Trying to balance a busy family life whether that’s at home, working or somewhere in between, is hard! Mealtimes can be tricky on limited time, especially with fussy eaters thrown into the mix.
My two are usually pretty good eaters – especially L who is one. That boy LOVES his food and gets angry when he’s not getting it fast enough. We’ve been through the up and down stage of eating and fussiness with Little I, who is three, and I think (for now) we’re back on track.
I’ll be honest and say I definitely prefer cooking for the kids myself and knowing exactly what’s in everything I’m cooking, but I’ll also be completely honest and say ‘I work 30 hours a week and sometimes I need a little help in the kitchen!!’. If I don’t have anything of my own frozen, then sometimes I do turn to a convenience food of some description.
However, that doesn’t mean I want to compromise on taste or nutrition for my two little monsters, ahem, darlings and when it comes to ready meals or things like fish fingers, then I like to try and choose the best possible option. The Annabel Karmel Chilled Toddler Meals is designed for ages 1 – 4 and the recipes are based on Annabel’s popular cookbook favourites as well. They have a seal of approval from a leading nutritionist and dietician, Sarah Almond Bushell.
We were sent some of the Annabel Karmel Chilled Toddler Meals ranges to try and I was intrigued to see how we would get on. They contain up to three of your children’s five a day, depending on which meal it is, and are low in salt. There are no artificial additives or preservatives and the meals can be ready in minutes. I was a bit skeptical at first but I soon warmed to the concept and they were enjoyed all round – most days!
We were sent:
– Scrumpy Fish Pie.
– Beef Cottage Pie with Five Veggies.
– Mild Chicken Tikka and Rice.
– Tasty Chicken and Potato Pie.
– Lovely Beef Lasagne.
– Tomato and Mascarpone Pasta with Hidden Veg.
– Mighty Meaty Bites.
The Annabel Karmel Meaty Bites were a huge hit and a big treat for the kids. I usually give them meat free versions when they get them at home (I’m veggie but the kids and husband are not) so Little I’s first exclamation was ‘mama these just like nursery meatballs. I like nursery meatballs!’. They both wolfed them down with their pasta and tomato and basil sauce. What was good about the meatballs was that they were a quick addition to a quick meal where I could make everything else myself.
L enjoyed the Annabel Karmel Mild Chicken Tikka and Rice. He seemed to really like the sauce and liked when the rice was mixed in with it. I crushed up some poppadoms with mango chutney to go with it, for him too, which he liked.
Little I said her favourite was the Tasty Chicken and Potato Pie. She said it was ‘warm, and cosy, and yummy and ok for all the boys and girls to eat’ apparently! She didn’t want to tell me her favourite part because she’s three and finds withholding information hilarious haha.
Unfortunately, L is still mostly dairy free (on stage one of the milk ladder) so out of the meals we were sent, he could only have one. It would be great to see some more options for dairy free little ones in the future. Its is good that the packaging is marked clearly though and also that the meals can be frozen.
All in all we were really happy with the Annabel Karmel toddler meals and they proved to be a hit with the kids, which is always the ultimate goal at meal time. For us they will be great to have in for last minute meals or rushed evenings when I’m on my own while the husband is at sea. The variety of meals on offer is great and they are priced well too – £2.30 in Tesco.
You can check out the range for yourself here! The Annabel Karmel toddler meals can be found in Tesco and Sainsburys, in store, and online at Ocado.
*this post is in collaboration with Annabel Karmel but all opinions are 100% honest and our own.