We have a lot of requirements when it comes to family meals: they need to be tasty, healthy, easy and quick to prepare and – most importantly – satisfy every single member of our family. With a toddler who’s currently deep in the “fussy food phase” and a particularly faddy husband, this isn’t always an easy ask. So when HelloFresh invited us to try their Family Food Box for a month I wasn’t sure if it would work for us. I’d heard great things about HelloFresh – but perhaps ticking all the things off our own fussy family checklist would be too tall an order for the brand. Would the HelloFresh family food box really work for this fussy family?
Here’s how we got on…
How it works:
If you’ve missed the buzz around HelloFresh then let me start by explaining how it works. Each week you get a delivery of a HelloFresh box. Depending on your circumstances you can choose the type of box you get, so it might be a classic box, a veggie box, or a family box (the one we tried out).
Inside each box is a bag of perishable food items all packed up in a recyclable bag with reusable ice packs to keep it all fresh. Then, along with the bag of perishable goods you also get four other bags containing all the ingredients you need for each recipe. The bags are colour-coded to match the recipe cards that also come in the main box, so you simply grab the bag that matches the recipe you’ve chosen for any given day, open it and start cooking.
For each recipe all the ingredients are already weighed out for you, so not only do you get the exact amount you need for each dish meaning there’s no wastage, but you also save time measuring items out. This was a huge plus for me.
We kicked off the trial with a range of mouth-watering recipes including crunchy garlic chicken with roasted veggies and crème fraîche dipping sauce, sweet potato cottage pie with roasted broccoli and chicken and chorizo rice. The menu was brilliantly varied and each recipe included easy modifications to cater for faddy tastebuds.
The difficulty rating:
I enjoy cooking and so does Simon, but neither of us have the time to prepare intricate meals on a normal weekday. When you’re trying to cook tea with a toddler hanging off your leg while simultaneously helping a seven year old do her homework the joy of cooking quickly saps away. This is why we often get stuck in a rut cooking the same old tried and tested, easy meals Monday to Thursday.
The HelloFresh meals, however, were easy. Like, really easy. Each recipe comes with an A4 recipe card complete with photographs for each stage of the dish. It also tells you exactly how long each meal takes to prepare, including the “hands on” aspect of prep, meaning you can easily plan out what to cook when, depending on how busy each night of the week is. For example, in our house I know Monday nights always need to be “quick food” nights because we’ve got Brownies and after-school clubs, so I’d always choose the quickest recipe on the menu.
Even if you’re not a natural cook the HelloFresh recipes are easy to follow. It’s pretty much impossible to go wrong, especially as half the work’s already been done for you with the pre-measured ingredients.
The taste factor:
So they sound good on paper, but how family-friendly were the meals themselves? Did they satisfy my toddler’s fussy tastebuds while simultaneously keeping the rest of the family from feeling food boredom? Well, yes they did. The sweet potato cottage pie is probably the best cottage pie I’ve ever cooked and I’ve always thought I make a pretty mean cottage pie at the best of times. The chicken and chorizo rice beat Simon’s signature paella hands down and the sweet and sour pork was the ideal Friday night comfort food for everyone.
I’d be lying if I said Effie didn’t turn her nose up at a couple of the meals when they were first placed in front of her, but once she got past the fact the food on her plate wasn’t beige or fish-finger shaped she got stuck in with the rest of us and often asked for seconds. This is a big deal.
Neither of my girls have particularly massive appetites so we always found there were leftovers from the HelloFresh meals. This suited me though, because I often had whatever we didn’t eat for my lunch the following day.
Can you still be flexible with meals?
The family food box consists of four meals, so you still have three nights of the week to go off “schedule”. For us, this was perfect as we still got to enjoy the occasional pizza night or cheeky takeaway, and I could still cook a Sunday roast or get creative with a Saturday night curry.
The health test:
Each recipe card tells you exactly how many of your five a day the dish includes and there’s a full nutrition table detailing fat, sugar, carb content etc. This suited us really well because, again, we could be flexible with what we ate. We might fancy a veg-laden casserole on a Monday night, for example, but by Friday night we’d be craving a curry or burgers. It’s obvious that a lot of thought’s put into the range of recipes you get on any given week so you never end up with a samey menu. Particular favourites included the pizza burgers, mild sausage chilli with homemade tortilla chips and gnocchi bolognaise – these were all polished off within minutes!
Would we recommend the HelloFresh family box?
In a word, yes. If you’re looking to liven up your weekday meals, save time planning and prepping your family menu, get fussy kids interested in food again or just step away from the tired family meal plan then you will LOVE HelloFresh.
The value for money is a huge plus too – each meal in the family box works out at from £4 a meal, making it a really affordable way to eat healthy, home-cooked and tasty food. Plus, the portion sizes are so generous that £4 often stretched to cover the next day’s lunch menu too. I loved the convenience of not having to sit down and plan what we ate, the fact I didn’t have to brave the supermarket to do a full family food shop and the girls both got excited to find out what we’d be eating during the week – in fact, on delivery days I’d text Simon at work to tell him the week’s menu!
The HelloFresh family box is a great way to eat and one that we’ll definitely be signing up to again. Consider us sold.
AND NOW FOR THE FREE FOOD BIT!
If you’d like to get £25 off your first HelloFresh box just go to the site via this link and get started. (The code can’t be used in conjunction with other promotions and discounts, and can only be used by new customers. The code can’t be posted on a third party platform or coupon site either – it’s only for my friends, family and lovely readers of this blog!)
Thanks to HelloFresh for working with me. All content and opinions remain my own. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.