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The 7 Best Meal Planning Apps to Make Mealtime a Breeze

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Meal planning has many benefits. It may improve the overall quality of the dietmotivate you to try new products and help you lose weight. It can also be good for your wallet: When you’re planning meals, you’re less likely to oversell groceries, throw away food, and/or order takeout because you have the week’s menu ready. But meal planning can be time consuming and can seem daunting, especially if you’re new to the business.

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The best meal planning apps solve all of these problems. Instead of manually compiling weekly recipes and grocery lists, meal planning apps automatically do it for you. They can also take dietary preferences and restrictions into account, so instead of looking for recipes that suit you, you can easily filter them in the app. Many of these apps also track macros and calories and keep your favorite recipes in one place so you don’t have to look for them when you want to cook.

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Whether you’re looking for an app to help you lose weight, or just need help planning weekday family lunches and dinners, this is the one for you. In this guide, we highlight seven of our favorite meal planning apps, discussing the pros and cons of each. We also include a detailed guide to help you narrow down your options.

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This content is for informational purposes only, but should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended to be used as a diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of health problems. Always check with your doctor before starting any new supplement or exercise regimen.

Our pick of the best meal planning app:

  • Best App for Psychology-Based Meal Planning: noum
  • Best Free Meal Planning App: Meal time
  • The best meal planning app for weight loss: PlateJoy
  • Meal planning app “Best Recipes”: paprika
  • Best Family Meal Planning App: queues
  • The best meal planning app with recipes for kids: Prepare
  • Best Vegan Meal Planning App: Forks instead of knives

Best Psychological Meal Planning App: Noom

Key Feature:

  • Recipe database
  • Access to Noom trainers and support groups
  • Daily lessons and exercises, tracking weight and steps
  • Available on iOS and Android

Noom is a goal setting and meal planning app in one. The focus is on helping you achieve your goals – whether you want to eat healthier or lose weight – by removing behaviors and obstacles that might get in the way. When you sign up for the meal planning app, you’ll complete a short survey about your goals, personal schedule, and body type. You will also answer questions about how well you feel about specific statements, such as “Food often brings me emotional comfort.”

From there, you’ll get a Noom trainer and a dedicated program that will give you access to various meal planning tools. There is a recipe database that you can use to build your day (there are options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). Once you’ve tried the dishes, you can save your favorite dishes so you can easily return to them. You also have the option to add your own recipes or record your meals yourself – you just add each of the a la carte ingredients and Noom will provide you with nutritional information.

In addition to these meal planning tools, you’ll have access to daily health and wellness lessons, interactive challenges, and support groups if you need community help. The app also has tools to track exercise, weight, and steps. You can subscribe to a monthly subscription or an auto-renewing plan for any period of time (there are options from one to 12 months). The cost is higher than other meal planning apps, but it’s really a wellness service that includes logging and tracking meals.

Connected: The best weight loss apps to help you reach your goals and make long-term dietary changes

Pros:

  • Adapts programs to achieve specific goals
  • Provides access to a coach to help you plan
  • Other tools like exercise, step tracking and weight tracking.

Minuses:

  • More expensive than others

Best Free Meal Planning App: Mealime

Key Feature:

  • Recipe database
  • Create a product list
  • Ability to share plan and lists with others
  • Available on iOS and Android

There are several free meal planning apps out there, but Mealime is one of the most complete. There are existing meal plans that you can use, or you can completely create your own from scratch. If you choose one of the existing meal plans, you have the option to edit it by removing the recipes you don’t like and adding the ones you like. If you choose a plan from scratch, you will start with the app’s recipe database and build your plan completely from scratch.

There are breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and desserts. In the free version, you can filter by dish type and any dietary preferences or allergens. You can also skip to the most popular or fastest dishes if you’re short on time. Once you’ve made your meal plan, the app will automatically populate your shopping list with everything you need to prepare them. You can also add or remove ingredients as you see fit if you already have something on hand or need to supplement your meal plan with other items. If you’re using the app with someone else — say, a partner who’s stopping at the grocery store on their way home — there’s also the option to share the shopping list.

