If it’s one thing every parent wants, it’s the very best, nutritious foods for their growing children. As your baby transitions to solid foods, and then onto the pickier stages of toddlerhood, healthy eating becomes more of a challenge.
This rings even more true for busy parents that just don’t have the time or energy to devote to creating made from scratch, home-cooked meals for their kids every day. Kids meal delivery services are an option that more parents are turning to.
Here are a few of the top meal delivery services for kids, and how they stack up against each other.
Do you daydream of feeding your child a nutritious meal that they’ll love, that happens to take less than 2 minutes to prepare? It sounds too good to be true but Yumble has a goal of making this your reality.
Of all the kids meal kit options out there, Yumble is the one that wins the highest marks across all of the most important categories. With nearly two dozen meal options, menus that were designed with kids (and your budget) in mind, and allergen-free options, Yumble wins accolades from many parents.
- Plenty of meal options, including many that are suitable for picky eaters
- User reviews speak overwhelming positive for flavor and freshness
- Economically priced, with free shipping – so no hidden costs
- Meals are easily packed for school or childcare
- Simple heat and eat meals can be microwaved in under 2 minutes
Nutrition is vitally important for babies and small children, yet many parents find themselves a little overwhelmed once it’s time to start their babies on solid foods. What are the best foods to feed babies and toddlers, and are prepackaged foods a safe and nutritious alternative?
The founders of Little Spoon asked these same questions and formed a company to help meet the needs of busy parents who want to nourish their little ones with the healthiest foods. Little Spoon’s nutrition council includes a pediatrician from NYU Langone Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics from Yale University School of Medicine.
Little Spoon is a great alternative for parents who want to stay away from processing and preservatives, but who also don’t have the time or energy to prepare special made from scratch meals for their little ones.
- A great alternative to prepackaged, processed baby food that’s available in most grocery stores
- Nutritionally balanced meals for your baby with no added sugars
- Economical option that is aligned price-wise with shelf-stable “gourmet” baby foods
- Ingredients are all organic and non-GMO
Getting the kids involved in the kitchen is a great way to create family memories, and instill the importance of healthy, nutritious meals. For busy parents, this is often a lofty goal. Schedules are packed and mealtime often consists of whatever you can throw on the table the fastest.
It’s ok, we’ve all been there but we also want better. One Potato is a meal delivery service that takes into account everyone in your household, including the kids. One Potato meals are kid-friendly and make it easy for young chefs to help out in the kitchen. Of all the kids’ meal services reviewed, One Potato wins hands down for top kids meal prep.
- Larger range of portion options are great for any size family
- Vegetarian and omnivore menu options
- Menu choices are somewhat limited compared to other services
- Kid-friendly meal prep, including organic slice and bake cookie dough, and smoothie add-ons
- All organic, non-GMO ingredients
If there’s one challenge with kids meal delivery kits, it’s that they aren’t always designed with consideration to the range of ages and appetites around the family dinner table. Nurture Life realizes this challenge and offers parents and caregivers a solution.
Nurture Life’s menu options are categorized by age, meaning portion sizes and nutritional content are perfect for each child. In addition to menu selections for babies 10 months and older, though teen years, Nurture Life also offers a family menu option.
- Appropriately sized portions and menu options for all ages, including family-friendly meals
- Allergen-free meals designed by dieticians
- Heat and eat options that can be on the table in just a few minutes
- Shipping is only free with orders of $59 or more
Once Upon a Farm
Those pouches of baby food are convenient, aren’t they? Portable and closeable, with packaging that usually requires no utensils is a dream for parents on the go. The problem is that some of the standard pouches you get in the grocery store are focused more on pure convenience than nutrition. This isn’t the case with Once Upon a Farm.
Once Upon a Farm, created by Jennifer Garner, is backed by a little star power but the premise is solid. Fresh, cold-pressed, organic ingredients, all packed into convenient pouches. Once Upon a Farm’s concept travels beyond the baby phase by offering options for toddlers and big kids, which are perfect for sticking into backpacks and lunches.
