First Impressions: Finger Foods For Toddlers And Kids Snacks By Nurture Life
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Nurture Life offers families an easy way to get their picky eaters to consume nutritionally balanced meals that also happen to taste incredibly delicious. Nurture Life’s subscription boxes are intended for use by children ages 10 months and older and the company offers 3 main types of meals: Kids Meals (older toddlers and children), Finger Foods (10mos-2 years), and Snacks (older toddlers and children). All of Nurture Life’s meals come pre-portioned and only require 1-2 minutes of heating. However, they can also be eaten as is and many children prefer it that way.
Whether your child has just graduated from purees to solids or has been eating solid foods for quite some time and is looking to explore more options, Nurture Life offers something for every child.
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The Breakdown – What’s Inside The Box
Customers of Nurture Life can select to add the following number of meals to their subscription box: 6, 9, 12, or 15. The 6 meal plan starts at $41.34 if you only select finger foods, however, a shipping fee of $8.00 is added on, making the final cost come out to $49.34.
In comparison, if you choose the 9 meal subscription box for the same types of food, the final cost ends up being $62.01 with no shipping fee. This drops the average price of finger food meals down to $6.89 from $8.22. With that in mind, if you’re going to order a subscription box from Nurture Life you may as well go with the next size up to try out 3 more meals for a reduced average price and to find out which meals your child likes best.
Meal options vary, but here are some of the most popular dishes sold by Nurture Life: Chicken Bites, Mac & Cheese With Peas, Cheese & Veggie Box, and Roasted Chicken With Broccoli & Potato Medley.
I got the chance to try out several options from Nurture Life, which included a mixture of kids’ meals, finger foods, and snacks. Here’s a closer look at my experience with the meals I tried along with my honest review of each one!
Shepherd’s Pie With Rainbow Veggie Medley, 1 Jar – Retail Value $6.89
WHAT I LIKED: This meal contained several organic ingredients, which included its potatoes, peas, corn, onion, ketchup, and several other seasonings. This classic dish was well-balanced and had the following macronutrient profile: 4g fat, 18g carbs, 10g protein. I thought the flavoring was excellent, and that the beef and vegetable medley blended very well together. I think most toddlers would enjoy eating this meal.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: If Nurture Life is going to include organic veggies and seasonings, then I think it should include organic meat as well, however the ground beef was not organic, and neither were the diary ingredients. I would not allow my child to eat beef or dairy products that are not grass-fed or organic due to the risk of contamination or the potential presence of hormones. This factor alone would prevent me from ordering this meal again, despite its great taste.
Egg Bites With Sausage & Sweet Potatoes, 1 Jar – Retail Value $6.89
WHAT I LIKED: I loved the sweet taste of this meal and the inclusion of organic sweet potatoes. This adorable mini-breakfast had the following macronutrient profile: 4g fat, 14g carbs, 13g protein. Definitely a meal that would be ideal for breakfast on the go that tastes like a treat.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: Again, this meal failed to use organic eggs or sausage, and its sweet potatoes were the only organic ingredient. I would not give my own child any form of meat or dairy that is not certified organic or humanely raised. I feel Nurture Life really ought to look into sourcing its meals from certified organic, grass-fed, wild-caught, and humanely raised origins. If I can’t tell where my protein is sourced from, then there’s no way I’ll give it to my kids.
Roasted Chicken With Broccoli & Potato Medley, 1 Jar – Retail Value $6.89
WHAT I LIKED: I liked how simple this meal was, and appreciated the mixture of veggies, carbs, and protein. The chicken was easy to eat, and I could definitely see children 10 months and older being able to eat this meal with ease. However, toddlers 2-4 would most likely prefer this dish over babies 10-12 months old. It had the following macronutrient profile: 2.5g fat, 12g carbs, 13g protein.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: I know, I sound like a broken record at this point, but this meal also failed to include organic, pasture-raised chicken. It might be antibiotic and hormone-free, but I will only feed poultry products to my children that meet the highest quality standards. If you’re more concerned with affordable meals that contain a little bit of everything to cover your child’s nutritional bases, then this meal would work just fine. However, if you’re like me, then this meal fails to meet your minimum standards of quality.
Beef Meatloaf With Broccoli & Squash, 1 Jar – Retail Value $6.89
WHAT I LIKED: The beef tasted quite good in this meal, and its seasonings also made it more palatable, which is helpful for children who are picky with eating certain types of meat.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: If you’ve read each of the meal descriptions above, then there’s really no point for me to continue on about the protein sources not being organic, grass-fed, etc. So, aside from that critique, I’d say that this meal contained slightly lower protein than it should have and its total carb content was also a bit low. Its macronutrient profile was as follows: 3.5g fat, 11g carbs, 8g protein.
Also, I have a feeling that most young children wouldn’t be huge fans of the butternut squash and broccoli combo due to its bland taste. Additionally, I would like to see Nurture Life use a different type of cooking oil other than organic canola oil, such as avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. Canola oil has a worse nutrient profile, and often undergoes extensive processes for its production, which risks contamination and nutrient removal.