If you want to upgrade to the pro version, you’ll also get access to nutrition information for each recipe, calorie filters in the recipe database, and the ability to add notes to an individual recipe about any changes you may have made. You’ll also be able to access previous meal plans so you can come back to them later instead of having to recreate them from scratch. The updated version has a small monthly recurring fee.

Pros:

  • Existing meal plans available
  • Automatically populates grocery shopping list
  • Can filter recipes based on food preferences or allergens

Minuses:

  • The basic version does not have as many features as the paid one.

Best Meal Planning App for Weight Loss: PlateJoy

Key Feature:

  • Specific dietary meal plans
  • Automatic product listings
  • Digital pantry
  • Available on iOS and Android

PlateJoy is a meal planning process optimization to help you achieve your weight loss goals. When you register, you are asked a series of questions about your dietary restrictions and preferences (such as whether or not you prefer to eat meat). You also have the option to follow a specific eating plan, such as Mediterranean, low-carb, vegan, or paleo to name a few, or simply choose certain likes and dislikes, such as avoiding avocados, eggs, dairy, or gluten. Once you’ve decided on your food preferences, the app will also ask for access to cooking items such as a pressure cooker or blender.

From there, the app populates a personalized meal plan from its database of recipes based on your calorie goals – you can add your own calorie goals or ask the app to suggest a plan for you based on your overall weight loss goals. After you go through and approve the weekly meal plan, you will receive a grocery list that will have everything you need to prepare the recipes.

You can also maintain a “digital pantry” on the site. In fact, this is a list of what you have in the kitchen. When the app completes your food list from your meal plan, it automatically takes into account what you already have to cut down on food waste and help you save money. The app is also integrated with Instacart and Amazon Fresh grocery delivery services. Once your grocery list is complete, you can choose to order online instead of going to the store.

PlateJoy is a subscription service – you can pay monthly or choose a recurring subscription for six or 12 months. If you choose a longer plan, the overall cost of the application will drop significantly.

Pros:

  • Lots of options for customizing meal plans
  • Creates product listings for you
  • You can order food delivery through the application

Minuses:

  • Impossible to build a meal plan from scratch

Best Recipes Meal Planning App: Paprika

Key Feature:

  • Recipe import
  • Weekly and monthly calendars
  • Interactive Recipes
  • Available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac and Windows.

Paprika is more of a recipe manager than an independent meal planning app. This is the perfect solution for those who have their own recipe collections and want to keep them all in one place. You can manually add your own recipes or import recipes from your favorite websites – Paprika will automatically fill in the relevant fields so you can properly track and filter them in the app. If you decide to add your own recipes, you can upload the relevant photos to the recipe cards.

Once you’ve created a library of recipes, Paprika Meal Planner can create weekly or monthly calendars from them. You can also bookmark your favorite recipes if you only want to create meal plans based on them. Since all information is stored in the cloud, you can access it from different devices. For example, if you’re at the grocery store, you can keep track of your shopping list from your phone, but if you’re cooking in the kitchen, you can pick up where you left off on your tablet.

The app is really interactive. When viewing a recipe, you can cross out ingredients as you cook and/or highlight the current cooking step. If the recipe includes time instructions, such as letting the pasta cook for 10 minutes, the app can recognize the timer and start it when needed. If you need to adjust the serving size of a particular recipe, Paprika can automatically scale the ingredients for you.

Pros:

  • Can compile recipes from anywhere
  • Recipes are interactive
  • Stored in the cloud so you can access from multiple devices

Minuses:

  • No recipe database

Best Family Meal Planning App: Cozi

Key Feature:

  • Family lunch calendars
  • Manual product lists
  • Sharing recipes via URLs
  • Available on iOS and Android devices

Tails are…



Source: www.si.com

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