When you, your husband and first-born child are down for trying any and every food—Dried kiwi? Delish! Spicy crab sushi? More please! Escargot? Yum!—it’s quite the shocker when your second born hits the high chair hating pretty much everything you put in front of her.

In a good week, we can get her to nibble on rice, corn, and edamame…every day. Swap one of those foods for something else, and all bets are off. She’s not having any of it. In a not-so-good-week her palate prefers to cycle through foods with too much sugar, fat or salt (pre-packaged muffins have to get boring at some point, right?).

And now that she’s a bonafide three-nager with an opinion, she seems to have an excuse to not want to eat anything under the sun—from too-crunchy broccoli to too-drippy ice cream (seriously!). As you can imagine, prepping something that I know she will eat and that’s healthy has been super time consuming and stressful.

So, we decided to try out Nurture Life, ready-to-eat meals that are fresh-made, wholesome, and conveniently delivered on a weekly basis ($47/five meals a week; $89/ten meals a week). In addition to broadening baby girl’s horizons, with each new meal she tried, I was able to save my sanity and counter some of her commonly dished out excuses for not wanting to eat.

The excuse: “I only like mac and cheese.”

Nurture Life’s menu features seasonal dishes that change four times a year and Favorites that stay on the menu all year long. The Seasonal Menu features more adventurous dishes like Pork Cassoulet and Tropical Fried Rice. The Favorites Menu offers healthier versions of classic kids faves, including mac and cheese and meatballs. Our girl is pretty rigid about the flavors she enjoys, so the Favorites were familiar and recognizable–she devoured them. What I liked was that the meals are developed by pediatric registered dietitians to ensure my tot gets a variety of flavors in just the right proportions, because my girl would surely eat an entire plate of just white rice if you let her. Real talk.

The excuse: “Wahhhh, my food is touching!”

This has got to be one of the most popular reasons tots don’t want to eat their meals. How dare the chicken and rice touch each other on a plate! Since when did green beans and potato hash need personal space? My three-year-old’s point was mute during our week with Nurture Life’s pre-packaged meals. The food comes ready to heat-and-eat in portioned and partitioned containers. You can eat straight from the container for quick clean-up, or food can be scooped onto a plate (if food touching isn’t a thing for your kid).

The excuse: “There are green things.”

This phrase is common in our household and is often followed with, “I hate green things.” She also doesn’t like orange or red things, which is problematic when you’re trying to fill her up with nutritional goodness. Nurture Life links up with globally inspired chefs who use kid-friendly quantities of herbs and spices like bay leaf, cilantro and ginger to complement their fresh ingredients. Translation: Instead of always hiding or masking vegetables in with other things, they simply make the veggies taste better for bambinos. And they really do! Don’t tell her, but I snuck a taste here and there for verification, and found that the vegetables in particular had a subtle, but interesting flavor profile.

The excuse: “I didn’t cook it.”

Ummmmm…you’re three, so obviously you aren’t going to be stir frying away in the kitchen, my dear. But, I get it. Little ones, including mine, love to be involved in the kitchen. And all of the experts agree that toddlers who help prepare their own meals are more likely to eat said meal. Even though Nurture Life’s meals are microwavable, I tried to give our picky eater a part in meal planning. She helped put her meals in the fridge after they arrived, she picked out what she wanted to eat, she vented the packaging and she popped it in the microwave for reheating. The result was she tried every single thing. #winning

Got a picky eater too? Give Nurture Life a try with this special offer: Receive $30 off your first order with code REDTRI at checkout.

copy and photos by Ayren Jackson-Cannady

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