In today's fast-paced world, many families struggle to find time to cook healthy and delicious meals. Our Macaroni KID publishers are no exception!
So we asked three of our Macaroni KID publishers, in various stages of motherhood, to order boxes of the meal delivery service Home Chef to let us know if it helped make dinnertime at their home a more enjoyable experience.
Reviewers received meals and compensation to facilitate this article. All thoughts and opinions expressed are their own.
"My teens, husband, and I often eat out or have food delivered to avoid cooking and cleaning. But that's so expensive. Plus it's not always the nutritionally best choice," Darla Winstead, publisher of Macaroni KID Annapolis, Md., wrote in her review of Home Chef.
On the opposite end of parenthood, Essy Chen, publisher of Macaroni KID Chino Hills-Chino-Diamond Bar, Calif., also struggles to get dinner on the table each day because grocery shopping with her toddler and baby is difficult, at best. Plus, Essy hates the waste of ending up with extra food in her fridge that her family doesn't eat.
Meanwhile, Macaroni KID Leominster - Clinton, Mass., publisher Emily Cabrera was excited to use Home Chef as a chance to help get her picky 4- and 6-year-olds excited about cooking and trying new foods.
Here's how Home Chef helped our three publishers simplify meal planning and prep without sacrificing quality, fresh and healthy meals.
Emily Cabrera's son tried zucchini for the first time thanks to Home Chef.
The meal: Margherita Chicken with Garlic Parmesan Zucchini
How it went: Everything is conveniently packaged together so you don't lose anything. My daughter was excited to read each menu card and asked lots of questions about the ingredients and how to cook them.
The best part: Each of my kids did try a few new ingredients with each meal we prepared. My daughter, 6, loved trying fresh lime, and my son, 4, found out he likes zucchini!
Bonus: Cooking with kids can be a bit of a challenge but Home Chef meals are a great way to start introducing cooking because the ingredients are prepared and there's less time spent on chopping veggies or measuring out spices. It allows them to participate in ways that are appropriate for their age.
Darla's husband enjoying his Home Chef dinner.
The meal: Creamy Diced Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli and Penne Pasta
How it went: It was so easy, fast, yummy, and full of fresh ingredients. Clean-up was quick.
The best part: My husband and I were actually excited to cook dinner that night. Making dinner didn't feel like a chore at all.
Bonus: You can even order meals with the protein fully cooked to make dinner in the microwave in only 15 minutes.
Essy Chen and her daughters unboxing their Home Chef meals.
The meal: One Pan Pork Tacos and the Chocolate Chip Skillet
How it went: This was a new dish to try for all of us, and it was definitely family-approved — even the pickiest eater in the house loved it. My little one and I had a great time cooking together in the kitchen. And the best part? Setup and cleanup were super easy.
The best part: We were amazed at all the different meal kits Home Chef has on their site —from 15-minute low-prep creations to 30+ minute culinary masterpieces. They even offer oven-ready meals that require no prep for busy schedules. Thanks to Home Chef, you never have to chop onions again!
Bonus: I also love that Home Chef helps reduce waste since all the ingredients come pre-portioned based on the serving sizes you chose. Say goodbye to forgotten ingredients during a grocery run, or spoiled produce left in the back of your fridge.
All three families agreed Home Chef allowed them to enjoy fresh, delicious dinners without the stress and hassle of grocery shopping and meal prep.
Looking to simplify your own meal planning?