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- With free delivery, 20 menu options weekly, and recipes that include organic and fresh ingredients whenever possible, Yumble strives to bring healthy kids' meals into busy homes.
- Meals cost $5.99 to $7.99 each, depending on which plan you sign up for.
- On our first day testing Yumble, I popped a meal in the microwave and my toddler was ready to eat in less than two minutes.
- Although I'll continue to make homemade meals for my son, I recommend Yumble for busy families who don't have time to shop and meal prep.
- All Yumble meals are prepared in USDA-inspected facilities that adhere to antimicrobial and antiviral USDA standards, which include the use of face masks, gloves, hairnets, and food-safe air purification and cleaning practices.
I'm a mom of a 2-year-old son, and with my schedule, I've been able to make him dinner every night. However, is it an enjoyable, relaxing process? Not always. He's a typical 2-year-old, and most of the time, he's begging for dinner to be ready, throwing a tantrum, and I'm exhausted by the time the food hits the table.
So when I was introduced to Yumble, a prepared meal service for kids, I was immediately intrigued. While meal kit services have grown in popularity, kids' services have been decidedly limited. Yumble was founded in 2017 by a mom of three who wanted to take the frustration out of meal planning and prepping by offering fresh, nutritious microwavable meals for kids who are 12 months to 12 years old. The meals are delivered weekly, and shipping is free.
Having dinner ready in less than 90 seconds seemed like a dream. Out of personal preference, I've never microwaved a meal for my son before, so this would be a whole new experience for us.
Yumble set me up with a one-week complimentary subscription. I ordered six meals for the week, and then served one to my son for dinner six days in a row.
How Yumble works
Yumble is available on the East Coast and in Texas, California, and parts of the Midwest. To start my order, I entered my email and zip code. Then I selected the six-meals plan at $7.99 per meal. There is also a 12-meals plan, which is ideal for two children, at $7.49 per meal.
After selecting the six meals plan, I picked from Yumble's weekly menu with 20 options to choose from. Most were ideal for lunch or dinner, but a breakfast and a snack option were also offered.
Each menu option included a photo of the meal and a basic description. By clicking on an item, I could also review nutritional information and ingredients in a popup window. I added items to my box by selecting the "+" icon.
There is also a filter to narrow down meal options, including "gluten-free," "no milk," "no soy," "no eggs," and "vegetarian." Although these options exist, Yumble meals are prepared in kitchens where dairy, soy, and meat ingredients are used, so the company is unable to guarantee cross-contamination has not occurred.
Yumble does not use peanuts or tree nuts in their recipes, with the exception of coconut. But because meals are not prepared in a certified nut-free kitchen, this service is not suitable for children with nut allergies.
You can also filter by age range. Yumble said these recommendations are determined through taste tests of new menu items.
On the order page, Yumble listed the weekday my box would be delivered via FedEx. Once I placed my order, I received delivery status updates by email. I ordered on a Thursday, and my meals were delivered the following Tuesday afternoon. Delivery days cannot be customized at this time and are determined by zip code. Depending on a carrier's guidelines, deliveries are made by 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.
All meals are delivered fresh in a sustainable box for free
The box was insulated and packed with frozen nontoxic gel packs to keep the meals at a safe temperature during transit. I was impressed by how much could be recycled since there were a lot of components of the package: The meal trays, paper sleeves, and shipping box were all recyclable. The ice packs could be reused, or snipped, drained, rinsed, and recycled. Also in the box was a place mat, set of stickers, and deck of table discussion cards.
I placed the meals in the refrigerator immediately and made sure to cook them within seven days for peak freshness, per Yumble's instructions. The company advises against freezing meals as they may not taste as fresh.
How to prepare the meals
Yumble kids' meals come fully prepared and can be eaten cold, at room temperature, or heated in their microwave-safe containers within 45 to 90 seconds.
I normally cook or warm my son's food on the stove. If you prefer to heat one of the meals in the oven, Yumble said you can transfer the meal components to an oven-safe dish and heat at 350 degrees for 8 to 15 minutes. But at 15 minutes, I could just make a homemade dinner after having already done some weekend meal prep work. I opted to really test Yumble the way it is intended.
