With the holidays in full swing, let’s talk food!
Not holiday food though. Let’s talk about regular meals. You know… breakfast, lunch and dinner? We all need to eat. And with all.the.things. we’re constantly doing, sometimes regular, healthy meals can get lost in the shuffle.
It’s no secret, I’m no culinary genius. Add to the mix a picky eater of a husband and my lack of skills? It’s not a recipe for success, by any means. However, 5 months in to parenthood, and no one has starved. #SmallVictory
The first thing I want to talk about, I can take absolutely no credit for. Shortly before our baby made her arrival, some close friends of ours set up a Meal Train for us. They messaged us about food we liked, didn’t like, drop off frequency. Then they posted the link on social media while we were in the hospital.
Our friends and family were able to sign up for dates they wanted to drop off a meal. This was hands down, without hesitation, the best gift we received. For the first 3 weeks that we were home, we didn’t have to cook for ourselves. It was so heartwarming to see how many people showed up for us. I am endlessly thankful for all of the love and home cooked meals.
We were allowed to designate drop off wishes, so that if we weren’t up for seeing visitors they could drop the meal off. It was helpful for me to put Dan in charge of communication, so I didn’t have to worry about checking my phone or coordinating anything. He kept me in the loop, so I knew who would be showing up and when, mainly so I could throw decent clothes on LOL and I asked that drop offs only be when both of us were home. That way if I needed to feed the baby or she was fussy or sleeping- he could do the socializing.
We were definitely feeling spoiled after all the love and comfort food. And again, let me remind you that neither myself or my husband have a love of cooking, meal planning or grocery shopping. Especially not with a newborn. We weren’t quite ready to jump back into reality.
We’ve all seen the ads for HelloFresh, right? Or gotten the cards in the mail. I reached out on Facebook to get the opinion of friends and got enough positive feedback to give it a go. We got a discount code, and signed up for our first week.
As someone that isn’t a great cook, this was HUGE in building my confidence in the kitchen. We set Monday as our delivery date, and ordered 3 meals for 2 each week. It shakes out to about $60 a week.
Every recipe comes with measured out ingredients and a fool proof recipe card. In 30 minutes, we had a really delicious meal. Easy enough that either of us could follow the recipe and get dinner taken care of, regardless of how sleep deprived we were!
We did have to modify some of the recipes to cut out some ingredients that we didn’t like, but that was easy enough to do, and didn’t make a big difference to the taste of the meal. The app is also really user friendly. You do have to make sure to set up the app reminders or set a reminder on your phone to choose your meals before the cutoff for delivery. There were a few weeks that we forgot and they auto-chose the meals for us, and they were good, but not meals we would have chosen.
There is also the option for add ons each week. Things like a quick lunch option, extra chicken, garlic bread, brownie mix or rolls. This is a great way to learn new cooking skills and try new recipes that you might not ordinarily. I highly recommend.
We also wanted to try a prepared meal service. We decided on Freshly. You pick your meals from the app, and they arrive prepared and portioned, you just have to microwave. This would be a better option for someone that maybe needed a prepared meal for lunch, but didn’t really work for us for dinner multiple nights a week.
We definitely preferred the meals we cooked, over the ones we microwaved. They were good, but not great. Freshly definitely had a larger variety of healthy, unique ingredients and options, but for a family that prefers comfort food, it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for.
Though it wasn’t my favorite, I would definitely order again if I needed healthy, easy meals for a busy week. One thing that was nice, is that the meals are single servings, so hubby and I weren’t roped in for the same meal, if I was feeling more adventurous. Freshly also had a lot of vegetarian options, HelloFresh has some as well, but Freshly definitely had more.
Another thing I’ve taken advantage of, is leftovers. When I make something, I’ll make way too much, intentionally. I have a couple different soups that I have frozen in single servings, that way I can thaw one meal at a time!
When it comes to taking care of each other, you can’t go wrong with food. If you’re visiting a new mom, make a meal. Bring coffee and a donut. Or offer to set up a meal train for someone that’s expecting!