This is a review of Dineamic meals as of October 2022 – Check out a review from our Nutritionist Rose of the Dineamic menu in February 2022 here.
Whether you are always on the go, unsure in the kitchen or simply don’t have time, readymade meals are an excellent option. Despite many people’s beliefs that readymade meals are unhealthy, there are now a number of brands on the market that cater to a variety of diets – and yes, as a nutritionist, I recommend them! Dineamic offers dietician and nutritionist-approved readymade meals delivered to your door.
|The Not So Good:
|No gluten free options available
|Small variety of vegan meals
|Large menu variety
|Not suitable for a family
How does Dineamic work?
Dineamic was founded in 2008 by former Australian Football League player, Jason Johnson, and accredited practising dietitian, Karen Inge. Their goal was to create nutritionally balanced readymade meals for athletes.
The meals are prepared using ethically sourced ingredients from local Australian farmers, including free-range chicken and pork, grass-fed beef and lamb, and sustainably fished seafood. The meals are made fresh to order in a 100% carbon-neutral kitchen, cooled, stored in fridges and then transferred into HaloPack eco packs. Halo Packs are BPA-free, made from recycled cardboard, reducing Dineamic’s use of plastic by 92%! This is a big tick for sustainability and is one of the better packaging solutions I have seen in readymade meals. Each meal is then vacuumed and sealed to maintain its freshness. Some other readymade meals such as My Muscle Chef use this method to preserve freshness.
Dineamic offers up to 60 meals to choose from each week – a huge variety! This is similar to what is offered by the readymade meal service youfoodz. Dineamic caters to a range of dietary preferences and lifestyles including low FODMAP, low calorie, no added dairy, high protein, low carb, low gluten, vegan and vegetarian. Whilst Dineamic does cater to a wide variety of diets, they do not offer gluten-free meals. In comparison, the readymade meal service We Feed You offers 100% certified gluten-free meals. It would be great to see Dineamic offer future gluten-free options.
The prices of Dineamic readymade meals range from $11.00 – $13.00 for one serve and $13.00 – $15.00 for their mains for two. These prices are cheaper than We Feed You, yet more expensive than My Muscle Chef or youfoodz. Dineamic also offers a range of soups starting from $8.00 (one serve) and snacks and drinks, starting from $3.50. There are options to suit everyone’s cravings!
Like Herbidoor and We Feed You, Dineamic is also registered with the National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and works with Home Care Package providers, ensuring accessibility for everyone. There are no lock-in subscriptions with Dineamic and you can create your own meal plan or have a meal plan designed for you by one of their dieticians. This is an excellent offering for those who have specific health goals in mind!
My Dineamic Experience
I received 14 pre-selected meals:
- Broccoli, Spinach & Kale Soup
- Creamy Pesto Pumpkin Gnocchi with Broccoli
- Creamy Wild Mushroom Ragu
- Falafels with Garlic Yoghurt & Tabbouleh
- Frittata with Pepperonata
- Honey Pumpkin Soup
- Mexican 5 Bean Chilli with Brown Rice & Green Beans
- Pumpkin & Kale Risotto
- Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Napoli Sauce
- Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Curry with Basmati Rice
- Sweet Potato, Coconut & Turmeric Soup
- Vegetable Stir-Fry with Noodles
- Atlantic Salmon Risotto
- Southern Indian Vegetable Curry with Basmati Rice
The meals were packed neatly in the box and cooled with two large ice packs. As mentioned above, Dineamic’s packaging is eco-friendly and sustainable; each readymade meal’s outer sleeve, tray and film are recyclable. Whilst many other readymade meal services aim for sustainable packaging, Dineamic is by far one of the best I have seen!
All the meals looked delicious; I didn’t know which one to try first! On the sleeve of each meal was a clear list of ingredients, the nutritional information panel and heating instructions. There was no ‘cooked on date’ or best before date, instead, it is recommended that meals are consumed within one day after opening, or frozen for up to three months. It would be beneficial to see a best-before date as if you do not wish to freeze the meals, there is no clear indication of how long the meals can be kept in the fridge.
Each meal was clearly labelled and had the addition of nutrition and produce callouts for example, ‘sustainably farmed fish’, ‘1.5 serves of vegetables’ and ‘excellent source of protein’. The ‘1.5 serves of vegetables’ callout was particularly great to see as I knew exactly how many serves of vegetables I was getting in that meal.
