The best family-friendly meal delivery kits

Godsend or waste of your hard earned pennies? Find out...

Mindful Chef + Leon

by Georgina Terry |
Updated on

What are you doing while the country is still in partial lockdown?

Have you taken up a new hobby? Really upped your yoga game? Revamped your living space?

Ha ha ha! Not if you're a parent, right? All our time is taken up with working (if you still can) and childcare. Oh, and eating. We're still finding time for that.

As we're still trying to stay home as much as possible, and supermarkets are a minefield of mask-deniers, are food delivery boxes the answer? We found out...

Check out: family-friendly food kits

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The best family-friendly meal delivery kits

Mindful Chef1 of 12
CREDIT: Mindful Chef

Mindful Chef Family Box

Mindful Chef is an old hand on the food delivery block and has been operating since 2014. They've recently launched a family box and promise delicious, nutritionist-designed recipes. As well as special offers like £10 off your first and second box, Mindful Chef also boasts all gluten-free, dairy-free recipes, is carbon neutral, and there are one-person meal plan options. Tried and Tested by Sophie Knight: "We've got to admit, at first we were underwhelmed with our delivery, a spinach and chickpea curry. We've had a spinach and chickpea curry in our repertoire for years. But we were wrong - this creamy, delicately spiced dish, blew our minds. Even our toddler scoffed it down, his first (known) chickpea consumption. The website is impressive - all meals have calorie information as well as suggested prep time (N.B. we found they'd wildly underestimated that but fortunately we have a lot of time on our hands right now), and there's a large selection of vegan meals. There's no getting away from the fact it's pretty pricey, but the quality of ingredients was high and, like we say, it's a while since we've had our tastebuds blown by a chickpea."

Leon vegan2 of 12
CREDIT: Leon

Leon, Family Box

Food chain Leon has set up a food delivery box service, Feed Britain, that promises to provide the same food you can buy in-store in non-pestilent times at home. We went for the vegan box that provides three meals, each said to feed four: Brazilian black beans, Leon's gobi, plus coconut, jackfruit and lime curry. A 1kg bag of brown rice is also included.At first, it didn't look very appealing as the meals come in plastic bags, reminiscent of boil in the bag food from days of yore. But we can't fault the taste. The Brazilian bean dish was rich, delicious and very hearty. It has quite a kick so you may want some plain yogurt on hand for little mouths.There's no cooking involved, other than boiling the rice and heating the main in a pan, so it's not an activity box, but for an easy to prepare meal that tastes like it's made with love: 10/10.Feed Britain is currently closed, but we're hoping it'll be open again soon!

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CREDIT: Pasta Evangelists

Pasta Evangelists

Pasta Evangelists promises restaurant-quality pasta in the comfort of your home with 15 different recipes to choose from. Recipes are delivered and can be kept in the fridge for up to one day, or there are instructions for freezing. There are one-person options but works out slightly cheaper buying a double serving. Receive 40 per cent off and free Prosecco for two on your first order. Tried and Tested by Sophie Knight: "We went for trofie with walnut pesto: a generous portion of unusually shaped pasta and a recipe so simple my three-year-old could have followed it. The meal was thoroughly yum but more suitable for a sophisticated parental dinner à deux once the kids are in bed then a family meal. And, priced at £7.20 per head, it could really add up if you tried to feed a family."

THE FRYING PAN PIZZA KIT4 of 12
CREDIT: Pizza Pilgrims

Pizza Pilgrims frying pan pizza kit, £15

Missing fresh pizza? Not quite at the 'making your own 48 hour proved dough stage' yet? Us too. So hooray for the clever chefs at Pizza Pilgrims who've come with this make-at-home kit.Each box comes with dough, tomato sauce, mozarella, olive oil, flour and basil, enough for two pizzas. Our toddler loved helping to make them, especially sprinkling on the basil for some reason (though he later refused to eat the herb) and, honestly? They were FIT. If I was being super critical, the chef (my husband) overworked the dough a little but still, 10/10 would definitely frying pan pizza agin.Top tip: watch the video on the Pizza Pilgrim's website before you get started. It contains more detailed instructions than come in the box.

Little Cooks5 of 12
CREDIT: Little Cooks

Little Cooks, from £8.33 per month

Little Cooks is a baking subscriptions service that posts dry ingredients and a recipe card once a month. A list of the fresh ingredients you'll need is emailed out a week in advance.We tried out blackberry and lemon bars. It felt like it ticked a lot of health boxes wand used chia 'egg' and quinoa flour. Vegan options were provided for everything except the honey and I feel sure you could have replaced that with maple syrup if you wanted (full disclosure: we replaced the blackberries with raspberries with no ill effects).There were clear instructions provided and making the bars held my three year old's attention throughout. We made them at 7am so it was a happy accident to discover the bars are recommended for breakfast. Tbf, we probably would have scoffed them anyway. Christmas food rules right now, right?

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CREDIT: Bakedin

Bakedin monthly baking club, from £7.50

Is there's anything we need in this time of crisis it's cake. We tried out Bakedin's double choc brownies. They came with everything you need including a baking tin plus paper, and even a butter measure, although you have to provide the butter and any fresh ingredients yourself.The recipe was extremely simple and my toddler enjoyed finding the numbered packets so we snuck a maths lesson under the radar too. He didn't enjoy creaming the butter and sugar together much but who does?Speaking of butter, if you don't know how much is in brownies, stay in blissful ignorance. Blimey, they're pure filth. The kit turned out a batch of rich, gooey treats that we scoffed down in two days. No regrets.

