What It’s Like to Use PlateJoy Custom Meal Plans

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You know those nights when you stare hopelessly into the pantry and fridge trying to figure out what in the world to make for dinner? If you’re like me, that struggle takes place pretty much every night. PlateJoy custom meals plans make life so much easier for busy families. It’s not a meal delivery service, rather PlateJoy is a website that provides customizable recipes and shopping lists to print or send to your phone.

Simplify your life with custom meal plans! Discover how to make meal planning, grocery shopping and meal preparation easier and more fun with PlateJoy ~ by TravelMamas.com

(Photos from PlateJoy.com)

This story is brought to you in partnership with PlateJoy.

Why use PlateJoy instead of a standard recipe site or cookbook

Sure, you could flip through cookbooks or peruse Pinterest looking for recipes for your family. Then you could compile all of the meals you want to make for the week. Finally you could create a shopping list on your own. But will you? I love to cook but I detest meal planning. PlateJoy gives a plethora of meal choices and makes an easy-to-use shopping list to print or send directly to your phone. The site will ask you which pantry items you already have so you don’t double up on things you already own. Then check off as you go!

Just a small selection of PlateJoy's tempting dinner options

Just a small selection of tempting dinner options (Photo from PlateJoy.com)

PlateJoy also customizes recipes to meet your family’s needs. The site asks for your dietary restrictions such as low-carb, Paleo, and diabetic. Since I have a gluten sensitivity, I love that Plated adjusts meals to use almond flour instead of limiting me to all flourless options for my gluten-free diet. You can choose kosher, dairy free, clean eating, pregnant/nursing, or low sodium options as well. This site also lets you choose how much meat your family prefers (pescatarian, mostly vegetarian, all vegetarian or vegan) and if there are any specific ingredients you’d like to avoid. You can even choose how much time you want spend cooking. What cookbook does all of that?

How PlateJoy differs from meal delivery service companies

I have tried meal delivery services, four of them, in fact. While I love the convenience of meal delivery, I have to admit I feel guilty about the environmental impact of all of that packaging for my family’s dinners. With PlateJoy, you choose meals based on your family’s preferences. Then you’re given a customized shopping list and recipes. Additionally, PlateJoy is more affordable than meal delivery service companies since you aren’t paying a premium for your groceries.

You can print your PlateJoy recipe or send it straight to your smart phone

You can print your recipe or send it straight to your smart phone (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

In some locations, you can even have the groceries for your meals delivered to your house via Instacart. This service avoids all that extra packaging waste, though, by utilizing local personal shoppers to drop off all needed items.

Plus, sometimes my family is just too dang busy to make all of the delivery service meals for a week. PlateJoy, on the other hand, can be used as much or as little as you want. Since my family’s got a busy week filled with baseball practices, upcoming travel, and a birthday dinner out (my son turns 9 today!), I opted to make just one meal and one dessert this week. I can always head to PlateJoy.com and search up another meal or two to make as needed.

PlateJoy Skillet Glazed Lemon Chicken and Broccoli dinner

Our PlateJoy Skillet Glazed Lemon Chicken and Broccoli dinner (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Get the whole family involved

Get picky children interested in trying new foods by encouraging them to select a meal or two each week from PlateJoy.com. Better yet, ask them to help you prepare the meals. Kids are more likely to taste something new if they make it themselves!

Get kids interested in cooking by letting them choose PlateJoy meals and desserts to make themselves!

Get kids interested in cooking by letting them choose meals and desserts to make themselves! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Adjust portions as needed for each meal

With PlateJoy, you select how many people to feed for each meal, and designate whether you’re serving adults and/or children. You can even choose whether you like to have leftovers or just enough for one mealtime. Inviting company to dinner? Increase the number of eaters accordingly just for that specific meal and choose smaller portions for your standard family dinners. Easy peasy!

Easily track calories and nutritional information

I love the nutritional information provided for each serving of food. If you’re trying to lose a few pounds (like I am), this makes tracking calories so much easier.

Serving sizes are adjusted according to age and gender, as well. They even tell you how much each family member should eat! For my family of four, my husband should eat 42% of the meal, I should eat 25% and each of my kids should eat 17%.

PlateJoy isn't just for dinner!

PlateJoy isn’t just for dinner! (Photo from PlateJoy.com)

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks

PlateJoy isn’t just for dinner. You can choose recipes for whichever meals you like: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert/snacks. For breakfast, how about Guacamole Toast with Fried Egg or a Breakfast Banana Split? Lunches feature light fare like a Spinach Strawberry Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese, or Caprese Grilled Cheese with Basil Spread. Choose from such tempting dinner options as Seared Scallops with Mango Black Bean Salsa or Skillet Glazed Lemon Chicken and Broccoli.

Desserts and snacks tend to be light and easy to prepare, like the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Mug, which my 12-year-old daughter, Karissa, demonstrates making above.

Try PlateJoy for free

Ready to give it a try? Get your first month free when you sign up today!

Sign up for PlateJoy today!

Sign up for PlateJoy today! (Photo from PlateJoy.com)

What do you think about PlateJoy’s custom meal plans? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: This story was sponsored by PlateJoy. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Robin rue says

    I saw an ad for this the other night and was on their website checking it out. I think I’m going to sign up.

  2. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    I need this in my life. I am so busy, I rarely have time to make meals. We eat a lot of pre-made meals from the frozen section, which is so unhealthy.

  3. Jen Rattie says

    I need to give PlateJoy a try. I’m super busy all the time, and even if I wasn’t, I hate to cook. I need to look into this.

  4. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    I think this is great to have for reference in preparing a menu plan for busy families. I always make it a point to make dinner for my family, however, not every day is the same and there are days when I come home too tired to even think of what to cook. I’m checking out PlateJoy and see if this service could help me.

  5. Sapana V says

    Wow.. This is a great option to try some easy to make and healthy recipes. I like PlateJoy. I will try it.

  6. I like that PlateShare offers options for people with different diets. That is really helpful.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I couldn’t agree more, Pam. As a gluten-free eater with two picky kids, PlateJoy is an easy option.

  7. My daughter would enjoy this. She lives in the kitchen.

  8. Marcie W. says

    We meal plan every week and it sounds like PlateJoy could really help simplify the process. Their recipes look delicious, especially the mug treat your daughter whipped up.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I have been craving that Banana Bread in a Mug ever since she made it! I highly recommend topping it off with some whipped cream for an extra treat!

  9. My neighbor was just telling me about this and was totally raving about how awesome it is. Looks like I need to try it too!

  10. I think this is such a great idea. I love meal planning and think its so worth it. PlateJoy sounds awesome and looks delicious!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Meal-planning definitely saves time and money…and PlateJoy makes it that much easier!

  11. Anne Parris says

    Thank you for the free trial. I’ve tried several other meal services like this, but not one that tailors the menu to your needs, instead of just limiting your selection.

  12. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says

    This sounds like a really great service. And the food looks good! I would definitely like to try it out.

  13. Reesa Lewandowski says

    I love these new types of mean plans! I need to check this out!!! The food looks delicious!

  14. Seattle Travel Blogger says

    This looks like a more versatile spin on some of the other plans I have seen out there.
    That is a real nice feature to have the flexibility to adjust the plan to the continual household needs.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      I think PlateJoy works as a nice alternative to the meal delivery services. Moving forward, I think I’ll do a bit of each!

  15. Dawn McAlexander says

    Sometimes my husband and I just have a hard time thinking of what we want to have for dinner. This would really help us nail it down, night in and night out.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      The meal-planning is the hardest and least enjoyable part of meals at home for me. I hope you find PlateJoy as handy as I do!

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