Nurture Life Kids Meal Subscription Review + Coupon – February 2019


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Nurture Life is a healthy & freshly prepared ready-to-eat food subscription for babies, toddlers, and kids from ages 4 months to 14+ years old.

Since Nurture Life meals are prepared fresh and meant to be kept in your fridge, they come packaged with an expiration date that will be about 1 week from the time you receive your box. They offer customized plans for all ages from 4 months to 14+ years, and subscribers can choose which meals they want to receive.

They are also peanut, tree nut, and shellfish free:

Major allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts (except coconut) and shellfish are never used in our kitchen. The kitchen does contain coconut, dairy, eggs, fish, soy and wheat. While best practices are used when preparing all meals, inadvertent contact with wheat and dairy may occur, even on meals that don’t contain wheat or dairy. If your child has a major food allergy, we recommend that you closely review meal descriptions and ingredients to see if our kids food delivery service is right for them. We list full ingredients on our subscription site and meal labels.

We received this box for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

This review is of the 5 meals per week Toddler & Kids plan and the 8 meal per week baby plan from Nurture Life for $166 ($55/8 baby meals, $47/5 toddler meals, $52/ 5 kids meals + $12 shipping), plus a bonus Toddler & Kids meal.

About Nurture Life Prepared Meals for Kids

The Subscription Box: Nurture Life

The Cost: Nurture Life ranges from $35/week to $119/week, depending on age range and # of meals per week. Shipping is an additional $6 per plan and a maximum of $12 for two or more plans.

  • Baby Meals (4-12 months): $35+/week for 8 meals, $60+/week for 14 meals (price varies by age group)
  • Toddler Meals (1-3 years): $47/week for 5 meals, $89/week for 10 meals
  • Kid Meals (4-14+ years): $52+/week for 5 meals, $99+/week for 10 meals (price varies by age group)

The Products: Freshly prepared meals for kids from 4 months to 14+ years old. Nurture life focuses on in-season and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and their meals include no artificial colors or flavors, trans fats or high fructose corn syrup.

Ships to: Limited US delivery range; enter your zip code on their site to find out if they ship to you. 

Nurture Life Prepared Foods for Kids Review

I have a 4.5-year-old daughter who is usually willing to try a few new things, a 2.5-year-old son who is incredibly picky and very stubborn when it comes to food, and a 9-month-old baby boy who is still new to solids but gobbles them up as fast as he can. I try to get the kids to eat what we have for dinner for the most part, but this means some nights they barely eat anything. I try to balance it out with meals they like (yes, dinosaur chicken nuggets are top of the list) so I was excited to give this meal box a try in hopes that their meals could be a bit healthier and more balanced!

The meals come packaged with a thermal liner made of 100% recycled material, which is also recyclable, and several gel ice packs to keep your food cold. The exterior layer for the gel packs is recyclable but the actual gel inside is not, although it is non-toxic, non-hazardous, and food-safe.

Let’s start with the baby food first!

Baby Meals:

These are all Stage 2 foods for 8+ months and each comes with a plastic seal on top. They all have the same information on the label that recommends refrigerating immediately and consuming them within 24 hours once the seal is broken. There are instructions for heating them in a heat safe bowl, although they can be served without reheating. The entire container is recyclable, too, which is great!

Chicken and Garnet Yam

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.2 oz), Ingredients: Organic garnet yam, water, antibiotic-free ground chicken.

Since Bennett likes to feed himself, we usually give him a mix of finger foods and soft foods, so this jar actually lasted us for two meals. This is about half a jar in this bowl here. Bennett seemed to really enjoy this one and when I tasted it, I was surprised at the chicken flavor that it had! It really did taste exactly like what it was.

Big sister likes to feed him, but he was grabbing the spoon away since he couldn’t get enough!

Anjou Pear, Apricot, and Deglet Date

Serving Size, 1 jar (4.4 oz), Ingredients: water, organic Anjou pear, organic dried apricots, organic dates.

The next meal we tried was this pear, apricot and date puree. I decided to serve it cold since it was closer to a homemade applesauce texture. Bennett is used to eating pureed cold pears since this is one of the baby foods I usually make and freeze. The dates gave it just a bit of sweetness and he seemed to really like it! Again, this tasted pretty much like you’d expect it to and this is only half of a jar pictured.

Banana, Raisin, and Oatmeal

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.5 oz), Ingredients: Organic banana, water, organic raisins (organic raisins, organic sunflower oil), organic whole grain rolled oats.