Feast Box7 of 12
CREDIT: Feast Box

Feast Box

Feast Box probably has the largest selection of flavours on offer of all the boxes we tried and tested. It boasts recipe meal kits from Africa, Latin America, China, India, the Middle East, the Caribbean, South East Asia, Japan, Korea and Eastern Europe. It's four recipes in a box for two people and you can save 30 per cent off your first order. But there are no family options so could work out quite expensive for one week. Tried and Tested by Sophie Knight: "We sampled prawn Thai noodle salad. An ENORMOUS portion of fresh tasting, vibrant flavours. This is great. The choice of meals is inspiring and could really shake you out of a food and flavour rut."

Patty&Bun delivery8 of 12
CREDIT: Plateaway

Patty&Bun

Fancy a frankly filthy burger in the comfort of your own home? We hear you. We went for the vegan kit, because we are very 2020, and it contained the ingredients for four P&B burgers; two ari gold cheeseburgers and two smokey robinsons. NGL, they are pretty much the same burger - the difference is in the onion - but they were dripping, delicious, and 100% hit the dirty burger spot. At £25 for four burgers, they're comparable to what you'd pay in a P&B restaurant. Although, of course, you have to do your own washing up. The P&B make-at-home delivery kit comes via Plateaway, a newcomer on the delivery block. It launched in July 2020, and aims to bring your favourite - or new favourite - restaurant's cuisine into your kitchen. As well as P&B, you could choose dishes from Sushi Dog, Dirty Bones, the Little Pasta company and more.

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CREDIT: Homage2Fromage

Homage2Fromage2YOU, from £40

What's one of life's greatest pleasures? That's right: cheese. And anyone who tells us that cheese and biscuits don't count as a meal can go and pickle themselves, frankly.Homage2Fromage is a delivery box of eight (eight!) vacuum packed cheeses plus chutneys and biscuits. But think the fun ends there? It doesn't.The box is billed as a 'tasting experience' and also contains a fun game for two to four people, encouraging you to guess the name of the cheese, where it's from, and what word has been used to describe it.The cheese was lush and generously portioned, and the quince jelly by Sarah's Feisty Flavourswas hands-down the nicest we've ever had. Not going to lie, our toddler refused to try most of them ("What's that smell, Mummy?") but that just meant more cheese for the adults. A win. Homage2Fromage

Piglet's Pantry Traditional Afternoon Tea10 of 12
CREDIT: Red Letter Days

Piglet's Pantry Traditional Afternoon Tea

Perhaps a little bit of a cheat, this one, as no cooking is actually involved but your secret is safe with us.Piglet's Pantry supply everything needed for a decadent afternoon tea, including sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, divine cheese and chive quiches. Plus eight (eight!) cakes as big as your face and enormous scones with clotted cream and jam. They even supply tea bags. You will have to boil a kettle yourself and that almost counts as cooking, right? Right?Trust us, there enough food for two meals per person here but if you do manage it all in one go, take that as a badge of honour.

BACARDu00cd X Berber & Q make-at-home BBQ Kit11 of 12
CREDIT: BACARDu00cd x Berber & Q

BACARDÍ x Berber & Q make-at-home BBQ Kit

We're bound to have BBQ weather at some point this summer, right, RIGHT? And so this BBQ kit from restaurant Berber & Q and BACARDI rum could be just the ticket. It contains ingredients for smoked chicken thighs with saffron, orange and BACARDÍ, Spiced Rum caramel, plus charred broccoli, pickled red onions, rose harissa, candied sultanas and pistachio, as well as a mystery cauliflower. Seriously, we had no idea what the cauliflower was for as there were no recipe cards in the box.There WAS a whole, 70cl, bottle of rum though, which was nice.The meal was tasty - the pitta was amazing, who knew bread could be so fit? - but super spicy. If we made it again we'd only spice half the dishes to make them more suitable for little palates.And prep your recycling bin for a LOT of plastic.

Planty vegan12 of 12
CREDIT: Planty

Planty vegan ready meal-delivery service

For the ULTIMATE in convenience, why not consider ready meals delivered to your door? But not just any ready meal, these from Planty are all - wait for it - plant based, can be ordered in bulk, and frozen ready for the nights you just really CBA. Which happen with alarming regularity 'round our gaff. They're handmade by chefs, and include delights such as zesty xinxim (pictured), BBQ banana blossom burrito, and yaki-miso udon noodles.We'll take everything. Twice. Priced from £4.95 per meal for a subscription box of ten.

So, are they worth it?

It depends what you're after. There's no escaping the fact that they are pretty pricey, however the food was excellent and definitely got us out of a meal rut.

The baking kits are the the most fun for little ones and, as with all the kits, there's absolutely no food waste which gets a big thumbs up.

If you're feeling a little flush, why not give 'em a go? Treat yourself to some special lockdown meals. After all, it's going to be a while before we get out to a cafe.

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In other food news, Stacey Solomon has shared an £8.99 sandwich hack that will win over fussy eaters.

The Loose Women star uses cookie cutters to shape sandwiches into cute little animals for her children.

The cutters cost £8.99 for a seven piece set from Amazon and they could bring some much-needed joy to lunchtimes at home.

Stacey also said she batch makes her boys' sandwiches at the start of the week and freezes them, defrosting them the night before she needs them.. One step at a time though, eh?

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