Youfoodz is a popular, budget-friendly readymade meal service, that is enjoyed by thousands of people every day. Since launching in 2012, you can now purchase Youfoodz from your local supermarket or by ordering directly from their website. With many of us reaching for their meals, I have gone on the search to find out more and determine if they are ‘Nutritionist approved’.
|The Not So Good:
|Limited vegan and vegetarian options
|Unable to filter the menu with dietary preference
|Low calorie options
|Poor sustainability of packaging
How does Youfoodz work?
Youfoodz makes healthy eating easy by offering calorie-controlled, fresh meals to suit your busy lifestyle. Their meals are endorsed by a Dietician, and you can select from four different menu plans – ‘Everyday Healthy’, ‘Low Calorie’, ‘Vegetarian’ and ‘Flexitarian’. As a pescatarian, I selected their ‘Vegetarian’ meal plan. This selection did not automatically filter out the meat options from the menu.
Youfoodz has an extensive menu to choose from, similar to what is offered by budget-friendly readymade meal service My Muscle Chef. Unlike My Muscle Chef, you cannot filter the Youfoodz menu by dietary preferences, for example, gluten-free, nut-free or dairy free. If I was a consumer looking for meals that fit within these categories, I would find it very frustrating trying to identify which meals were suitable. You can however select from the following categories: ‘FUEL’D’, ‘Veggie and Vegan’, ‘Low Calorie’, ‘New’, ‘High Protein’ and ‘Consumer Favourite’. Meals are also tagged as ‘Under 15g fat’ or ‘Over 30g protein’. Whilst these categories are helpful, it would be great to see Youfoodz add a dietary preference filter to their menu to make it more user-friendly.
I navigated to the ‘Veggie and Vegan’ menu and was very disappointed to find a small selection to choose from – a total of seven meals! In my opinion, Youfoodz is not suitable for individuals following a vegan diet. In comparison, readymade meal services We Feed You and My Muscle Chef provide more suitable options for vegans and vegetarians.
After searching through all available meals, I selected two of the fish options (the pescatarian meals were also limited). I noticed that the Youfoodz menu is heavily focused on chicken as the main protein source. Having variety in our diet is crucial, not only so that we don’t get bored of eating the same meals, but also to benefit our gut health (the good bacteria in our gut relies on an array of different foods to promote more healthy bacteria!). I would like to see Youfoodz provide more protein options in the future.
After I selected my meals, I was notified that my order had been placed and that the meals were being made fresh to order. Youfoodz uses a combined process of vacuum sealing and Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), which helps to keep the ingredients fresher for longer. This process is similar to what is used by the readymade meal service Garden of Vegan and is a suitable option for keeping meals fresh without freezing.
The meals were packed in recyclable trays and sealed with a plastic film (this is not recyclable). It is unclear on their website if the trays are BPA free which I found concerning. When products containing BPA are heated, they leach BPA which is a toxin known to disrupt hormones in the body. For this reason alone, I would not purchase Youfoodz meals. The box the meals were delivered in, and the meal sleeves are recyclable, however, all other packaging must be disposed of in general waste. Dineamic and Garden of Vegan provide superior environmentally friendly packaging solutions in comparison.
Youfoodz readymade meals are very affordable. The prices start from $79.95 (including delivery) for five meals and go up to $162.81 for 18 meals. The more meals you purchase the better value, with meals coming down to as little as $9 each, making them one of the most affordable readymade meal services on the market, cheaper than Dineamic and My Muscle Chef (for a detailed comparison our experts have compared Youfoodz VS My Muscle Chef here).
My Youfoodz Experience
I received 12 readymade meals:
- Teriyaki Salmon x3
- Spinach & Feta Pie
- Teriyaki Salmon (FUEL’D)
- Vegetable Korma x2
- Loaded Lentil Lasagne x2
- Beef Korma
- Loaded Mexican Chicken x2
The meals arrived well-packaged and were kept cool with two large ice packs. Each readymade meal looked really tasty! They were clearly labelled on the front of each sleeve, with the total calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat content highlighted. This clear labelling made selecting the meal I wanted from the fridge very easy. I was also immediately impressed by the amount of protein in some of the meals. On the back of the sleeve was a list of ingredients and the nutritional information panel. Whilst this was difficult to read due to the small print, the allergens were printed in large block text, making them easily identifiable. As I do not eat meat, I gave the chicken and beef meals to my partner.
