Meal times in our household can be a little bit manic; there’s me who’s a vegan, Jenson who will eat anything (edible or not) and Jasper who is an intermittent fussy eater – I say this because some days he is an absolute dream and will eat anything and other days he ‘doesn’t like dinner’ before even knowing what dinner is.
I always prefer to cook one meal for all of us as it just saves time and energy but being realistic, this doesn’t always happen. More often than not I’m making three different meals and I’m left pulling my hair out over the sheer amount of washing up that I’m left to do as well as trying to make sure that each meal is not only scrummy but healthy and nutritious too! Now you guys know that I do love cooking, I love nothing more than finding fun recipes and mum hacks to make cooking simpler but if I can get a pre-made meal for either myself or my children that is healthy and nutritious and not full of preservatives that I am all over adding these into our weekly meals and giving myself a night off in the kitchen!
Annabel Karmel recently sent us a selection of their Chilled Toddler Meals which are based on some of her popular cookbook favourites! If you were following me throughout Jasper and Jenson’s weaning journeys you’ll know that the Annabel Karmel cookbook was my bible and I used so many of her recipes with both of my boys so to have those home cooked meals without having to do any of the chopping/peeling and slicing is very appealing indeed!
The range is designed for kiddies aged 1-4 so it’s perfect for my two boys who are 18 months and 3 years old (almost 4 sniff sniff). They all have the seal of approval from leading dietician and child nutritionist Sarah Almond Bushell which is great piece of mind for us parents because even if I give the boys a plate full of greens I’m always worried that I’m not giving them the right amounts to give them a healthy balanced diet.
Each meal contains at least one and up to three of your childs 5-a-day and are all free from artificial additives and preservatives – plus they only take 2 minutes 30 seconds in the microwave, or 5 minutes 30 seconds from Frozen!
The meals that we were sent were:
* Scrummy Fish Pie
* Lovely Beef Lasagne
* Mild Chicken Tikka & Rice
* Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta with Hidden Veg
*Yummy Chicken & Apple Bites
* Tasty Chicken & Potato Pie
* Mighty Meaty Bites
I let my lead tiny taster Jasper choose first as ‘hell hath no fury like a toddler who wants his baby brothers dinner’ and the first meal he went for was the Tasty Chicken and Potato Pie which contains one of their 5-a-day. Jasper is much better off with soft and saucy meals like this rather than your standard meat and two veg style dish and it was the first time in weeks that I saw him finish a plate of food that wasn’t pizza or sausages and beans!
Jasper also wanted to choose Jenson’s meal for him and he went for the Lovely Beef Lasagna which as you can see Jenson got stuck straight into! It has one of your littles ones 5-a-day and even though I’m on a vegan diet I must say it smelt incredible!
Is it me or is there something satisfying about seeing your child covered in food? It’s just such a great sign that they’ve enjoyed their meal which (aside from the mess) is a mothers dream!
The next day Jasper was excited to have another ‘box meal’ as he named them (not very imaginative I know haha) and he went for Mild Chicken Tikka & Rice which has one of their 5-a-day for himself and Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta with Hidden Veg for Jenson which has a whopping three of their 5-a-day in it! He then of course decided to swap after seeing Jenson’s one so they did half and half and I was secretly glad because it meant that they both got an equal amount of their 5-a-day – ain’t no favouritism up in here!
The boys also loved the Yummy Chicken & Apple Bites which they had for lunch one day as a picnic style meal with fruit and veggie sticks and then the Mighty Meat Bites that evening for dinner (it was a meatball kind of day) with pasta and a homemade Bolognese sauce!
The Tasty Chicken & Potato Pie also went down a treat but Jenson refused to have his picture taken (it was one of those nights) so you’ll have to take my word for it that his face was pleasantly covered!
Overall the boys absolutely loved the Annabel Karmel Chilled Toddler Meals range; there wasn’t a single one that they turned their noses up at and I really loved knowing how many of their 5-a-day they’d had in each meal. It meant I could quickly whip up a fruit salad for pudding or some veggie sticks on the side to make sure they got the full 5-a-day before bedtime!
There are lots more meals in the range that we are excited to try including the Super Chicken Pasta Bake, Fruity Chicken Korma with Rice, Beef Cottage Pie with Five Veggies and Tasty Tuna Pasta Bake! All meals are available at Tesco, Sainsburies and Ocado and are £2.30 each or 2 for £4 at Ocado at the moment!
If you’re a busy parent or simple want to give yourself a couple of nights off in the kitchen a week then these are such a great way to give your little ones a healthy, nutricious balanced meal whilst being super quick and convenient!
Have you tried the Annabel Karmel Chilled Toddler Meals yet? Do you cook a lot of pre-made meals or are you set on cooking from scratch?
Thanks for reading!
*This post is in collaboration with Annabel Karmel however all opinions are my own.