What It Is: Nurture Life, a food delivery service for babies and toddlers (and their parents)
Who Tried It: Kate Hogan, Digital Specials Director
Why We Tried It: I have an endlessly hungry 14-month-old son and sometimes need a break from the stove
Level of Difficulty: 1 — if you can turn on an oven, you can handle this
When I had my son Henry 14 months ago, I knew that I wanted to serve him homemade food as much as I could. An egg allergy diagnosis made that all the more important once we did start solids at 6 months, since a lot of store-bought and restaurant items are off the table (literally) for now.
That said, there are definitely days when I only have the energy to heat up some chicken nuggets and frozen peas or am serving him baked salmon for the 100th time because I’m severely lacking in creativity (a Pinterest-perfect mom, I am not). So when Nurture Life reached out about sending me a few items from their baby food delivery service, I was super excited for a little break from the kitchen.
The service is subscription-based — you can get eight, 14 or 21 meals per week — and they accommodate all sorts of dietary restrictions (egg allergies included, yay!) and work in a facility free of peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. You have the option of a strictly vegetarian menu or the standard meat/veggie/fish, and can select your own dishes or leave it to the chef’s choice.
Since Henry is on the cusp of their baby and toddler offerings, they sent me a mix of their stage 3 baby foods and 1-year-old toddler foods, both well balanced. The baby foods were ready-to-eat jars of chopped up veggies and proteins like turkey or salmon, which were perfect for lunch or for popping open when we went out to eat and needed to keep him sated while we waited for our meals.
FROM COINAGE: 9 Healthy Kitchen Staples That Cost Less Than $1 Per Serving
The toddler foods (packaged to just heat and serve) were legit: he gobbled up a hearty portion of cauliflower mac and cheese (above) in two sittings, and loved the falafel, something I would never think to make him. But more seasoned items — in particular, a chicken tikka masala that Mom and Dad would love —ended up all over the floor.
To me, the one downside was that I did feel I was wasting food — aside from the vetoed chicken tikka masala, Henry didn’t finish any of the jars, all of which were supposed to be consumed within 24 hours of opening. But to have every lunch and dinner taken care of for a week was a big weight off of my shoulders.
The verdict: It’s definitely a luxury — weekly plans start at $45 and go up to $119 — but if I knew I had a particularly busy week coming up (or a particularly bare fridge) I would try Nurture Life again. Everything was healthy and delicious (I sampled it all) and since you can freeze just about all of their items, you can stretch what they send you for a while
Bon appétit, babies!