- Free shipping is only for subscribers
- Pouches are BPA free and recyclable
- Organic ingredients, cold-pressed for nutrition and quality
- Selections include super smoothies, dairy-free options, and a range of baby food options
Do you have a textural eater on your hands? Some babies only like the smoothest consistency, while others like something a little thicker. Transitioning from purees to finger foods can be a challenge for little ones with texture preferences. The founders of Raised Real offer a solution to this mealtime dilemma.
Raised Real meals are designed for babies and toddlers, with ingredients that can be eaten as finger foods, mashed or pureed. You can also choose which ingredients, including common allergen to omit from your selections.
- Meals are curated, with your guidance, but subscribers don’t get choose the exact contents of their box
- Versatile for all stages from first meal through toddlerhood
- Organic, plant-based, and allergen-free options
- The menu consists of breakfast and any-time meal options
- Meals formulated by a dietician and a culinary professional
Dinnerly is an economical meal delivery option when you’ve got a family to feed and want the option of kid-friendly selections that seem to be missing from other meal delivery services.
Unlike the other kids meal kit options on this list, Dinnerly is more of a traditional type service that makes a point of offering meal options your entire family will enjoy. The downside to Dinner is that the reviews would leave you thinking they lack in the customer service department.
- Digital recipes cards save on packaging and costs but some find this inconvenient
- An economical option for families
- Meal options include tags such as kid-friendly, 30 minutes or less, and one-pot meals
- According to reviews, customer service and quality are sometimes a concern
Want to get your kids excited about mealtime and helping out in the kitchen? While not a meal delivery service, Kidstir is a subscription program that parents with little budding chefs seem to enjoy.
Kidstir doesn’t include the actual ingredients like your standard meal delivery service. Instead, what you get are menu cards, including instructions and fun tools and essentials that will help your child gain self-confidence in the kitchen.
- Themed monthly cooking kits
- Grown-up notes included with each kit
- Fun, child-friendly kitchen tools included
- Cards can be curated into a binder so kids can create a cookbook
Each family is different, which makes choosing the best kids meal delivery company even more of a challenge. Word of mouth and reviews are helpful, but here are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing the best option for your family.
Very few kids openly embrace every new food. They like familiar foods, foods they can eat with their fingers, foods with the right textures, and that go easy on the spices. Miss any of these points and there’s a good chance the meal is going to get a thumbs down from your youngest dinner companions.
Keep this in mind when choosing a meal delivery service. Do they offer options that make the list of your kid’s favorites? Do they take familiar ingredients and present them in new ways to add diversity to their dishes? Are foods sized appropriately for little fingers, and those just learning how to use utensils?
Of course, quality is key. The last thing you want is to excitedly open your box, only to find inferior looking ingredients. It’s important to choose a company with a strong reputation for freshness and quality.
Along with this is the integrity of the ingredients. Most of the services listed here focus on organic ingredients that are ethically and sustainably sourced.
Fast, Easy Meal Prep
One of the main benefits of choosing a kids meal kit is the time saved. If a company doesn’t offer fast, easy meal prep, then they aren’t a valid option.
Meal delivery services tend to fall into two categories, pre-prepped and ready to cook or heat and eat. Consider which option you prefer when choosing a service.
Allergens and Special Diets
For families with special diets and allergen concerns, it can be hard to trust anyone else with mealtime. An awareness of allergens and special diets ranks as a top priority when choosing the winners on this list.
And, just because one child is gluten-free, doesn’t mean the rest of the family has to eat gluten-free with these meals, especially those single-serving meals like Yumble provides.
Most sites will list whether they’re allergen-free or offer special diet options. If you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to call and ask.
Meal delivery services typically cost more than going to the store and preparing food yourself, but there’s a time benefit that’s worth it for many families. That said, it’s still important to keep budget and cost in mind when choosing a company, especially if you have a picky eater who might not like all the new foods you’re offering.
Subscribing to a kid’s meal service is a great option for busy, health-conscious families. Yumble, the overall winner, wins high marks with parents in every category. If your little one is just starting with solids, Little Spoon is a meal delivery service that will grow with them. Up and coming little chefs will love getting involved with One Potato.
There’s an option for every family.
Mealtime, and nourishing your family should be enjoyable and satisfying. The right kids meal delivery service can make this possible, and enable you to spend more time enjoying those moments with your family.