Hands up who suffers from Mum guilt? That annoying thing that can strike at varying moments, normally for me, as I’m trying to drift off into some desperately needed sleep. One of the many things I can feel guilty about is what I am feeding the family. I will admit to getting into a total rut with what the kids eat. Ava is particularly fussy at the moment (that’s a whole post to itself) so the boys generally eat, on repeat, the meals we know she will have. We manage to have maybe one meal as a family a week as we tend to cook a quick meal in the evenings for the kids, then another one for James and I after they have gone to bed. It even feels stressful writing about it! We have been asked to trial for four weeks, the new HelloFresh family boxes to help us #stressless with mealtimes. I have decided to keep a little diary of how we get on week by week.
I thought that with leaving teaching I would have more time in the evenings. However, my lack of staff meetings has now been replaced with clubs that the boys have been wanting to do but weren’t able to before. I’m trying to find a balance between work and life with my new work from home role and everything feels new and stressful. Luckily our HelloFresh box arrives on Monday with four meals for four people in it. The boys are pretty excited to see what’s inside and they help me to open the box and chose a meal for dinner.
We have cooked all four meals this week and eaten them together. I didn’t realise how much the boys liked us eating as a family. It’s something I definitely want to continue doing more. I feel less guilty already as I have spent more quality time with them. Not only that, but I also know that I am feeding them healthy, nutritious meals so that quick pizza on a club night doesn’t make me feel so bad. All I need to do is have a look at the meals as they arrive on a Monday and then do a little shop for fresh fruit, snacks and the meals for the rest of the week.
I think I cut peppers and other vegetables slowly as the recipes this week have taken me longer to cook than it says. Maybe I will get quicker.
Meals this week: Sweet Potato Cottage Pie, Sweet & Sour Pork, Chicken & Chorizo Rice, Crunchy Garlic Chicken.
Again the boys are excited with the delivery on a Monday and have a look through the meals deciding which one will be their favourite. I have cleared a shelf in the fridge which is a dedicated section for the HelloFresh cold produce. I realised this week that the coloured labels on the bags match the colours on the recipes. Don’t know why I didn’t notice this last week! I was looking in each bag for the right ingredients to match the card. So I have also cleared a section of a cupboard for the four brown bags of ingredients. It means that I keep everything together and can just grab the correct bag for the meal we are doing. It’s surprising how much of a timesaver this is.
I’ve decided this week to plan the meals around what we are doing. So for example, the casserole I have planned for a night when we will need to eat at different times.
The only thing we would change this week is the chicken meat. None of us are very keen on chicken thigh, so having the option of swapping it to chicken breast would be better for us.
Meals this week: Chicken Casserole, Gnocchi Bolognaise, Pan-Fried Chicken, Mild Sausage Chilli.
This week I was lucky enough to attend the launch night for the new HelloFresh Family Box. The panel talk on stressing less at family mealtimes was really interesting. I picked up some fab tips for helping with Ava’s fussy eating. We got to try some of the recipes that are the most popular in the family box, enjoyed pink G&T’s and had a fab night in the rather cool HelloFresh Headquarters.
I’m starting to enjoy stepping out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I’m also speeding up with the preparation and have found ways to entertain the kids whilst I’m cooking. The flavours are delicious! We are taking the kids’ food out first then adding more flavours and spices for us depending on the meal. And we always have more than enough for the four of us.
Meals this week: King Prawn Rigatoni, Sausage Stew, Chicken Biryani, Pizza Burgers.
I feel like everything is slotting into place this week. The arrival of the HelloFresh Family Box on a Monday is now a familiar routine that we all enjoy. I look at the meals then plan them into the week so that they suit us. I’m actually quite sad that our trial is coming to an end. I have really enjoyed cooking new things and knowing that everyone is eating a healthy balanced meal. I have also relaxed more in the kitchen, enough to let the boys help me cook, which they love.
Meals this week: Pork Fillet, Chicken Meatballs, Cheesy Tomato Orzo, Creamy Chicken Curry.
So, does the HelloFresh Family Box help you to #stressless at mealtimes? Yes I think it does. It means I know the kids are eating healthy, fresh meals without having to chose recipes or shop for the ingredients. A real time saver! As is having everything pre measured and ready to grab in a bag. I would say to definitely give the box a couple of weeks try so the routine becomes familiar. Like me you might speed up with the food preparation and learn new skills. I’ve kept all of the recipe cards and we will definitely be using quite a few of them again. I’m sure we have found some new favourite meals. But, the biggest thing for me is the improvement in my mum guilt. Less stress is definitely a bonus!