If you’re looking for a meal delivery focused on health, you should check out Balance by BistroMD. Just like its parent brand, Balance is a meal delivery service whose main focus is the health of its users through food and a proper diet.
Balance offers 9 different specialized diets, which result in a menu of 150 recipes. All the meals are designed around healthy eating habits and tailored to specific medical needs, from diabetes to gluten intolerance and more.
Balance is great if you want ready-made meals that fit specific dietary needs, but if you like to cover the cooking, I think Green Chef will be a better fit. The menu isn’t as extensive, but it does cater to several dietary needs, such as Gluten-Free, Protein-Packed, Plant Based, Keto, and more.
Still, make sure to give Balance by BistroMD a chance as well. Check out my review to learn more about what the service has to offer.
Wide variety of plans and categories
Limited customer service options
Easy menu filtering
High shipping price
Microwave-friendly single-serving meals
A bad customer service experience
Current deal – Free shipping on orders over $99
Balance by BistroMD is a meal delivery service focused on health and healthy diets. To that end, it offers a lot of variety by providing the following meal plans: Gluten Free, Diabetic Friendly, Mediterranean, Heart Healthy, Menopause, Low Sodium, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, and Low Carb. Altogether, that’s a pretty impressive array.
The entire Balance by BistroMD menu contains 150 meals and snacks, and the items rotate in and out according to the season. Also, even though each meal plan has its own menu, you can mix and match between diets when placing an order.
But you don’t have to worry that there won’t be enough variety. Each meal plan includes at least 40 menu items (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks).
In terms of nutrition, the menu items are all high-quality. There’s an excellent variety of proteins and vegetables, including chicken, beef, fish, pork, cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, and more.
The only cuisine that gets its own menu is Mediterranean – largely because of its health benefits. However, there are other cuisines scattered throughout the listing. These cuisines include African, American, Mexican, and Italian. A slight downside is that you can’t filter by cuisine and have to browse the full menu if you’re looking for a particular cuisine.
All the meals come prepared and can be cooked in the oven or in the microwave. In the oven, the meals generally take 30 minutes or less to heat. In the microwave, they can be heated up in 6 minutes or less.
There are no specific “kid-friendly” meal plans, but if you search through the menu, you may be able to find a few meals suitable for children, like Chicken Bacon Mac and Cheese and Chicken and White Bean Chili.
Balance by BistroMD stacks up pretty well when compared to other services. With 150 options, that’s enough choices to construct a menu of lunch and dinner selections for an entire week without repetition. And you can even throw in a bunch of breakfast choices!
Of course, you don’t want to forget about healthy snacks (to keep cravings away). The Balance by BistroMD menu includes a variety of snacks, such as Sweet & Salty Crisps, Cookies & Bars, Cheesecakes, Jerky, Shakes, and Nuts & Fruit. Whatever suits your craving!
Is Balance by BistroMD Good For This Diet?
Yes, these meals have less than 600 mg of sodium and less than 3.5 g of saturated fat to support heart health
Yes, all the meals follow the FDA gluten-free standard (20 ppm or less) and do not contain wheat, rye, or barley.
Yes, plenty of seafood and plant-based recipes.
Yes (25 g or less of NET carbohydrates per meal)
Yes (25 g or less of NET carbohydrates per meal)
Yes (600 mg or less of sodium per meal)
No, there’s no meal plan for keto. However, you may find a few keto-friendly meals on the menu.
Yes, plenty of options
Yes, plenty of healthy meals
Balance by BistroMD doesn’t allow you to customize the meals or swap any ingredients. The meal listed on the menu is what you get. Balance by BistroMD states that this is due to a need to preserve the nutrition profile of its meals. That is, if you swap 1 ingredient for another in a Heart Healthy meal, the end result may NOT be a Heart Healthy meal. This would defeat the purpose of providing food tailored for very specific purposes.
Of course, this lack of customization means the service isn’t ideal for those with allergies or major dislikes. If this is the case, you should try a service like Blue Apron or Home Chef, where you have the option to customize your meals.
That being said, Balance by BistroMD has a great filtering system. You can filter for meal types (breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks), main ingredients (such as Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Seafood, Pasta, Plant-Based, and Soups & Stews), or dietary needs (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, as well as the 7 other options I listed above).
And the best thing about the filtering system is that all the filters are stackable. That means you can filter for both chicken and beef, or both Heart Healthy and Diabetic Friendly, at the same time. In fact, you can even filter by all 4 of those criteria – as well as others – if you need to.
Balance by BistroMD’s kitchens handles all major allergens in its meal preparations. As a result, there’s always a small chance of cross-contamination. So, if you have severe allergy issues, you should contact one of the Balance by BistroMD concierges or, perhaps, look elsewhere.
