevent food waste
  • it helps a person to stick to their budget
  • it can sync with all devices

cons:

  • the app has no recipe database
  • it is relatively easy compared to other apps
  • it is currently only available for iOS devices

Best for short prep times: mealime

Mealime states that a person can prepare and cook their recipes in 30 minutes or less. It has a large database of recipes and allows users to filter based on nutritional needs.

A person can also generate shopping lists with the Mealime app.

Some considerations are:

Advantages:

  • it’s free to access the basic features of the app
  • it provides access to various online supermarkets

cons:

  • individuals must pay an additional fee to access all features
  • it is not possible to add personal recipes

The table below compares the apps in this article.

All apps have a shopping list function.

Below we take a look at some frequently asked questions about meal prep apps.

What is a meal planning app?

Meal planning apps allow a person to organize and plan their meals for the week or longer. Many apps include a recipe database and a smart shopping list, which can save people time and money.

How much does a meal planning app cost?

The cost of meal planning apps varies. Some offer free versions with basic features. In this article, apps that require a one-time fee cost between $4-5, and apps with a subscription price between $2 and 45 per month.

Can Using a Meal Planning App Save Costs?

Meal planning apps can help cut costs as they help someone buy only the ingredients they need. This also helps to reduce food waste.

In addition, a 2017 cross section study notes that meal planning apps promote home cooking, which may mean people are considering eating out less.

Meal planning apps help a person save time and money and make sure they follow a healthy diet. This can be especially suitable for those with busy schedules.

There are many apps available to help plan meals. Some have basic free versions, while others require a subscription or a one-time fee. A person should consider the additional features of the app as well as any dietary requirements.