Allergens were listed in bold in the ingredients list and the ingredients were mostly whole food sources – with the exception of ‘skim milk powder’, ‘thickener 400’ and ‘mineral salts’. As a nutritionist, I do not recommend consuming foods that contain large amounts of preservatives and additives frequently, however these ingredients were only found in a few of the readymade meals and are fine to consume in small amounts. The vegan meals (such as the southern Indian vegetable curry, sweet potato and red lentil curry and Mexican 5 bean chilli with brown rice) had the highest-quality ingredients – no preservatives or additives – just real food!
The heating instructions were easy to follow with two options for heating from chilled or frozen; my meals were heated through perfectly each time. The flavours were excellent, and the vegetables were vibrant in colour. In my opinion, the flavours were on par with We Feed You’s frozen readymade meals. My favourites were the Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni with Napoli Sauce, Atlantic Salmon Risotto and the Creamy Pesto Pumpkin Gnocchi. It is clear Dineamic uses quality produce to create high-quality meals.
The portion sizes ranged from 260g – 400g. I was satisfied after most meals, yet some of the smaller portioned meals (such as the Frittata with Pepperonata), were not as filling and so I added a side salad and extra vegetables to bulk up the meal. Like most other readymade meals, the portions are suitable for one to two people, but not for a family.
Overall, the meals had a good nutrient profile. The vegan meals had the least amount of protein, ranging from 6g-17g. This appears to be a consistent theme amongst some vegan and vegetarian readymade meals such as Herbidoor and We Feed You. Interestingly, a couple of the meals that were labelled a ‘good source of protein’ contained as little as 10g. As Dineamic’s meals are designed for athletes, and evidence suggests individuals engaging in high levels of exercise should be consuming up to 2.0g/kg body weight protein per day, I do not agree that these meals contain an adequate source of protein.1 However, like We Feed You, Dineamic offers high-protein meals, which contain up to 30g of protein per serve.
There was a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates included in each meal. Simple carbohydrates are more refined or processed (such as white pasta and rice). These sources contain less fibre and provide a quicker release of energy, compared to complex carbohydrates (quinoa, brown rice and legumes) which are higher in fibre and provide a steady release of energy. Despite the inclusion of some simple carbohydrates, the overall carbohydrate content was adequate and is suitable as part of a balanced diet.
The main sources of fat included in each meal were dairy-based (milk, cheese and yoghurt). Whilst these ingredients provide an additional source of protein, they may not be suitable for those who have trouble digesting lactose (Dineamic does offer low dairy options). There were limited amounts of nuts and seeds which are a healthy source of fats and micronutrients. Olive oil was used in most meals which is a high-quality oil.
At least four different types of vegetables were included in each meal, however, they were in small amounts, equalling at most one and a half serves. In comparison, We Feed You contained more vegetables per serve.
Dineamic is a convenient readymade meal service for one to two people. They offer a wide variety of meals similar to youfoodz and provide options to suit a range of diets including low FODMAP, vegan and vegetarian. If you are looking for gluten-free meals, however, Dineamic does not cater to this preference. Services such as We Feed You are more suitable in this case. The flavours of Dineamic’s meals are excellent, and the portion sizes suit mildly active individuals. Whilst the protein content of some meals was low, higher protein options are available for very active individuals. Per serve, the meals are good value for money due to their quality ingredients and taste great!
Jäger R., Kerksick C.M., Campbell B.I., Cribb P. J., Wells S. D., Skwiat T. M., Purpura M., Ziegenfuss T. N., Ferrando A. A., Arent S. M., Smith-Ryan A. E., Stout J. R., Arciero P. J., Ormsbee M. J., Taylor L. W., Wilborn C. D., Kalman D. S., Kreider R. B., Willoughby D. S., Hoffman J. R., Krzykowski J. L., Antonio J. (2017). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 14(20). DOI: 10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8
Dineamic is a delicious and convenient ready-made meal service for one to two people. They offer a wide variety of meals and provide options to suit a range of tastes and diets including low FODMAP, vegan and vegetarian.
Dineamic’s meals are dietician and nutritionist approved. Whilst some of the meals have a low protein content, they are made with mostly wholefood ingredients including complex carbohydrates and vegetables and cater to a range of dietary lifestyles.
The readymade meals are good value for money due to their quality ingredients and excellent flavours.Does Dineamic offer gluten free options?
No, Dineamic do not offer 100% gluten free meals, only low gluten options.
Yes, youfoodz and My Muscle Chef offer similar pre-cooked readymade meals that cater to a range of diets including low calorie and vegetarian. Dineamic also offer a range of meals that cater to dietary preferences such as low FODMAP and vegan lifestyles.