Recently, I have received lots of freebies to review. I don’t get time to look at them all but this one caught my eye. It’s a bit like Hello Fresh but specifically for children. For those unfamiliar with this concept the ingredients for a particular meal and the instructions for that meal are sent to your home. All you have to do is follow the instructions and make the meal.
When I heard of this idea, specifically for children I thought to myself “we already cook together and eat together each evening, why do the children need their own meals?” That is certainly the case for the majority of meals but this box arrived on a Friday afternoon and when I looked at the schedule for the weekend ahead, actually it kind of worked out well that the children could cook their own meals on Friday and Saturday. Friday, I had to work late on a call to the US and on Saturday both my husband and I were actually going out for a meal together so if the children could cook their own meals whilst we were getting ready that would be great.
When I opened the box of meals I was struck by the variety; a haddock gratin, chicken goujons, burgers, calzone, cheese strudel and stir-fry were the choices. The boxes themselves involve quite a lot of packaging which is not totally aligned to my efforts this year to produce less waste and to use less plastic. Having said that the trays are recyclable as is the cardboard sleeve on the outside of the box. They also took up quite a bit of room in an otherwise fairly full fridge. However, I still managed to find room for them and once the children had made up one meal each there was room once more in the fridge.
The meals themselves were nicely balanced. The children really enjoyed the flavours of them all except the feta strudel. I think feta is an acquired taste, especially where children are concerned. However, what was most astounding for me was the questions the children asked. There I am thinking they’re really familiar with cooking because they get involved with family meals. The reality is when they were left to their own devices and didn’t have mum saying “just stir this” or “turn the oven on to 180” they were far less confident. That was enlightening for me. I realised that actually they are not left to make their own decisions in the kitchen very often. These meal packs made me realise that so I am cannot praise the concept highly enough for that.
Once the meals were made we sat down as the children ate them to discuss what they thought. Consider that I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old. The 13 year old thought that there may not be enough food for her in one of these small packs. In fact she was wrong but I would say she doesn’t have the largest appetite and many of her friends who are slightly taller and more mature in development terms would undoubtedly polish off more than one of these boxes. She also thought the packaging was certainly oriented towards younger children. I would agree with that. These boxes, to my mind, would be aimed at children ages 3-10. Depending on age they may need a little help and supervision but these boxes are a great way to introduce children to some basic cooking skills with a range of meals. They’re simple meals and easy to replicate.
So now to the question of whether we’d buy these boxes again? I would say that we would buy some on occasions. The price point of about £5.50 per box compared to the advantages of this concept lead me to that conclusion. I can see how a set of these boxes would be great as a children’s party concept i.e. they all get their own box, make their own meal and eat it at a party. I can also see how having some of these delivered to a holiday home could make for a great holiday time activity. For us, if we had another weekend when it would make sense for the children to make their own meals or if they had friends coming over and wanted to make their meals as an activity we’d go right ahead. A great concept for occasions!