I loved that they had an option with oatmeal in it because I always feel like that is a filling meal. This is half a jar that was warmed up in the microwave. The banana flavor in this was actually a bit tart, like a just-ripe banana as opposed to the strong, sweet taste of a really ripe one, so the flavor was pretty mild. The texture wasn’t quite as thick as traditional oatmeal, but it was thinned out a bit. He enjoyed this one, too!

Turkey Feast

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.4 oz), Ingredients: organic apple, water, antibiotic-free ground turkey (antibiotic-free turkey, rosemary extract), organic butternut squash, organic dried apricots, organic cranberries, organic rosemary.

This one had a lot going on as far as flavors, and I picked up a lot of the rosemary and cranberry so it did indeed taste like a Thanksgiving turkey feast! It was tasty and Bennett liked it despite this being one of the most unique options we received. It definitely introduced him to some new flavors, but with the apple and squash, it helped to keep it a little more mellow and gave it a hint of flavors he’s already familiar with.

Beef and Carrot

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.5 oz), Ingredients: organic carrots, antibiotic-free ground beef, water

This was Bennett’s favorite! Unless he was just super hungry the night we ate it. We started with half a jar, pictured here, but he ate the entire thing in one sitting and we couldn’t feed him fast enough. I didn’t find anything special about the flavors, just bland beef and slightly sweet carrots, but he seemed to enjoy it a lot.

Cauliflower and Spinach

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.7 oz), Ingredients: organic cauliflower, water, organic spinach

This was a very smooth puree with little flecks of spinach throughout. This is actually the only meal Bennett wasn’t a fan of and neither was I. The cauliflower flavor was super intense and he made some great faces when I tried to feed him! He started refusing it after about two bites and I can’t say I blame him. It wasn’t awful, but just a lot stronger in flavor and not as balanced as some of the other meals.

Blackberry, Apple, and Chia

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.8 oz), Ingredients: organic apple, water, organic blackberries, organic chia seeds

This one had a bit of texture to it from the chia seeds and was slightly tart. I served this one to him cold and he seemed to enjoy it, but he wasn’t as into it as some of the more savory flavors. I liked that they incorporated the chia seeds since they are supposed to be very nutritious, but not necessarily something I would think to serve a baby.

Turkey, Apple, and Garnet Yam

Serving Size: 1 jar (4.7 oz), Ingredients: organic apple, organic garnet yam, water, antibiotic-free ground turkey (antibiotic free organic turkey, rosemary extract)

This one was very similar to the turkey feast, but not as sweet since it didn’t have the extra fruit like the cranberries. The yams were a bit sweet and the apple gave it a little tartness and there was definitely some turkey flavor to it. I served this warm and Bennett enjoyed this one as well.

Baby Summary:

Out of 8 baby meals, there was only one that Bennett didn’t care for, which I think is pretty good! I thought that everything tasted true to what was in it and I was surprised at the meat flavor that really came through. There was a good mix of sweet and savory and overall, I was really happy with the quality of the foods and the organic ingredients. It was so convenient to have these to feed Bennett and he seemed to enjoy them a lot! I also think it’s worth mentioning that with him being the third kid, he’s had many more packaged  baby food than I’ve ever given my other kids and it has stopped him up quite a bit in the diaper department, but after a week of eating these meals, things seem to be running a lot smoother for him.

Toddler and Kid Meals:

The kid and toddler meals came in these black containers with a plastic seal and a label on top with nutritional information. These containers and the seals are microwave safe and also recyclable. The meals can be prepared by removing the seal, covering them in foil and heating them on a baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes. I tried this first, but the meals weren’t very hot, so I decided to take the easy route and microwaved all of the meals for about 2 minutes before serving. Once the seal is removed, these meals need to be consumed within 24 hours, the same as with the baby food.

They sent us 12 meals total, but the 6 meals for toddlers (ages 1-3) and kids (ages 4-8) were all the same, so I will be reviewing them all together and providing side by side comparisons so you can see the portion difference.

Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Toddler Serving Size: 7.5 oz

Nutritional Summary: 320 calories, 13g of fat, 590mg sodium, 4g sugar, 14g protein

Kids Serving Size: 10 oz

Nutritional Summary: 420 calories, 17g of fat, 780mg sodium, 5g sugar, 19g protein

The first meal we tried was the Mac & Cheese because I knew it would probably go over pretty well since it is a favorite food of theirs. The portion on the right is the kid’s portion which was a good bit more, although it’s a little difficult to tell from these photos. Both portions were very generous and much more than my kids needed, so I was able to help them out a bit with them, which I was actually happy to do. This mac and cheese is actually made with cauliflower so it had a thicker texture than most, but was still a bit creamy. I thought the flavor was great and the kids enjoyed this too!

