This week I had the luxury of not going food shopping, which with my kids usually ends up a bit like this!
Instead we had a family meal box delivered from Hello Fresh. The box came on Tuesday (I chose the delivery day so it came when I was in) and was a lot larger than I expected. Inside were the ingredients and instructions to make four meals for four people. Each meals ingredients were wrapped in a paper bag with a coloured sticker so you could tell which was which. There was also a separate insulated package containing ice packs and items to go in the fridge.
My initial thoughts on unpacking the box were how well packed it was and also how environmentally friendly it was. The fridge pack was wrapped in lambs wool and the meal packs were in brown paper bags.
When I ordered the box I was able to choose four out of six available meals to go in my box. Over the course of this week I have cooked all four of the meals. The meals I got were cheese burgers with wedges and balsamic dressed salad, chicken chow mein, creamy fish curry with rice and toasted coconut and pork loin steak with creamy peppercorn sauce, roast potatoes and vegetables.
The first meal I cooked was the burgers. I was very impressed with the amount and quality of ingredients and the lack of additives etc in the sauce. The recipe was easy to follow with pictures and detailed instructions and the actual burgers were made from scratch with 100% steak, which I wasn’t expecting. The wedges took a little longer than it stated but my oven isn’t great so that’s probably why.
The burgers went down well with the kids and I liked them too. I even made an extra burger and had half a cucumber and a carrot left over!
The next day we had chicken chow mein. This recipe was again made with fresh ingredients and probably the easiest of all the meals to make. The meal tasted good and the kids liked it, however we added a portion of chips from the chip shop as it wasn’t quite enough food.
The following day we had the fish curry. This meal was again easy to prepare and make following the instructions. The vegetable stock pot was missing so I added my own stock cube and that seemed to work fine. I also opted to put half the spice mix in to make the curry milder. This was our least favourite meal as neither of the kids are particularly keen on fish and I had to eat all of the prawns, however, it did get eaten and the portion sizes were good.
The final meal for the week was the pork loin steaks. Again I followed the instructions and managed to make a meal that looked almost the same as the one on the instruction card. There was enough food in this meal and we all really enjoyed it. The meat was tender and with the potatoes and vegetables it was a healthy balanced meal.
Although I have only tried one box, when you sign up you are automatically put on a subscription which you can cancel at any time. The way the subscription works is that you sign in to your account and choose your meals each week or you will be sent a random selection. The meals change every week and you can opt out of receiving any boxes as long as you do it by a certain date. You only pay on the weeks you receive a box.
Our opinion of Hello Fresh
We really liked two out of the four meals we tried. Although the instructions were easy to follow, the meal preparation and cooking for some of the meals wasn’t as quick and easy as I was expecting. I think this is because often midweek I will throw some spaghetti in one pan and some mince and bolognese sauce in another and chuck it on some plates with a sprinkling of cheese, or throw a load of meat and veg in a pot and bung it in the oven all day. The Hello Fresh meals required preparing ingredients before cooking such as hand making the burgers. However it was worth the extra effort and adding of different ingredients at different times to know that the food I was feeding my children was good quality, fresh and homemade!
Over all, the Hello Fresh box made the week a little easier by eliminating the need to shop.
It provided the exact amount of required ingredients, meaning there was hardly any waste.
Most packaging was recyclable.
The ingredients were of good quality and I felt like I was providing my children with good, home cooked food.
The meals tasted good, especially the burgers and Pork loin steaks.
The instructions were easy to follow.
The meal choice wasn’t huge so I ended up picking one I knew my kids might not like.
There were two meals with ingredients that only lasted three days so these had to be cooked first. This wasn’t a problem for me but it restricted my choice on which meal to make each day.
One of the meals had an item missing which I was fortunately able to replace from my cupboard.
Hello fresh if you have Autistic children?
I would say this completely depends on your child’s sensory needs when it comes to eating!
Some of the meals are unusual, my children don’t mind this and were happy to give them a try but if your child is picky over what they eat, you may not find enough meals out of the six available that they will eat. However you can opt out as many weeks as you like, provided you remember to do so. This means that if there is a week without meals you want then you don’t need to have a Hello Fresh for that week.
The big bonus for us was that I didn’t have to take the kids to go food shopping or sit online for hours ordering my weekly shop.
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