UT Student cooks and delivers healthy meals to 60 students through business called Health Crave

Sunny Kim

While students sleep in on Sunday morning, Kiara Ringgenberg wakes up at 5 a.m. to cook and deliver close to 60 meals to students as part of a startup she founded last month.

The health and society sophomore created her own healthy meal prep service called Health Crave to help students improve their eating habits.

Ringgenberg typically delivers 40 to 60 meals to students every Sunday. She charges $14 for two meals, $26 for four meals and $48 for eight meals. There are four options: chicken and brown rice, chicken and sweet potato fries, a turkey bowl, and vegetarian chicken parmesan. 

Education sophomore Makayla McCowen said she has ordered all four options, but found the turkey bowl to be one of her personal favorites.

“I think it’s an amazing opportunity because before this I was just making sandwiches for lunch every single day,” McCowen said. “It saves time and money and I’m eating better.”

To start her business, Ringgenberg joined the Freshman Founders Launchpad, a startup business club that helps student entrepreneurs.

Ringgenberg said when she visited her friends’ houses and tried to find something to eat, she would find unhealthy options such as soda, popcorn and ramen noodles.

“I knew how to cook healthy, but college students never have the time to cook, they don’t know what to cook and they are broke,” Ringgenberg said. “I put all of those things together and decided to start my business.”

Ringgenberg added that her personal struggle to lose weight led her to want to help others who are struggling with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“When I was 14 years old, I weighed 183 pounds, and the doctor told me I was seven pounds away from being obese,” Ringgenberg said. “I got there, not because I was overeating but because I didn’t really understand how to eat healthy at all. I would just eat junk food, not knowing what I was doing to my body.” 

Ringgenberg goes to Costco every Saturday to buy food in bulk and rents a commissary kitchen every Sunday to cook and deliver the meals from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., mostly in West Campus, North Campus and Riverside. 

Ringgenberg gets a lot of help from her sister, Nicole Ringgenberg, who is currently a senior at Anderson High School. Nicole helps Kiara with grocery shopping, making meals and cleaning dishes on Sundays. Nicole has also lost weight, going from 162 pounds to 115 pounds.

“My sister has always come up to me with new healthy options and new foods I have never even heard of,” Nicole Ringgenberg said. “Thanks to her passion for nutrition and health, I have so much more energy.”

Ringgenberg hopes to eventually expand her service to the greater Austin community. 

“I’m trying to see what’s lacking and what I can do to fix it,” Kiara Ringgenberg said. “It’s not about the money, it’s about people eating healthier.”

Students can order meals by contacting Kiara Ringgenberg over Facebook Messenger.