Little Spoon is a meal subscription service that gives a wide range of ready-to-heat meals particularly designed for infants and younger kids, primarily as much as age 8. Based by a single mother of three, Little Spoon was launched with the objective of taking the each day stress of wholesome meal preparation away from dad and mom. Little Spoon makes use of a vacuum seal to increase the shelf lifetime of its plates to final 14 days within the fridge and as much as two months within the freezer.
Little Spoon has a line of child meals (Babyblends), toddler + youngsters meals, in addition to smoothie pouches, and vitamin boosters. The newborn meals line options pureed blends of natural vegetables and fruit, usually combined with fascinating “superfood” flavors corresponding to spirulina or turmeric, whereas the toddler + youngsters meals are small plates that embrace finger meals for youthful eaters in addition to some fork and spoon meals for older youngsters. Little Spoon stands out amongst different meal supply companies for its fashionable aesthetic, nutritionally balanced meals that concentrate on the wants of rising kids, and its use of entire meals elements that will not sometimes be considered “youngsters meals.” Right here, we’ve damaged down Little Spoon’s meal supply service, specializing in the toddler + youngsters meals, that will help you decide if it’s a very good match for your loved ones.
Little Spoon prioritizes meals made with nutritious elements, freed from added sugar, fillers, and components.
Pricing: Good Worth
Little Spoon affords three weekly meal plans: Babyblends, Plates, and Smoothies. One family can join a couple of plan and coordinate them to be delivered on the similar time by reaching out to customer support, however in any other case, plans can’t be custom-made to incorporate gadgets from a couple of plan. Pricing for the Babyblends plan ranges from one to a few blends per day; pricing for the Plates plan consists of choices for 4, six, 9, or 12 meals per week; the Smoothies plan consists of choices for 5, 9, 12, or 18 smoothies per week. All pricing plans are based mostly on a two-week supply of things.
- Babyblends Plans: $3.49 per mix, decreased to $2.74 per mix for the most important plan (42 blends per supply)
- Plates Plans: $6.49 per plate, decreased to $4.99 per plate for the most important plan (24 meals per supply)
- Smoothies Plans: $3.49 per smoothie; decreased to $2.49 per smoothie for the most important plan (36 smoothies per supply)
Delivery is a flat payment that varies based mostly in your zip code and transit methodology. For our order of eight Plates, which was delivered to the East Coast, we had been charged a $6 transport payment.
How It Works: Decide Your Plan by Age
Step one to ordering is to decide on the perfect plan(s) based mostly on the age of your kids. As soon as you identify which one is suitable, choose the variety of meals after which checkout and undergo the fee course of. After fee, you will note some mechanically populated meals in your cart with the flexibility to filter for quite a lot of preferences. You then have the flexibility to view the total menu and alter portions of things, take away, or add meals with a view to customise your cart. Nonetheless, you can’t make swaps inside a particular meal. Every meal comes plated for a single serving, designed to be reheated within the microwave or transferred to the oven.
Dietary preferences embrace eradicating among the main allergens or eliminating meals that require a spoon or fork for folks who simply need to stick with finger meals. In response to the corporate, Little Spoon meals can cater to the next particular diets: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten/wheat-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Little Spoon does have protocols in place to restrict cross-contamination, nevertheless, the corporate can’t assure merchandise are 100% allergy-free.
Little Spoon prioritizes meals made with nutritious elements, freed from added sugar, fillers, and components. The corporate works with meals business consultants to information and validate its menu choices and ingredient requirements.
Selecting Meals: Meals Plus Add-Ons
As soon as meals are chosen, they will simply be modified in your account. Meals may be eliminated, added, or multiplied. The cutoff time for modifying orders is 5 p.m. ET the Saturday earlier than your scheduled supply. There are totally different numbers of menu gadgets out there relying in your plan, and menu choices rotate seasonally. As of February 2022, the Babyblends plan included 17 totally different menu gadgets and the Plates plan had 28 totally different gadgets, together with a number of choices labeled as really useful for Choosy Eaters or First Time Faves.
Most gadgets appear to be meant for lunch and dinner, however a number of would additionally make nice savory breakfast decisions. There’s a good mixture of choices for plant-based eaters or these with different dietary preferences. The Smoothie plan affords eight totally different smoothie flavors, designed as wholesome snacks that includes fruits and veggies. All smoothies are dairy-free.
Add-ons can be found for all meal plans. Smoothies may be added or a subscription of add-on sauce packs or vitamin boosters. There are three sauces out there, designed for dipping: veggie ketchup, soy glaze, and honey mustard. Every sauce is available in a neat vacuum-sealed cup, packaged in a field of three.
Boosters embrace powdered vitamin dietary supplements that may be added to a Babyblend, smoothie, or liquid of your selection.