The ingredient list for each meal was large (not a good sign!). Every meal contained preservatives and additives such as modified starch (1422), colour (150c) and regulators (325, 330). This raises questions about the quality of their raw ingredients as preservatives, additives and flavourings are often used to enhance the flavour of ingredients or to change their appearance. Whilst consuming these in small amounts every so often is okay, as a Nutritionist I do not recommend eating foods that contain preservatives and additives every day. Furthermore, the meals had small amounts of wholefood ingredients. When compared, Garden of Vegan and We Feed You’s readymade meals have superior ingredients as they contain predominately real, whole foods with little to no additives.
The instructions for heating were clear however unlike other readymade meals such as Dineamic, they could only be heated in the microwave. As mentioned above, the BPA in the meal trays was a concern.
The best before dates were located on the plastic film and ranged from 1-2 weeks from the date of delivery. As the meals are made fresh to order and not frozen, these best fore dates were reasonable, however the meals do contain preservatives so I would imagine they could last beyond their best before dates.
The flavours of the meals were great! I was not expecting the meals to taste so fresh given the long list of ingredients, additives and preservatives. Furthermore, despite the extensive ingredients and additives, the meals themselves looked very simple; you could clearly see the vegetables, protein and wholegrains. The Spinach and Feta pie had a rubbery texture however the flavours were good. My favourite meals were the Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetable Korma.
The portion sizes of Youfoodz meals averaged at 300g – this is less than what is offered by Dineamic. If you are a highly active individual, these meals may not be substantial enough and so adding vegetables, a salad or extra protein would help to increase the volume. Alternatively, the Youfoodz ‘FUEL’D’ range is catered for those who require more protein in their diets, with meals at least 400g in size. I tried one of these meals and found this to be a lot more filling. You can check out a Nutritionist review of Youfoodz FUEL’D Meals here.
Youfoodz Nutritionist Review
At first glance, the nutritional profile of Youfoodz meals appears very good. The meals are generally high in protein and low in calories, which is appealing for many consumers. Whilst the meals are endorsed by a Dietician, the quality of ingredients is poor. All meals contain preservatives, additives and flavours which I do not recommend consuming daily – intolerances and adverse reactions can occur in some people when consuming these in large amounts.1 Fresh is always best!
The ingredient lists for the Youfoodz meals were extensive. As a golden rule, I always advise selecting readymade products made with predominately fresh, whole foods and minimal ingredients. In addition to the preservatives and additives, they also use refined oils such as canola oil which has very little nutritional value in comparison to a good quality olive oil. The meals were quite high in sodium, with some containing as much as 1390mg. This meets over half of our recommended daily intake for salt!2 If you are trying to limit your salt intake for health reasons, try selecting a Youfoodz meal lower in salt.
There were good amounts of vegetables in some of the meals – with at least one serving in the Teriyaki Salmon, Vegetables Korma and Spinach and Feta Pie. When compared with readymade meal service Dineamic however, Youfoodz contains less vegetables.
Some of the meals contained as little as 270 calories. Whilst this may be suitable for those who are looking to manage their weight, this may not be appropriate for those who lead active lifestyles. Individuals engaging in regular, medium to high intensity exercise require more calories (energy) to fuel their performance. In this case, I would recommend the Youfoodz FUEL’D meals as they contain more protein, carbohydrates, and total calories per serve.
Furthermore, it is important to think about the quality of calories over quantity. Consuming quality calories – from unprocessed, whole food sources – provides us with a variety of health benefits (more fibre, vitamins and minerals). Just because a food or meal is low in calories, it does not mean it is “healthy”.
After initially believing the protein content of the meals was good, I soon discovered that some of the meals, such as the Loaded Lentil Lasagne, contained as little as 8g of protein. The FUEL’D Teriyaki Salmon contained the most protein per serve, at 26g. Protein is an incredibly important macronutrient, supporting muscle growth and weight management. We should be aiming to consume at least 25g of protein with each meal for optimal health.3
Is Youfoodz healthy?
