I am not great in the kitchen. I have only used one burner on my fancy stove, ever. I never made my own baby food for the kids. Before kids, I kept very little food at home and ate meals out or ordered in after work. Now, I am still challenged to stock the kitchen properly and often find myself staring blankly at an open refrigerator. Dinner time is, to be very honest, second only to bed time in terms of my stress level.
I am indebted to grocery stores that deliver, partly because I live in a city where what we eat is limited to what I can carry home, and partly because I can order groceries as well as fully prepared meals—I love that the nutrition, planning, shopping are all done for me. The FreshDirect “Heat and Eat” page is bookmarked on my laptop (they have organic and non-organic meal options).
I looked into what is available around the country – should I ever leave Manhattan, I am still going to have to eat.
The Midwest has Green B.E.A.N. Delivery, connecting food producers with local communities through its year-round food delivery service of fresh local and organic produce and natural groceries.
MotherBees is a Los Angeles-area service delivering soups, salads, stews, and teas to pregnant woman and new moms. How lovely is that? The founder, Heng Ou, a certified nutritionist, went back to her grandmother’s recipes to create simple, nutritive recipes from local organic ingredients.
Organics to You in the Pacific Northwest looks – like everything in the Pacific Northwest -delightful and adorable. They deliver groceries, produce, and gift baskets in the Portland, Oregon area.
Back in New York, I discovered another food delivery service for organic meals – organic KIDS MEALS. Little Green Gourmets delivers healthy, seasonal, locally farmed kids’ meals. That your kids will eat. Guaranteed. (I am totally lying about that guarantee part, but that would be cool, right?)
So I wasted no time e-mailing its owner, Isabel Gunther, a trained chef and food anthropologist (I know! I had to look that up too.). And she kindly offered to deliver meals for my three kids the following Monday during her regular delivery time-slot.
And I forgot to be home.
Oy. Not only am I bad at making healthy delicious meals for my kids, but apparently I am not so great at answering the door when someone else is bringing them to me. Isabel was kind and understanding about the mix up (I am referring to the mix up in my head of course – because she was very clear about when she’d be at my building.) And she waited for my babysitter to run from the playground with the kids to retrieve the packaged meals.
So after all that, and apologizing to my babysitter and Isabel for disrupting their afternoon, I had fabulous-looking, organic, fully-cooked dinners just waiting to be heated up (the containers are oven-proof and microwavable). For all three kids. No worry, no time, no shopping.
And I ate them! I mean – the kids ate them! The kids loved them – and I stole a lot of food off their plates because the meals were really, really yummy.
We had mac & cheese with veggie sticks and deviled egg; chicken fingers with broccoli and cheese sauce; and Swedish meatballs with a carrot salad. Everything was organically sourced. Every sauce was savory and all the vegetables were fresh. I am still dreaming of the potatoes.
I have, as I said, a great deal of stress about getting dinner on the table. It is a very busy time of day here with the kids coming back from activities and school. I am usually walking in the door with one, two or three children, bags of groceries, Molly’s backpack and ballet or swimming gear. The kids are tired and cranky and hungry, and we are heading into the toughest part of our evening. As the babysitter tries to bathe them before she leaves, I am yelling at the three of them to stay out of the kitchen and out of the cabinets.
I was literally giddy at the sight of these meals in the fridge that afternoon. Food delivery service is not an option for everyone, but it is a wonderful convenience when many of us find ourselves without enough hours in the day or week in which to do everything. I thank people like Isabel for giving us simple, easy solutions that remove some of the guilt and add so much time and pleasure back to our day.
Have you used any local grocery and meal delivery services? What did you think?
No part of this post was sponsored. All opinions are my own.
Wendy Bradford is a mama of three, wife, writer, spin instructor, ardent New Yorker and blogger at mamaonetothree.com.
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