Getting children to sample new flavors and textures can be an uphill battle but research indicates that “systematic desensitization”, or the slow introduction of new foods into your diet, can help people of all ages overcome food neophobia – “the fear of eating new or unfamiliar foods”.
Coming up with meals that will appeal to all the family while tackling neophobia is challenging, especially for those juggling a busy family life and a full-time job, so why not turn to the best meal delivery for picky eaters to help you out?
Why a Meal Delivery Services is Great for Families and Picky Eaters
Understandably, kids are often hesitant about new ingredients, especially if they contain “disgusting vitamins” or “feel funny” in the mouth. One of the biggest problems with getting children to try new foods or accept healthy ones is that picky eating isn’t a “‘textbook’ problem, and the exact behavior can be unique to each child”.
In a large family with children of different ages, whoever’s in charge of the evening meal often ends up feeling like a short-order chef rather than a parent. Cooking mac n cheese for one child, while warming up chicken noodle soup for another, and preparing pizza for the rest of the family is both time-consuming and uses every pot and pan in the kitchen. For the average parent, who’s trying to keep up with work and extracurricular activities, this is just too much, especially if they then must bully the kids into washing up afterward.
The best meal delivery for picky eaters can take away a lot of that hassle and more. Imagine you didn’t have to spend Saturday mornings dragging your kids around the supermarket and arguing with them over unhealthy snacks and over-priced plastic toys? Imagine you didn’t resort to take-outs from the restaurant down the road every other day simply out of exasperation and exhaustion? Imagine you could prepare a meal for your whole family in under 30 minutes using the minimal amount of equipment? It sounds like paradise, but it comes in a box delivered to your front door once a week.
Choosing the Best Meal Delivery for Kids
Meal delivery services are flexible and convenient, providing healthy pre-portioned meals to suit individuals and families alike. Some pride themselves on creating kids’ meal delivery plans that include your children’s’ favorite dishes, while improving their nutrition.
For instance, instead of just mac and cheese, the best meal delivery for kids will secretly add a bit of grated cauliflower while their chicken bites might be accompanied by yams and green beans. Kids’ meal delivery services can be a great way to give your children their favorite meals while gently introducing new foods and flavors and keeping the menu interesting enough for other members of the family.
The best meal kit delivery service for picky eaters comes with easy-to-follow instructions on how to prepare each meal so your kids can get involved with the cooking process as well. Getting involved with meal preparation makes your children feel more in control of what they’re eating, and many kids will be “more willing to try new things if they helped assemble it”.
As a kids’ meal delivery service will provide pre-portioned ingredients for each meal, you won’t have to waste time at the grocery store or waste leftover food. Another benefit of avoiding the supermarket is that it reduces the temptation to buy snacks, which, if your child tends to graze during the day and yet refuse to eat at mealtimes, can help combat picky eating habits and improve their diet.
There’s a lot to like about kids’ meal delivery services but not every box will contain the perfect combination of variety and kid-friendly dishes. The best meal delivery for kids will, however, and we’ve been beavering away in the background working out which ones they are.
The Best Meal Delivery for Picky Eaters
#1 Home Chef
This versatile meal delivery service is flexible and affordable, with a variety of 21 meals for users to choose from each week. Rather than following the trend of providing specific meal plans, Home Chef lets you select whatever you want from its weekly menu. This can include quick, light lunches as well as main meals.
Each week, Home Chef offers one oven-ready meal as well as quick meals that can be prepared in under 15 minutes. Its classic recipes take a little longer but tend to be more child-friendly, with dishes like farmhouse fried chicken with mashed potatoes or BBQ turkey burgers with cheese and sweet potato fries.
Home Chef doesn’t make a song and dance about being one of the best meal delivery services for families but it is, and it’s one of the most affordable, with meals starting at $6.99 per serving.
Home Chef’s flexible approach means you can alter the number of servings you get for each meal so, if one daughter is always at soccer practice on a Tuesday, you can reduce your normal order by one. It also has a mobile app so you can change your order or select your weekly menu while on the go.
Simple to use and flexible enough to adapt to your personal needs, Home Chef gets our vote as the best meal delivery for picky eaters. Sign up with Home Chef today, or find out why we recommend this kid’s meal delivery service by reading our full review here.
Is HelloFresh good for picky eaters? Since it revamped its family menu, definitely! This popular meal delivery service relaunched its family plan a couple of years ago, making it more flavorful and varied, while keeping things simple.
HelloFresh’s kids’ meal delivery service includes meals that will appeal to adults and children alike. This is one of the reasons why we find Hellofresh good for picky eaters. While revamping its family plan, Hello Fresh “conducted robust testing to gauge exactly what flavors, cuisines, and ingredients both kids and adults will love”. As a result, it offers one of the best meal kit delivery service for picky eaters without skimping on flavor.
Each week, Hello Fresh creates a fresh menu of 21 different dishes and, while not all these fall into its family-friendly category, many of them fit the bill. Family-friendly dishes include favorites like Melty Monterey Jack Burgers and double cheese and pork sausage flatbreads which take between 30 to 40 minutes to prepare.
Home Fresh has a mobile app to make your life even easier, and is an affordable service with meals starting at around $7.49 per serving. While the family plan is limited to four servings per meal, you can add extra servings if you’ve got more mouths to feed.