Even my pickiest eater enjoyed this one and ate it without any complaints! Although he did not finish his large portion at all.

Chicken Bites, Mashed Yams & Green Beans

Toddler Serving Size: 7.5 oz

Nutritional Summary: 230 calories, 5g of fat, 280mg sodium, 8g sugar, 15g protein

Kid Serving Size: 10 oz

Nutritional Summary: 320 calories, 7g of fat, 400mg sodium, 10g sugar, 21g protein

The next meal we tried was another one that I was sure they would like. This time the kid’s portion is the one on the left. The chicken bites went over great. They were just very lightly breaded chunks of white meat chicken. They weren’t super flavorful, but they tasted fresh. The yams were so good! They were just sweet enough from a little bit of maple syrup and had a great flavor. Even my daughter liked them, although she didn’t eat as many of them as I would have liked. My son, however, would not even touch them, which is par for the course. As for the green beans, my daughter ate some but my son would not so I fed some to the baby who happily gobbled them up. I was amazed at how many green beans they gave the kids! It was even more green beans than what I would serve for an adult portion. They tasted a tad watery, but were not mushy at all – they just needed a little salt and pepper.

Chicken Meatballs & Pasta with Broccoli & Cauliflower

Toddler Serving Size: 7.5 oz

Nutritional Summary: 280 calories, 11g of fat, 540mg sodium, 4g sugar, 17g protein

Kid Serving Size: 10 oz

Nutritional Summary: 350 calories, 13g of fat, 610mg sodium, 6g sugar, 19g protein

The kid’s portion is on the left here and you can see they just received a little extra pasta this time. It actually looks like the toddler portion has more veggies, although his was all broccoli and didn’t contain any of the cauliflower like my daughter’s kid meal. My kids like meatballs and they enjoyed these, although I found them to be a bit salty. The veggies were good, soft, but still a little crunchy, although not seasoned. The kids liked the broccoli, but they aren’t too crazy about cauliflower in general, which was fine because there was only one piece between the two meals which I ended up giving to the baby to eat. None of us liked the pasta too much. It was pretty bland and didn’t seem like it had any seasoning to it whatsoever, but eating it with the flavorful meatballs did help to balance it out.

Teriyaki Salmon with Brown Rice

Toddler Serving Size: 7.5 oz

Nutritional Summary: 280 calories, 10g of fat, 400mg sodium, 10g sugar, 18g protein

Kid Serving Size: 10 oz

Nutritional Summary: 360 calories, 12g of fat, 420mg sodium, 11g sugar, 22g protein

I knew there was no way that my son was going to even try this one, so we opted to have it for lunch one day while he was having a sleepover at Grammy’s house. I am not a big salmon fan myself, so I let my daughter and husband take care of these. The kid’s portion is on the left and you can see the pieces of fish are quite close to being the same size, but the kid portion has a bit more rice in it. The rice and veggies were pretty bland and nothing spectacular. My daughter tried a bite, but wouldn’t eat any more of it. As for the salmon, she tried it and said she liked it, but she barely touched it. To be fair, I had just asked her to try one bite for me since it was a new food to her, so I am pleased with her at least trying it. I think this is one of those foods that she will enjoy once she gets introduced to it a few more times, which is totally my fault because I never cook it! My husband said the salmon was pretty good for a piece of fish that was reheated in the microwave and the flavor was pretty mild.

Turkey Taco Bowl with Whole Wheat Tortillas

Toddler Serving Size: 7.5 oz

Nutritional Summary: 290 calories, 14g of fat, 470mg sodium, 4g sugar, 22g protein

Kid Serving Size: 10 oz

Nutritional Summary: 390 calories, 19g of fat, 580mg sodium, 5g sugar, 29g protein

I had really high hopes for this meal since the kids like tacos and I can usually get them to eat it if I add some sour cream. When I opened these up though, I knew they weren’t going to go over well. The kid portion is on the left and the toddler portion is on the right. You can see, the meat is two different colors and the toddler portion is almost entirely large pieces of veggies and barely any rice. It was almost like the kid portion of turkey wasn’t seasoned at all. The toddler portion had a slight flavor, but both were really very unremarkable and sort of unappetizing, even to me! The rice was okay, but again, nothing really special or flavorful like I would expect from a taco bowl.

