If having your kids eat a somewhat balanced meal seems like a Sisyphean task, or if you’re simply sick of cooking, it might be time to explore the world of kids meal delivery services. As if by magic, these pre-made kid-friendly meals arrive at your home, radically simplifying meal prep for you and offering novel options, usually more popular than the homemade stuff, for kids. And best of all, the standout ones hide vegetables inside such child-approved dietary staples as chicken nuggets and pizza. The best kids’ meal delivery services give you ample meal options, let you customize menus, and get your kids fed without forcing you to take out a second mortgage.
The brand known for its tasty pre-made baby food has segued into the world of older eaters with its Plates line. Parents can choose from 20 different recipes, all with hidden veggies, superfoods, and hormone-free proteins. The spinach-and-cheese ravioli is literally restaurant quality, while the cheesy black-bean papusas are as fun as they are healthy. The best deal is 12 meals a week for $60. The meals stay fresh in the fridge for 14 days, and can be frozen for two months.
Yumble's heat-and-eat meals range from a vegetarian burrito platter to a chicken-and-broccoli casserole. The cost for 12 meals per week is $7.50 per meal; delivery is nationwide. And the brand does curated boxes, including one aimed at picky eaters. The ingredients are organic when possible, nutritionally balanced, and regionally sourced. And they're packed in recyclable containers.
While this isn't technically for kids, Freshly has plenty of meals that are thoroughly kid-friendly and chef-prepared. The heat-and-eat dishes can be customized to be dairy-free, gluten-free, or soy-free. You choose your delivery day and select your meals. Sample ones include homestyle chicken with mac and cheese, or cauliflower shell beef bolognese. If you opt for 12 meals a week, the cost is $114.
This stuff actually tastes great, even if you're not a kid. The pizza has hidden veggies in the sauce, as do the nuggets. And the mac and cheese is infused with pureed carrots. The nutrition is so stealth that even the pickiest eaters won't figure it out. These meals aren't adventurous, but if you need something quick and solid, they're a great option.
If you're opting for a plant-based diet, this delivery service is calling your name. Sample meals include broccoli and green beans with chickpeas, flaxseed, and avocado oil, and butternut squash and banana with quinoa, cardamom, and coconut butter. You get a frozen meal that you can reheat in minutes. But first, you submit your kid's ingredient preferences, and let the pros create meals based on your child's nutritional and developmental needs. The brand sources all of its ingredients from organic or sustainable farms. You get 12 meals for $66.
Home Chef offers a slew of different meal options, but the ones most convenient for busy parents (with older kids) are the heat-and-eat meals. Pricing starts at $7 per meal, and delivery is nationwide but you need to enter your zip code to confirm availability. Every Monday, you can choose from 21 different meal options. Options range from ravioli to pulled pork to pot roast. The baked macaroni-and-cheese is a guaranteed kiddie crowd-pleaser.
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