We were facing one of those weeks — upcoming days of work deadlines, after-school events and other chores that were going to make it hard to get dinner on the table most nights. I thought about resorting to a meal delivery service like The Munchery (which we’ve reviewed in the past), but the kids tend not to like those types of meals — too gourmet, filled with unfamiliar ingredients.
It seemed like the perfect time to try Nurture Life, a meal-delivery service for kids that I’d read about in Martha Stewart. They had me at the “for kids” part. The business packages fresh, ready-to-eat meals in child-size portions (different age groups are covered, from baby to teenager), using organic ingredients designed to appeal to even picky eaters. You can choose the meals from a pretty broad menu, or have Nurture Life select options from their “chef’s choice” menu. There’s even freshly pureed baby food for the littlest ones. Here’s how our experience went.
The Dinners: I picked out five meals for the kids: gnocchi with vegetable Bolognese; sweet and sour chicken with veggie fried rice; turkey meatloaf with mashed yams; French toast with chicken sausage and frittata; and quinoa and chili bowl. There are also more familiar options like spaghetti and meatballs and mac and cheese, but I wanted to steer clear of the usual suspects and broaden our repertoire.
Delivery: The meals came in a big box that was left at my door (all the packaging was recyclable — a relief, because there was a lot of it!). The food was kept cold with ice packs, but weren’t frozen. The instructions said the meals could be briefly warmed up in the oven or microwave, or kept in the fridge for up to a week.
The Upside: The dinners were surprisingly good. I don’t expect very much of a meal if it isn’t prepared right before I eat it, but the food tasted fresh, the flavors were on point, and the ingredients were obviously of high quality (organic, no preservatives, whole grains, less salt). It’s still a heat and eat meal, so there’s a softness to the food that I’m not sure would appeal to adults, but for kids that tends to be fine. Over the course of the week, they gobbled up the French toast, gnocchi and chili, no problems. They were more reluctant to try the sweet and sour chicken and turkey meatloaf, but did finish those meals without too much complaint once they got started. And I discovered that my kids like quinoa!
The Downside: The meals for 4- to 8-year-olds cost $10 each (plus $6 shipping), which is on the pricey side for a kid’s meal. And some ingredients, like the scallions on the sweet and sour chicken, still scared my daughter, so I’m not sure how those meals would fare with the super picky.
Bottom Line: I’d definitely order from Nurture Life again, next time we’re heading into one of those crazy busy weeks. It’s not something I’d resort to all the time, but this probably isn’t an all-the-time sort of service. The kids enjoyed the food, and I liked the healthy offerings — plus the fact that dinner was ready in all of five minutes.
Check online for discounts before placing your order. There’s currently a promotion for $30 off with code EATWELL30.