Annabel Karmel Chilled Toddler Meals at a glance:
Busy days still deserve the best mealtimes. That’s why Annabel has put 30 years of expertise into cooking-up this nutritionally balanced range of children’s favourites. Low in salt and packing-in up to three of their 5-a-day, Annabel’s convenient Chilled Toddler Meals are specially formulated for children aged 1+.
We spoke to these real parent testers to get their review…
How did this product make your life easier?
Julia: These meals make my life so much easier as a mum! Having twins to think about is a challenge enough but feeding twins can be a nightmare as I don’t always have time to prepare meals after work before picking them up from childcare. They’re super quick to prepare with a zap in the microwave in less than 5 mins!
Elisabeth: It’s easy for when you are really tight for time or on holiday but it’s not something I’d want to use on a regular basis as it doesn’t feel right to me to give my child ready meals.
Katy: Preparing a hot, nutritionally balanced meal in under 10 minutes is very difficult whilst still catering for tiny palates. These chilled meals offer a quick solution to rushed post-nursery mealtimes. The portions are appropriately sized for younger toddlers and the meal can be prepared without monitoring the food, which gave us the opportunity to read a book together rather than the usual battle to get tea prepared whilst entertaining the kids!
Would you recommend this to other parents?
Katie: The meals are a generous portion and my daughter really liked the taste. On trying them myself I was surprised at how tasty the meals are. I was pleased that the meals are low in salt and have one of your 5 a day, as I was concerned that the taste meant they aren’t healthy (for example the Chicken Tikka and rice tasted like a microwave meal curry). It’s great that the meals are fresh and have to be kept in the fridge, although this does mean you need to keep an eye on the used by date and personally, I don’t have loads of room in the fridge to keep meals like this. Also, I would tend to use an instant meal if going away/out so having something that needs to be refrigerated might not be convenient.
Jane: Yes I would recommend these meals to a friend. They are great as they are perfectly sized for kids, tasty and full of the good stuff that you want them to have. My kids love them, and it’s a bit of excitement and something a little different. I would not use them every day, but would definitely recommend to have them in for a quick and easy tea on a busy day.
Victoria: I would definitely recommend this product for the convenience it provides for busy families who may struggle with time (and imagination) when it comes to creating meals for a toddler. Plus for the reassurance it gives a parent that, although pre packaged, the quality and healthiness of the food is high. It also allows toddlers to try a variety of different foods.
Would you choose this product above all others on the market?
Alex: Since trying these products I have actually continued to buy them as my daughter loves them. They are flavoured well, even for adult paletes, and my daughter finished every meal that we gave her which is unheard of. You don’t often see a childrens meal that is a decent size portion and includes the veg.
Julia: I’m a huge fan of Annabel Karmel anyway, I had all of her books (and still do!) for the weaning journey from 6 months and to this day still use her recipes when cooking for the girls. Pre-prepared meals have a bad rep – especially in the world of parenting (god forbid you don’t cook from scratch?!) – so I felt reassured that my children were eating healthy prepared meals with low salt and sugar knowing Annabel Karmel’s trustworthy reputation. I’ll definitely be including these in my weekly shops from now on!
Victoria: The only thing that would deter me from using this product against others is the price. I would only use these occasionally, I would happy pay the RRP as I am confident in the quality of the product, however for families that may rely on meals like these more frequently, there are other, more competitively priced products on the market. Saying this, the range of flavours and options I believe are a lot more interesting.
What changes would you make to this product?
Elisabeth: I would be more inclined to go for products which were clearly 100% natural and were organic. If I have to use a ready meal, which I would be reluctant to regularly, I’d want to feel I was giving him the best one on the market in terms of nutrition and being natural. The packaging is very geared to kids but it’s adults buying it. Perhaps being able to see part of the meal would help. I thought they were really tasty and my son loved them too.
Katy: I would like to see an older toddlers range. My kids found these slightly bland and requested cheese or sauce, particularly for the pasta. I think the concept is brilliant and if they made an older toddler meal with bolder flavours (but still without the salt) I would definitely buy them for my boys.
Katie: If I could change one thing about this product it would be the amount of vegetables in it. I might opt for this product over others if it could have more than 1 of their 5 a day. Other toddler meals have 3 of their 5 a day in and are easy to store in the cupboard and cook quickly.