Youfoodz meals are generally high in protein and low in calories (not often the healthiest option) and all meals contain preservatives and additives. Whilst is it okay to consume preservatives and additives in small amounts occasionally, it is not recommended that you eat them daily. Furthermore, most of the meals are high in salt (1 000mg+ of sodium)- contributing to as much as half of our daily salt intake and some of the meals are high in saturated fat. Overall, the ingredient quality of Youfoodz’s readymade meals is poor.
The Youfoodz FUEL’D readymade meals are a healthier option as they contain the most protein per serve and are the recommended choice for active individuals. Make sure you look at the macronutrient breakdown and nutrition information panel when choosing meals for your weekly subscription.
Is signing up to Youfoodz worth it?
Whether signing up for Youfoodz is worth it depends on your individual preferences, dietary needs, and lifestyle. It is clearly evident that Youfoodz is great for convenience and price – with Youfoodz being one of the most affordable ready-made meal services on the market in Australia. There are also some other factors you may want to consider when deciding if Youfoodz is a good choice for you:
- Delivery Network: Youfoodz delivers to all major postcodes across Australia and their delivery network is fantastic. This makes Youfoodz extremely accessible for most Australians to order their meals.
- Convenience: Youfoodz offers ready-made meals and snacks that are convenient for people with busy schedules or those who prefer not to cook. If you value the convenience of having meals delivered to your doorstep and not having to worry about cooking, Youfoodz is absolutely worth it.
- Dietary Preferences: Youfoodz typically provides meal options covering a range of dietary preferences however you can not filter the menu by preference instead you can select your meals via categories and meal tags.
- Cost: Youfoodz remains one of the most affordable meal services in Australia and is one of the reasons to sign up for the Youfoodz service. Keep in mind the cost of Youfoodz meals can vary depending on the meal plan you choose.
- Taste and Quality: It’s worth trying a few Youfoodz meals to assess whether you enjoy the taste and quality of their food as personal preferences vary, so what one person finds delicious, another might not. We believe the taste of the meals is great, showcasing simple and convenient meals however we just don’t love the ingredient lists.
Youfoodz offers a large menu however they do not cater to dietary preferences such as gluten-free, dairy free or garlic free. Additionally, they have a very small vegan and vegetarian menu. In comparison, similar readymade service My Muscle Chef offers a better range of vegan and vegetarian options and caters to a variety of dietary preferences.
Whilst the flavours are good, the meals contain preservatives and additives, and some are low in protein. I would recommend selecting the Youfoodz FUEL’D readymade meals as these provide the most protein and are more suited to active individuals. You can check out a Nutritionist review of Youfoodz FUEL’D Meals here.
If choosing between Youfoodz and other readymade meal services, I would select We Feed You due to their quality ingredients and minimal additives however, they do cost more. Per serve, Youfoodz meals are excellent value for money and are one of the most affordable readymade meal options on the market. You can check out the current Youfoodz menu here.
You can check out our Nutritionist Review of Youfoodz FUEL’D Meals here.
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand, (2019). Additives. Retrieved from https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/additiveoverview/Pages/default.aspx
- Nutrient Reference Values, (2017). Sodium. Retrieved from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/sodium
Noakes M. (2018) Protein Balance: New Concepts for Protein in Weight Management; CSIRO, Australia. Retrieved from: https://publications.csiro.au/rpr/pub?list=ASE&pid=csiro:EP18027&expert=false&sb=RECENT&n=7&rpp=10&page=35&tr=1373&dr=all&csiro.affiliation%7Ccsiro.projectBusinessUnit=50012450
Youfoodz Ready-Made Meals
Youfoodz meals are excellent value for money and are one of the most affordable readymade meal options on the market.
Youdoodz readymade meals are one of the most affordable options on the market. On their 18-meal plan, the cost per serve is $9 which is cheaper than My Muscle Chef and Dineamic. Whilst they are affordable, the nutritional value of their meals is questionable.
Youfoodz offer a very limited vegan and vegetarian range – up to seven meals only.
Yes, My Muscle Chef offers a large range of readymade meals starting from $10.95 My Muscle Chef also caters to a range of dietary preferences and has more vegan and vegetarian options when compared to Youfoodz.