Toddler Blog

A Solution to the Impossible Task of Creating Dinners When You have a Toddler

I used to love cooking dinner. It was the one meal that I planned out weekly, shopped for and prepared as a proper meal at least half the nights each week.

Now that I have a toddler, a busy work schedule and what feels like zero time to do anything, organized dinners sadly have become a thing of the past. Our week night dinners consist of takeout orders, breakfast for dinner and/or really no dinner at all far too many nights.

I’ve been feeling guilty about the sad state of our dinner affairs (amongst other things) and wanted to make a healthy change this Spring.

For us, the hardest thing about dinner is the time it takes to come up with recipes, make a grocery list, do the shopping and remember to actually get all the ingredients we need plus prep, cook and clean up.

I looked into various services and was reluctant at first because I knew my toddler would not eat any of it. I really didn’t want to make multiple meals each night. But the bottom line is that most nights our toddler eats before us anyhow and rotates amongst a small set of toddler approved meals that usually look something like this.
Photo Apr 27, 7 00 41 PM

I’ve given in to that reality and make sure on weekends that we have “family” dinners that we cook together based on things I know he likes.

Knowing that we wanted to focus on adult dinners that we could make during the week at home, we decided to try Blue Apron to get us back on track.
Blue Apron product shot (1)

Blue Apron delivers the perfectly portioned ingredients you need to cook chef inspired seasonal recipes at home. It comes direct to your door in a refrigerated box so the ingredients stay fresh even if you’re not at home when it arrives. We choose the classic 2 person plan which got us three meals for two people a week.

What I liked about it:

  • The service solved our #1 problem of time since we didn’t have to find recipes or shop for ingredients. Everything was provided for us in a compact box with detailed labeling.
  • Having the portions pre-measured and sent specifically for 2 people also helped to eliminate waste and guilt over unused food.
  • The recipes were really interesting and things we would not normally cook for ourselves. It was fun to have “fancy” unique dinners for the adults once our toddler was in bed a few nights a week.
  • All the packaging, materials, recipe cards were very clear, well designed, visual and led to easy meal creation.

One thing to note: it does take time to prepare the meals. I would not recommend doing this if you really don’t like to cook. There are multiple steps to cook each meal plus prep work to get the ingredients ready. I did this with a glass a wine in hand and enjoyed the time and detail in preparing the meals. I realize that is not for everyone. If you decide to try it, make sure to leave a good 30 minutes for each meal.

Also don’t feel bad if your meals don’t look exactly like the pictures! Our first try tasted delicious, but did not look very good. Our second attempt was much closer to the pictures and also tasted amazing.

Photo Apr 27, 7 28 12 PM

Photo Apr 27, 7 34 09 PM

For us, it did re-inspire home cooked dinners on a weekly basis and get us out of our takeout rut. I don’t know if we can manage it every week, but what’s nice is that you can turn the service on and off on a weekly basis.

We will keep you posted on our adventures with Blue Apron on our Instagram feed HERE.

To join in on the action, our first 50 readers get two free meals with their first Blue Apron Box – redeem the offer HERE.

Happy cooking! Please feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments!

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