As one of America’s most popular meal delivery services, it’s hardly surprising Hello Fresh biting at Home Chef’s heels, eager to become the best meal delivery service for picky eaters. It’s not far off either, so why not sign up with Hello Fresh today? You can also read our in-depth review for more information.
#3 Sun Basket
Although better known for being one of the best low-carb meal delivery services, Sun Basket produces a selection of nutritious meals suited to families, and includes oven-ready and pre-prepped meals each week.
While other companies vying to be the best home meal delivery for picky eaters focus on the foods children like to eat, Sun Basket’s innovative approach combines child-friendly flavors with organic ingredients, giving families vegetarian, paleo-friendly, and gluten-free options each week.
The idea of converting a picky three-year-old to a paleo diet may seem a little risky, but Sun Basket kids meal delivery service includes tempting options like Korean beef skewers with pear slaw and sesame seeds, as well as dairy-free options such as Salisbury-style turkey patties with porcini gravy and roasted vegetables.
Sun Basket is a little more expensive than the best meal kit delivery service for picky eaters but offers great value for money for families looking to embrace a healthy, organic eating regime. Family meals start at $8.99 per serving which, when you look at the price of organic produce in the supermarket, is surprisingly cost-effective.
With Sun Basket, you can rest assured that your family is avoiding potentially harmful pesticides and chemicals while saving you both time and money. Recipes are simple enough to follow and include helpful tips on how to get your kids involved. For example, if you’re making Taiwanese Noodle Soup, why not get your kids to strip to cilantro leaves, or measure the water?
Introduce your kids to the latest diet trends, educate them about the difference between paleo and low-carb diets, and show them the appeal of healthy, organic food by signing up with Sun Basket today. Find out more about Sun Basket in our comprehensive review here.
#4 Blue Apron
Although Blue Apron meals take a little more preparation than the kids’ meal delivery services, we’ve looked at so far, if you’re comfortable in the kitchen, that extra effort will pay off. While the best meal delivery for kids provides individually wrapped, pre-portioned ingredients for each dish, Blue Apron has a slightly different approach. If the same ingredient is required for several recipes that week, it’s up to the customer to divide it up. This adds more preparation time and can be frustrating for those juggling meal preparations with kids’ homework and other household chores.
Blue Apron’s weekly menu consists of six options, which makes it more limited than the best meal delivery for kids. That menu, however, includes child-friendly options like Italian meatloaf and beef Bolognese with cheesy garlic bread. Given the limited choices, however, Blue Apron could get a little repetitive, although the quality is consistently high.
Prices are reasonable with Blue Apron and a family of four eating from its kids’ meal delivery menu four times a week will pay just $7.49 per serving, with that price rising as the number of meals declines. Three meals per week for a family of four cost 50c more, while three meals per week will set you back $8.99 per serving.
Blue Apron isn’t just for families and picky eaters, however, and, since introducing diabetes-friendly options at the end of last year, it’s now fast becoming one of the best diabetic meal delivery services around.
If Blue Apron interests you, why not read our full review here and find out more about the service and its menus? Alternatively, you could just jump into the frying pan, so to speak and sign up with Blue Apron here.
This budget service may not cater for fad diets or weight-loss plans. It may not even be a contender for the title of the best keto meal delivery service, but when it comes to cost-effective convenience, it’s hard to beat.
With meals starting at just $4.49 per serving and a range of child-friendly dishes to choose from each week, Dinnerly is worth testing out, especially if you’re searching for the best meal delivery service for picky eaters but can’t afford the likes of Sun Basket.
Dinnerly keeps costs to a minimum by providing digital recipe cards instead of printing ones – which is also good for the environment – and restricting the number of ingredients per meal. Although this means the variety may be more limited than HelloFresh, for example, it also means the meals are quicker to prepare and more likely to appeal to highly selective palates.
Choose from 16 meals each week, including kids’ favorites like stuffed cheeseburger with garlicky oven fries and cheese ravioli with pesto sauce. Not only will Dinnerly save you time and money, but it will also cut down on your carbon footprint by using only recyclable containers.
Dinnerly’s shipping costs are a little higher than those of our other kids’ delivery services at $8.99 but the lower cost of its meals means it’s still suitable for those on a tight budget. Sign up with Dinnerly and sample its child-friendly meals, or find out more about the service by reading our full review.
You don’t have to be a family to make the most of the best home meal delivery for picky eaters. Not all of us outgrow our selective eating habits and adults suffering from food neophobia may want to use the best meal kit delivery kit service for picky eaters to combat some of the consequences of the condition.
Studies indicate that, in people with food neophobia, “the intake of fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fatty acids may be lower and the intake of saturated fat and salt greater”. The best home meal delivery for picky eaters tends to keep salt to a minimum while introducing ingredients like olive or sesame oil, avocado, and nuts which are high in monounsaturated fatty acids.
The best meal delivery service for picky eaters can also be a good way to add more variety to your evening meals, offering you new ideas on how to eat healthily while accommodating your family’s diverse food preferences.
Kids meal delivery services also take away the dreaded temptations of the grocery store and its aisles of unhealthy snacks, save you time by pre-preparing certain ingredients and offering over-ready meals, help you lose weight by providing pre-portioned ingredients, and cut down on excess food waste.
Getting your children to eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet will stand them in good stead for the future while getting them involved in the simple meal preparations required by the best meal delivery for kids, will introduce them to basic cooking terms and techniques.
The best meal delivery for picky eaters can help you combat selective eating in several ways while giving your whole family the nutrition they need to live their lives to the full.