The last point to mention is that all the meal images on the menu contain diet tags (like Heart Healthy, Low Sodium, Menopause, etc.) in the form of small graphics. When you hover over the graphic, the appropriate name flashes up on the screen. This makes differentiating between meals for different diets very easy, especially if you’re browsing the entire menu.
You’ll be able to see at a glance which meals are suitable for you. These tags are visible on all parts of the menu including the snack section.
When your order from Balance by BistroMD arrives, it should contain 3 things: dry ice to cool the contents, insulation to keep the cool air from dissipating and warming, and however many prepared meals you ordered.
The meals arrive in microwaveable containers that are stacked together in the cooler. It’s recommended that you unpack your order immediately upon arrival. Once unpacked, you should place the meals in the freezer.
Balance by BistroMD meals have an impressive shelf life in the freezer: up to 1 year after the production date. Of course, once you try them, you’ll probably finish them off in far less time.
Like many companies these days, Balance by BistroMD has developed a recycling plan for its packaging. The coolers in which the meals are shipped can be reused in a number of ways – from urban planters to beach coolers and more. Coolers can also be donated to the Red Cross or a local food bank. More details are available on the website.
It’s worth mentioning that the boxes are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. They’re also printed with vegetable-based ink. And the coolers are made with 60% post-consumer recycled foam products. As you can see, Balance by BistroMD is dedicated to environmental-friendly, sustainable business practices.
The meals provided by Balance by BistroMD are all prepared meals that arrive frozen, so they must be stored in the freezer and then heated before being consumed. The company does offer a number of snacks that are either shelf-stable or can be eaten straight from the fridge.
As mentioned earlier, every meal can be heated up in 6 minutes or less in a microwave. If you prefer to use an oven, it should take no more than 30 minutes. You have the option of heating the meal up from frozen if you’re in a hurry, or you can thaw the meal for 24-48 hours beforehand.
Generally, clean-up is quick and easy. You can throw out the microwave-safe container or, if you used an oven, wash the 1 or 2 pots or pans you might have transferred the meal into.
As the meals are premade, there’s virtually no preparation on your part required. All the sauces should be already applied to the meal. All the vegetables and everything else should be chopped and contained in the meal. All you have to do is stick the meal in the microwave (or oven) and press start.
Trying to narrow a 150-meal menu down to a short list of the best meals offered is quite difficult. Nevertheless, here are 3 meals that just make my mouth water.
The Beef Chipotle Chili recipe is an all-time favorite because I’m a big fan of chili. This dish consists of beef, hearty black beans, and a delightful mix of bell peppers and corn salad – plus a few spices. Taken all together, it’s sure to be a delectable dish to tantalize your taste buds.
Chicken is another favorite of mine, which is why the Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Chicken recipe is in my top 3. This broccoli cheddar stuffed chicken is sure to delight. The mix of broccoli and smooth melted cheddar is a perfect match for chicken. Plus, don’t overlook the garlic veloute and honey-roasted carrots, not to mention the barley salad. Yum!
Turkey may seem boring, but when incorporated with Honey Orange Glaze, it becomes dazzling. Imagine a choice slice of turkey breast covered with a sweet honey orange glaze – delicious! Round it out with a fluffy farro salad with expertly cooked green beans, and you got yourself a meal!
$6.49 per portion (Breakfast)
$19.95 or Free for orders $99+
$4.69 per portion (Lunch & Dinner)*
$19.95 or Free for orders $99+
$11.99 per portion (Snacks)
$19.95 or Free for orders $99+
*Price available at time of review
One of the best things about Balance by BistroMD is that there’s no lower limit on the number of meals you can purchase. If you just want to order a single meal to try the service out, you can. That’s very rare among meal delivery services.
Of course, if you order only 1 meal, you still have to pay for shipping – which means you’ll be paying over $25 or so for the meal in question. In any event, all the meals are priced individually. As a rule, breakfasts tend to be less expensive than dinners and lunches. The starting price for meals is $4.69 per serving.
Shipping is normally $19.95 – which is higher than most other meal delivery services. The shipping charge will be clearly displayed in your shopping cart prior to your order being placed. Balance by BistroMD currently has a special offer running to bring costs down: Free shipping on orders over $99.
The company also offers lots of snacks. Each order of snacks is usually more expensive than most of the meals (snacks come at $11.99+), but that’s largely because the snacks come with multiple servings (usually around 6).
You can get a refund if the items purchased are damaged in transit. Balance by BistroMD has no other money-back guarantees beyond that.
Balance by BistroMD delivers anywhere FedEx ships to in the continental United States. At this time, deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii aren’t possible. Shipments are sent out from the company’s frozen distribution center from Monday through Wednesday.