What We Made
For this overview, we ordered from the Plates Plan and obtained the next gadgets together with an assortment of further add-on sauces.
- Tacky black bean pupusas with southwest veggie quinoa
- Spinach + cheese ravioli with veggie marinara sauce
- Mac + three cheese with invisible butternut squash + carrots
- Hen tremendous nuggets with candy potato carrot poppers + broccoli
- Veggie tender parm with peas
Packaging: Fashionable and Reusable
We actually preferred the packaging for our Little Spoon supply. Total, it was minimalistic however very considerate and nonetheless had a contemporary aesthetic with vibrant coloured designs on the outer sleeves and reusable aquamarine-colored plates. The cardboard field, insulation, and packaging used for the plates had been all recyclable and BPA-free. The cardboard field got here crammed with recycled denim insulation that may be simply snipped out of the plastic wrapping and recycled with paper merchandise.
Our field had 4 ice packs and a few dry ice; our merchandise truly arrived frozen, simply from the dry ice. The plastic wrapping and plastic baggage for dry ice and ice packs can all be recycled with plastics. We actually appreciated the vacuum sealing approach; the meals on every plate is held fully in place as a result of the movie finally ends up forming a seal straight across the meals slightly than simply the plate. Visually, that is noticeably extra interesting than different meal supply companies we now have tried the place the meals and sauce transfer round in transit and appeared messy upon arrival.
Buyer Help: Environment friendly and Pleasant
The field itself contained a postcard about Little Spoon together with a mini-magazine for folks put out by the corporate as a part of its “Is this Normal” weblog and on-line group platform. The journal contained supplemental data on the assorted levels of feeding, from an toddler’s first chew of meals to older youngsters and suggestions for choosy eaters.
There was additionally a information for recommendations for meals which might be “Finger Meals Faves,” “Choosy Eater Go-Tos,” and “Protein Packed,” presumably to offer some steerage for future orders. As well as, it included content material on basic tips for heating, particularly which sorts of dishes had been finest for microwave vs. oven vs. skillet, together with sensible suggestions associated to the meals. There have been additionally some useful parenting suggestions and even a enjoyable quiz titled “What sort of father or mother are you?” (We promise this was fully non-judgmental!) We discovered the journal to be a inventive option to give useful data and in addition construct a way of group amongst fellow dad and mom given its witty lighthearted tone.
The enjoyable, pleasant vibe of the collateral supplies additionally carries over to customer support. Obtainable through bot chat, dwell individual chat, electronic mail, telephone, textual content, and weekend help, there was no scarcity of how to achieve a workforce member. We reached out through bot chat, dwell individual chat, in addition to electronic mail and obtained responses instantly, inside minutes. All brokers had been additional useful and really personable. Whereas we didn’t have any points with our supply, we reached out to customer support with some basic questions together with a request for some customized suggestions and we obtained useful and thorough data on every event.
Diet: Extra of What you Need, Much less of What you Don’t
Total, the vitamin profile of the meals is meant to be designed for the precise wants of the focused age group for the plan—both rising infants or rising toddlers and large youngsters. Whereas the corporate doesn’t disclose detailed thresholds for all vitamins, it does seek the advice of with a registered dietitian and pledges to make use of healthful “clear” elements. Every plate that we ordered contained a very good steadiness of protein, wholesome fats, and sophisticated carbohydrates that present further fiber. In response to the FAQ part, all Plates comprise 500mg or much less of sodium. We discovered most of ours to be effectively under this, nearer to 300mg per serving, which is uncommon for pre-made meals. By way of added sugar, there’s solely a small quantity of cane sugar or maple syrup added to a handful of Plates. Detailed vitamin data is offered for every meal previous to ordering.
Little Spoon discloses all main allergens and whereas it doesn’t use nuts in any meals, it’s not potential to ensure 100% allergy-free meals, as a result of Plates are produced at a facility that additionally makes gluten, soy, dairy, and egg merchandise. Meals can nonetheless be filtered for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free, however bear in mind the chance of cross-contamination.
The Cooking Course of: Warmth and Eat
The cooking course of could be very simple and easy. The reheating directions are listed on the outer sleeve of the packaging and embrace choices for reheating within the microwave or oven with one famous because the “Beneficial Methodology.” Within the booklet, we noticed there are additionally directions for reheating in a skillet for some dishes however we didn’t come throughout these on any of the sleeves for our explicit gadgets.