Chicken Meatballs With Mini Pasta, 1 Jar – Retail Value $6.89
WHAT I LIKED: I liked how simple this meal was and definitely thought that it would be a hit among toddlers and young children. The chicken and pasta combination tasted great and the sizes of both the noodles and chicken chunks were small enough for younger children to eat without problems.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: There were no vegetables included with this meal and most of its nutrient profile was derived from using enriched pasta. I’m not a fan at all of meals that get most of their nutrient value from the enrichment process, and many of these nutrients are not provided in their optimal forms, such as folic acid.
Mac & Cheese With Peas, 1 Jar – Retail Value $6.89
WHAT I LIKED: Ok, so this was quite delicious and certainly one of the best tasting meals Nurture Life offers for its Finger Food options. If you’re focussing on getting your child to actually eat, then this meal is sure to win them over.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: This meal contained 44g of carbs – for an adult, that may be ok, for a young child this is a bit too much for one portion (in most cases, especially children under 2). I also didn’t like the use of non-organic gum blends, such as guar gum and locust bean gum, as they have a higher associated risk of contamination from processing. Also, similar to the previous meal, this meal also derives much of its nutritional value from the enrichment process and not from foods in their natural state.
Chicken Meatballs With Spiral Pasta & Veggies, 1 Meal – Retail Value $7.99
WHAT I LIKED: I ate this meal for lunch and thought the taste and ingredient combination were quite awesome. The sauce was just enough to flavor the dish without being overbearing and the chicken meatballs had a slight Italian zest to them. This actually happens to be one of the most popular meals among picky eaters from Nurture Life and I can certainly understand why. It had the following macronutrient profile: 8g fat, 32g carbs, 16g protein.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: I need to know exactly where my meat and dairy are sourced from and would not feel comfortable feeding my children foods with unknown sources and standards for care.
Chicken Bites With Super Veggies, 1 Meal – Retail Value $7.99
WHAT I LIKED: This meal probably had the highest amount of protein of all meals offered by Nurture Life, providing 22g of protein per serving. Its chicken bites had just the right amount of breading and the sweet potato mash was incredibly savory.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: You already know what I didn’t like about the chicken, but I also was not a fan of the use of guar and locust bean gum. Whenever a meal includes stabilizers or thickeners, I prefer them to be organic or for a meal to not contain them at all. Also, nearly 25% of this meal’s carbs were sugar, which is not ideal for children with blood sugar issues and I think it would have been best for Nurture Life to avoid the inclusion of maple syrup and cane sugar and rely upon the natural flavor of sweet potatoes.
Chicken Dumplings With Edamame, 1 Meal – Retail Value $7.99
WHAT I LIKED: I liked how this meal was different than most of the traditional offerings and provided an easy way to expand the palates of children who have more experience with solid foods. I also loved that this meal contained 19g of protein.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: There were a ton of additives in this meal to obtain the asian-style flavor and its fiber content seemed to be derived from mostly additives and not the natural food on its own.
Teriyaki Salmon With Rainbow Rice, 1 Meal – Retail Value $9.49
WHAT I LIKED: I loved the overall flavor and ingredient combination. I also liked that this meal contained 21g of protein and maintained a low sugar content despite its sweeter flavor.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: As yummy as this meal was, I don’t know many kids who would actually pick this out as a meal of their choice. Additionally, although the salmon is ASC-certified, meaning it’s met the highest aquaculture standard, I want to point out that its red color is not due to the natural coloring usually found in wild-caught salmon. Rather, it’s from additives and coloring in what the fish are fed at farms. Typically, salmon obtain astaxanthin naturally in the wild through consuming krill or shrimp. As such, I would never feed my kids any form of seafood that is not wild-caught.
Chocolate Chip Mighty Bites, 10 Bites – Retail Value $7.99
WHAT I LIKED: I appreciate Nurture Life’s attempt at making a low sugar dessert/snack for children to enjoy, as many similar products have 2-3 times the amount that this meal had. Overall, I thought this was a solid swap for a typical sugar and trans-fat-filled dessert, but I think this meal would be more of a hit among adults compared to children.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: I think it would have been best for Nurture Life to portion this type of meal off into smaller packs, as the whole container includes 10 bites which have a total of 35g of sugar. This amount of sugar is way too high for a child to consume in one sitting and I know that most kids would eat all of these at once – I totally did, myself! I also think most kids would notice that it tastes blander than what they’re used to, and they would prefer something like ice cream or a cookie instead.
My Verdict – Is Nurture Life Worth It?
Families on-the-go who are concerned about their children eating somewhat decent foods compared to the typical junk that’s offered at fast-food restaurants would certainly benefit from using Nurture Life, as most of its meals are very well balanced and contain a decent nutritional profile at an incredibly affordable price. If you’re not concerned with consuming only organic ingredients or meat and fish that are grass-fed or wild-caught, then Nurture Life would be a great option for your kids to try out.
However, if you prefer that your children only eat foods that meet the strictest quality standards possible and are sourced in the most ethical and sustainable way possible, then I would suggest trying out another kids’ meal subscription box.
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