The time taken to get the box to your door depends on how far away you live from the distribution center. Processing an order can take up to 2 days, and most processed orders will take 2 to 5 business days to travel via FedEx Ground.
If you need to reschedule a delivery, there’s nothing to worry about. All you need to do is contact the Balance by BistroMD concierge team (contact them at CustomerService@MyBalanceMeals.com). Act quickly, though. Once an order is picked up by FedEx, it can’t be canceled, rescheduled, or altered in any way.
If you want to set up an automatic weekly order, you can contact the concierge team to help you set that up. The only stipulation is that the meals are fixed, so you’ll be eating the same meals each week. If you want to receive a flexible varying order every week, you’ll have to contact the parent organization, BistroMD.
However you decide to order, the company will provide you with the tracking information on your order so you can keep an eye on it.
Signing up for a Balance by BistroMD subscription is pretty basic and straightforward. Similarly, managing the subscription is fairly easy as well.
In order to sign up for Balance by BistroMD, just follow these steps:
1: Select Get Started on the homepage
2: Add meals to your shopping cart
3: Login/ Register
4: Provide account, address, and billing info
5: Create an account
As you can see, it’s pretty simple.
Managing your subscription is just as easy. You can update your shipping address or billing address from your account at any time. Just select the Add a New Address option and then add, edit, and/or delete as desired.
Likewise, you can perform other management tasks in your account, such as updating or changing your password, your email address, or any other personal details.
If you have any issues with your shipment, though, you have to email the concierge team at CustomerService@MyBalanceMeals.com to get in touch. Just make sure to do it as soon as possible because once FedEx picks it up, you can’t make any further changes.
Balance by BistroMD’s one area of difficulty is in Customer Service. On the website, the Contact section provides only an email form and a telephone number (available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm EST).
There’s no chatbot or live chat (even though there is a mention of it in the FAQs), which are my favorite means of contacting a company, as it’s so much quicker and easier to get answers this way. Balance by BistroMD certainly isn’t the only meal delivery service without this contact option, but I definitely choose to use it when it’s there.
What’s more of an issue was my own personal contact experience with the company. First, I sent an email using the company’s email form to inquire about allergens. It’s possible the first was just lost in transit or suffered some other technical mishap but having received no response after 3 days, I sent a 2nd email.
In other regards, Balance by BistroMD is pretty standard in the Customer Service area. For example, the company offers refunds if your box or meals are damaged in transit. However, it doesn’t provide refunds if you simply don’t like the meal.
If you want to cancel your order with Balance by BistroMD, check the FAQ page. You need to contact their customer service team as soon as possible. As long as you do this before your order is shipped, you should be able to change or cancel it easily.
Balanced by BistroMD vs. Factor: Both services offer ready-made meals and have an extensive menu, but Factor’s meals arrive fresh not frozen and fit an omnivorous diet. Plus, Factor’s extras include smoothies, juices, and shakes, as well as healthy desserts, breakfasts, and cooked protein.
Balanced by BistroMD vs. Green Chef: Green Chef is a meal kit delivery service with a good variety of diets and plenty of options for healthy meals. If you like to know exactly what goes into your meals and don’t mind some light to medium cooking, this may be the best option for you.
Balanced by BistroMD vs. BistroMD: BistroMD features the same level of menu variety and dietary needs as Balance, but you must choose a meal plan and stick to it. It works extremely well if you want an easy-to-follow weight-loss menu designed by dietitians who take your dietary needs into consideration.
Overall, I think Balance by BistroMD is definitely worth it. Although I had a less-than-perfect experience with customer service, that’s an easy fix, and it’s far outweighed by the many positives the company brings with it.
Ultimately, it's a great option for anyone looking for a service tailored to specific medical issues. It’s a very health-conscious niche the company occupies, and it does so quite well.
Yes, Balance by BistroMD is an excellent meal delivery service. However, its plans focus on healthy meals and weight loss through eating healthily. To that end, it has 9 different diet plans, each tailored to a specific medical issue, from diabetes to heart health to gluten intolerance.
BistroMD’s Balance branch is focused primarily on healthy eating and healthy food. You can enjoy a variety of meals featuring different proteins and vegetables. There are also a number of vegetarian and pescatarian meals if you follow 1 of these diets.
Balance by BistroMD is a subscription-free service. This means you can order as little (1 item) or as much as you want. The price per meal starts at around $4.69 (even lower if the meal is on a special offer) and goes as high as $18.99. You also have to consider the shipping fee. Overall, Balance by BistroMD isn’t an overly pricey meal delivery service and can accommodate most budgets.