When reheating within the microwave, the tray is put straight within the microwave with out puncturing the vacuum seal; this seal puffs up throughout heating, which is regular because it inflates with steam. Reheating instances had been listed as 60-90 seconds for all dishes. We discovered this to be correct for probably the most half, however since a few of our dishes had been heated from frozen because of the dry ice, we left it in for the total 90 seconds or added on one other 10 seconds. When reheating within the oven, we simply needed to switch to an oven-safe dish. Occasions had been correct and there have been even listed directions for including on further time if reheating from frozen. The breaded gadgets, such because the nuggets, undoubtedly benefited from reheating within the oven because the microwave leads to soggy breading.
Taste, Freshness, and High quality: Good High quality, Child-Accredited Taste
Our tasting group included a 3-year-old, a 6-year-old, and a father or mother. The children liked the flavors of practically the whole lot they tried however weren’t followers of the quinoa aspect that recurred in a number of of the plates. This was a private choice although. The potstickers had been an enormous hit in addition to the mac + three cheese, the pupusas, and the veggie tenders. The candy potato carrot poppers additionally went over very well. The sauces had been enjoyable for dipping and had nice taste.
The children actually loved the enjoyable packaging and plates and appeared excited to find every new meal. The one draw back that we skilled was that the parts had been too small for our rising youngsters with good appetites. Once they discovered a dish they liked, they actually needed extra and we would have liked to reheat two or extra plates per youngster for every to really feel happy, particularly when they didn’t take pleasure in one of many sides. However when you perceive your kids’s preferences, you possibly can at all times purchase multiples of their favorites. We just do want there was a family-size possibility or some bigger serving sizes for among the dishes, particularly since that will make it simpler for the entire household to eat at the very least some elements of the meal collectively.
Total, we felt the standard was wonderful—the inexperienced greens maintained a vibrant colour and the opposite cooked elements had respectable texture slightly than all being mushy or mushy, which is often a problem with heat-and-eat meals. We had been actually impressed by the lengthy shelf life and that the standard of the meals didn’t appear to be negatively impacted, because of the vacuum seal.
Little Spoon’s top quality is not only obvious in its meals preparation but in addition it is sourcing; the corporate makes use of solely meat and eggs which might be antibiotic, hormone-free, and humanely raised, plus non-GMO and largely natural fruits and veggies. (All child meals is USDA certified organic), however there’s the potential for among the produce in different gadgets to be non-organic relying on availability. Little Spoon sources all elements from trusted purveyors and farms in america and prepares its meals freed from components and preservatives.
Little Spoon Is Good For
Little Spoon is right for folks who need handy “quick meals” to feed their infants and kids that can also be nutritious and minimally processed. That is additionally nice for folks who attempt to avoid meals with undesirable components corresponding to synthetic coloring, together with added sugar, and/or extra salt—however nonetheless, demand meals that tastes good and is enjoyable for teenagers to take pleasure in. Little Spoon strikes the appropriate steadiness, interesting to youngsters and their dad and mom.
That is additionally a terrific service for eco-conscious dad and mom and those that prioritize natural, non-GMO elements. Little Spoon might not be the perfect match for households who take pleasure in consuming “family-style” since all meals are individually portioned. Moreover, it might not be the perfect match for kiddos with large appetites as a result of we discovered the parts to be a bit small with out supplementing with every other sides. There additionally could also be fewer choices for choosy eaters, however there are most likely a number of standby dishes that finicky youngsters would take pleasure in.
Detailed vitamin data is offered for every meal previous to ordering.
The Competitors: Little Spoon vs. Yumble
Little Spoon and Yumble are each meal supply companies for teenagers that supply heat-and-eat single serving plates. Along with plates for toddlers and large youngsters, Little Spoon additionally has a plan for child meals and smoothies, whereas Yumble begins its plans for ages 12 months and older (as much as 12 years). The idea and menus are comparable, though Yumble’s meals arrives in additional conventional heat-and-eat trays and aren’t sealed as tightly because the trays from Little Spoon, so the meals shifts throughout transit and didn’t visually look as interesting, even after reheating.
Yumble is priced barely greater, however its parts are barely bigger. Each firms prioritize sustainably sourced proteins and healthful elements freed from preservatives, though Little Spoon appears to have barely stricter requirements throughout the board. We felt the packaging, high quality of elements, pricing, and number of meals from Little Spoon had been higher general.
We extremely suggest Little Spoon for folks who desire a break from cooking and meal planning however nonetheless need to feed their kids a cooked-from-scratch form of meal, made with healthful elements that comprise the entire vitamins wanted for rising our bodies. That is additionally a good way to reveal your kids to a wide range of meals and flavors together with some kid-friendly classics.
We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 27 meal supply companies to get a way of every one’s choices, vitamin profiles, costs, and, in fact, flavors. We contacted the customer support groups at every of the businesses, collected knowledge, and wrote detailed critiques about each.
Our writers are all registered dietitians and relied on their analysis and its ensuing knowledge to tell their critiques.