Here is a closeup of the two meals. Overall, this one was a big miss for us.

Bonus Meal:

The weekly meal plan for toddlers and kids comes with five meals, but Nurture Life sent us a sixth meal to show another option they offer. I’m going to count this as a bonus meal which will not be included in the overall cost breakdown at the end.

Peas & Cheese Tortellini

Toddler Serving Size: 7.5 oz

Nutritional Summary: 290 calories, 8g of fat, 390mg sodium, 6g sugar, 8g protein

Kids Serving Size: 10 oz

Nutritional Summary: 390 calories, 11g of fat, 520mg sodium, 9g sugar, 11g protein

The last dish we tried was this cheese tortellini. The kid portion is on the left here and contained more pasta, while I felt like the toddler portion had more peas. My kids usually like pasta dishes, although for some reason they have never been fans of tortellini, and peas are also hit or miss, but I was hoping they would like this dish! Unfortunately, this was another bland one and the sauce was really quite chunky and not smooth at all and the tortellini itself was pretty mushy. I am a huge pasta eater, but this was even a bit too mushy for me to enjoy.

Toddler and Kid Summary:

The portion sizes for these meals were great, and overall, other than my kids being picky, the first four meals were great. A little more seasoning on a few of the sides and the kids might have eaten even more. The last two meals were not so great, but since you are able to choose your meals, it would be easy to avoid these in a future box if we wanted to. I did feel that everything was fresh and I liked that the ingredients were organic.

Verdict: 

As a mother of three, I really appreciated that Nurture Life was able to accommodate the needs of each of my children. This made it incredibly convenient to have it all delivered at once in one box. I have to say that the baby foods were a bigger hit than the toddler and kid meals. I usually like to let the baby eat what we eat for the most part, but these were great to balance out his meal and really ensure he got a full belly and I loved that we got two meals out of some of them.

As for the toddler and kid meals, it was so convenient to have this quick and simple meal option for them on the night my husband was out of town for work and the night my daughter had dance class. My kids are super picky, especially my son, but since you are able to choose your meals, I think it would be great to have those tried and true favorites delivered on those weeks when you know you might need a quick and easy option for them! I think we could easily get by on just 5 meals for the week total for both kids for those few nights when a timely family meal isn’t quite possible. This would also solve the issue of the short shelf life for us since towards the end of the week I was scrambling a bit to make sure these didn’t go to waste. Luckily, they doubled as a great lunch option, too!

While my kids weren’t crazy about all of the foods, I still felt good being able to provide them with a convenient meal that isn’t processed and is relatively healthy with generous portions. 

As for the cost of this service, for $166 ($55/8 baby meals, $47/5 toddler meals, $52/ 5 kids meals + $12 shipping) total for a week of dinners for my three kids (not taking into account that bonus meal), that is quite a bit outside of our budget for the week. I do think that you could tweak it a bit to make it fit within your family’s budget depending on the appetite and needs of your kids though. I could easily see using this as a service on occasion for times when we have a busy week or my husband has to go out of town for work, or in my case, to have on hand as an emergency meal plan when your day doesn’t quite go as planned….which seems to happen a lot more with three kids at home!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Some of these meals are still available, but Nurture Life does change out some of their options seasonally.

Value Breakdown: At $166 for this box, each of the 18 meals has an average cost of $9.22.

Check out all of our Nurture Life reviews and the Food Subscription Box List for more meal boxes!

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Finding new products to test out and possibly fall in love with has always excited her. Now, as a mother of 3, she loves discovering new products that can help make parenting a little easier! Her favorites are FabFitFun and Target Baby boxes.

Posted in Food Subscription Boxes, Meal Delivery Services, Nurture Life Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: nurture life | 3 comments

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for your review on this one (another reason MSA is the best!). Our daycare instructor recommended this to us as our baby is really not liking purees much anymore (I make all her baby food). But this doesnt seem to have an “in-between.” The meals are too big and we dont want more purees. Am super grateful to see this with images and feedback.

  2. Thank you for such a detailed and thorough review. You covered all the facts of how the service works, but I was most impressed by your coverage of how your family responded to the meals and how it helped your stress level. It gives us readers a real sense if how this plan would or wouldn’t work for us.

    Thank you!

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, Leslie! It made my night! 🙂

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