I’ve done the working mom thing, I’ve done the SAHM thing, and I’ve done the WAHM thing- each one is tough. And each one carries with it the same dilemma: what the heck do I make for dinner?
You never really expect that meal planning will become as challenging as it is after kids. What can I prepare that has actual flavor for the adults, isn’t too crazy for my picky toddler, and can be broken down into small pieces for my solid food-transitioning infant? See, tougher than it seems!
Pinterest has been a terrific resource on multiple occasions when our family just couldn’t do another night of spaghetti or tacos. However, the real lifesaver for our family was…meal delivery services!
Why our family loves meal delivery services…
It started when my boss generously gifted me a one-week delivery for my birthday. (Seriously, how thoughtful of a gift is that?!) I tried my hand at General Tso’s Chicken, Beef Empanadas, and Bhindi Masala. Yes, I actually made Chinese, Mexican, and Indian-inspired dishes all by myself with no prior knowledge. My husband and I are huge foodies and we loved getting to try brand new dishes with entirely new flavor profiles.
After our first week, we were sold. Our monthly food budget didn’t allow us to get once a week deliveries. But we felt so strongly about the positive impact on our diets and lifestyle that we committed to getting them once per month. Sometimes more, depending on what the recipes were on a given week.
I can’t sing their praises enough – we had a ton of fun experimenting with new styles, flavors and techniques. I was pushed outside my comfort zone and attempted recipes that I never would have had the confidence to try on my own. All the recipes were relatively dummy-proof and took between 30-45 minutes to make. And out of about 20 recipes total, I think we had one dud. Some of the recipes we received have become our new family fall-backs. I’ve adapted that initial General Tso’s recipe to make my own vegetarian version and we eat it almost once per month. We’ve also incorporated more seafood into our diet because that was something I was never comfortable cooking pre-deliveries.
My kids are not perfect eaters, so of course there are always some dishes that my toddler flat out refuses to try. However, we’ve been so impressed with his open-mindedness for some of the more exotic dishes that I never thought he would touch!
So, if you’re stuck in a meal planning rut, I would highly recommend signing up just once. You can handpick which recipes you want, modify based on your dietary needs, cancel at any time, and you can adjust the delivery frequency to fit your family’s budget and lifestyle. We loved Blue Apron for it’s more exotic recipes, and Hello Fresh for living up to its name. (All the ingredients really were fresh!) I’ve heard good things about Home Chef and other services, as well.
So, if you haven’t tried a meal delivery service, do it! You can thank me later.