On our first day, we came home from a playdate and I popped one of the meals in the microwave, then transferred it to my son's favorite dinner plate. He was ready to eat in less than two minutes. You could always cut down on cleanup and serve the meal in its food tray, but my son is particular about what he eats from.
That weekend, he stayed with my parents, and it was nice to send two of the meals with him so they wouldn't have to cook as many meals for him.
My only issue with the prep was that the plastic wrap on top of each meal was very hard to pull off. By the end of the week, I resorted to cutting it off with a knife. My mother had the same experience with the two meals she prepared.
Some hits and misses with our menu selection
Out of the available options, we tried the following Yumble meals:
- Pizza Pocket and Broccoli Parm: vegetarian pizza empanada with parmesan-sprinkled broccoli
- Creamy Mac N Trees: gluten-free mac and cheese with parmesan broccoli
- Daisy Bolognesy: cheese ravioli with vegetable and beef bolognese
- Chick N Casserole: organic chicken meatballs, wheat pasta, broccoli, and cheese
- Chicken Marinara and Alfredo: gluten-free chicken nuggets and pasta
- Chili Mac: vegetarian chili with gluten-free mac and cheese
For the most part, my son ate everything except the Daisy Bolognesy. He didn't touch it, but he is going through a picky phase with sauce, so that could have been the reason.
The Pizza Pocket was extremely doughy and almost tasted raw, but I was pleased with the chicken nuggets and meatballs. They had good flavor and texture. The pasta wasn't mushy, and the chili had good flavor. I thought the broccoli was okay. I prefer the taste of roasted broccoli, so this wasn't something I loved, but my son ate a little bit of it.
Overall, my son ate about half of each meal (each is a pretty healthy serving), his favorite being the Chicken Marinara and Alfredo. I typically make him a main dish with two sides that he usually finishes, and there was no problem here not having enough food to give him for dinner.
Notes on ingredients and nutrition
I was happy to read that Yumble chooses a variety of seasonal, fresh, and natural ingredients when making their meals. Organic foods are used whenever possible and noted on the ingredients list when applicable. Yumble also strives to use humanely raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and is transparent about which meals include those.
The recipes are designed by an in-house professional chef and youth nutrition specialist and are reviewed by a childhood nutritionist and nutritional consultant, according to Yumble. Through taste tests with local families (both customers and non-customers), it gathers feedback on the look, smell, and taste of its meals before launching. It also monitors customer's meal ratings to remove options from the website that don't score well.
When reviewing the nutritional information for the meals I received, the sodium levels in some of the meals stood out — the highest from what I ordered was the Chicken Marinara and Alfredo (690 mg) and the Chili Mac (740mg). I try to pay attention to the amount of sodium and sugar in my son's foods and checked with an expert about these levels.
"[S]odium is often added to enhance palatability and extend shelf-life," said Malina Malkani, a registered dietitian nutritionist and media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Malkani noted that dietary reference intakes for sodium for kids are no more than 1,500 mg sodium per day for children ages 1 to 3 and less than 2,200 mg for those between 4 and 13 years old.
While Yumble's sodium levels fall within a safe range, if you give your child packaged, processed, and other high-sodium foods throughout the day, you'll want to keep an eye on their overall sodium intake. For context, an Annie's Cheddar Bunnies 28-gram snack pouch contains 240 mg of sodium and one Organic Valley's Stringles Organic String Cheese contains 210 mg. My son only ate about half of the aforementioned Yumble meals, so ultimately, it wasn't an issue for us.
The bottom line
Did Yumble save me time and energy? Yes. Did my son enjoy it? For the most part. Would I continue to order? Not necessarily.
Luckily, Yumble lets you skip a week or pause your subscription. I would order again if I knew a week was going to be super busy or if my son was going to stay with my parents for a few days. If I could freeze some meals for random days here and there, I would order more.
I have the time to make dinner most nights, but for many families that don't, Yumble is definitely a great option to check out if you're looking to getting a balanced meal with good ingredients on the table quickly and easily.
Pros: Easy ordering process, delivered fresh, variety of meals to choose from, good ingredients, uses organic whenever possible
Cons: Plastic wrap difficult to remove; need to keep an eye on sodium levels; not suitable for children with nut, egg, milk, gluten, or soy allergies
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