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6 Meal Delivery Services for New Moms

These services take the pressure off putting healthy food on the dinner table.

6 Meal Delivery Services for New Moms

I used to love to cook -- spending hours in the kitchen making healthy, gourmet meals for myself and my (mostly appreciative and adventurous) husband. But eight weeks in my first pregnancy, I was passing out every evening at 8 pm and my husband was ordering Chinese food so often that they knew our order by heart. All plans for an organic, nourishing prenatal diet were out the window.

There's so much pressure on pregnant and nursing women to eat healthy but, ironically, pregnancy and new motherhood are not ideally suited for long hours in the kitchen.

For urban mamas and mamas-to-be who are too busy (or too exhausted) to cook for themselves, this city has everything from personal chefs to a-la-carte catering to take the pressure off putting healthy food on the table. Read on to find a meal delivery service that works for you!

1. FOR THE BABY SHOWER GIFT OF THE CENTURY: CARRIED AWAY CHEFS

Created by a professional chef who understands the throes of new motherhood, Carried Away Chefs is the ultimate splurge. The chefs at Carried Away will sweep into your home, groceries in hand, and make you a fridge full of amazing food. Our chef, Alyssa, came in with a smile, was a doll to my kids, and had the apartment smelling ridiculously yummy within minutes. My little ones loved peeking in on her progress and even tried some dishes. And then, Alyssa put away all our delicious food (roasted heirloom tomato soup, mini veggie frittatas, apricot glazed chicken and tons more) and left our tiny kitchen even cleaner than she found it.

Good to know: gift cards are available! Cost starts at $300 + cost of groceries for 4 mains + 4 sides to feed a family of 4. Kid meals available. Detailed intake form and menu e-chat with your chef makes everything very pregger-friendly and customizable.

2. FOR THE COMMUNITY-MINDED DINER: UMI KITCHEN

Such a brilliant idea, it’s surprising that Umi Kitchen only came onto the food scene this past spring. With a recently expanded delivery zone, which includes parts of Manhattan and northwest Brooklyn, Umi lets you basically order your neighbor’s home cooking. An iPhone app allows you to choose from an eclectic group of vetted home chefs cooking everything from Jamaican jerk chicken to gluten-free turkey Bolognese.

Good to know: Cost averages $15/serving (usually a generous main dish with 1-2 sides/dessert) + $4 delivery fee. Same day ordering or up to a week ahead. Not customizable. No kid meals.

3. FOR FOLKS ON A BUDGET: MUNCHERY

The most affordable service in our roundup, Munchery is like having a favorite restaurant where the menu changes daily. You can order their delicious food (everything from salmon burgers to chicken curry) up to nine days ahead, so if you know you’ll be without a home cooked meal next Tuesday, you can make sure Munchery hooks you up. Best of all, Munchery posts a complete ingredient list for each meal, along with a comprehensive nutrition breakdown so you know exactly what you’re eating. Toss in the fact that the average dish comes in under $10, and you have yourself a winner.

Good to know: Not really customizable (though sauces come on the side and rarer food can be cooked further if desired). Kid meals, vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

4. FOR THOSE WITH LITTLE MOUTHS TO FEED: PANDA PLATES

Designed for busy moms with kids at home, this newcomer solves your “what’s for dinner” woes by sending you fresh, healthy, ready-to-heat-and-eat meals for kids. From quinoa pizza cups to steak tips, each yummy meal comes with a side of vegetables and a little cartoon panda with an “eat your food” inspirational message. My picky toddlers tried everything I served them from Panda Plates (no easy feat, believe me!) and particularly fell in love with the banana coconut muffins.

Good to know: Cost averages at $9/meal, with a commitment to a week’s worth of food. Portion size suitable for kids under 12. Vegetarian and gluten-free meals available. Allergens listed on each menu item.

5. FOR ETHICALLY-MINDED MAMAS: PORTABLE CHEF

If sustainable farming is just as important to you as tasty food, then this is the service for you. Portable Chef makes small batches of food to suit your basic dietary needs, accommodating for general goals like paleo or gluten-free living, or weight loss. Portions are generous (our Filipino chicken adobo was enough for a meal and a half), and with each delivery you get a list of the farmers and artisans who helped make your food.

Good to know: Cost for 5 dinners for a family of 4 starts at $500. Different packages available depending on how many meals/days/family members. Certain dietary/pregnancy related requirements can be accommodated. Kid meals available.

6. FOR MAMAS TRYING TO LOSE THE BABY WEIGHT: SAKARA LIFE

If you find yourself back in regular life post baby, but not in your regular jeans, Sakara Life is a good way to shift gears. I loved starting my morning with their rosewater drink (sipped mindfully, as instructed). Spending the day munching on plant-based power-food dishes (the Roasted Peach Chana Masala with Coconut-Basil Quinoa was delicious), I felt great knowing I was detoxing and getting a boatload of veggies. There is literature available online, and a health coach will reach out to help you adjust to the Sakara lifestyle (and with no animal protein on the menu, it was quite the adjustment for me).

Good to know: Cost/person for 3 meals/day for 5 days starts at $349. Commitment is weekly (or by subscription) for either 3 or 5 days of food. Not really customizable—allergies are accommodated for an extra fee. Ingredients listed on each container.

*This post was not sponsored, but all meals were provided for the author for review purposes.

In This Article

    These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

    It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

    When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

    But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

    I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

    So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

    It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

    But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


    Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


    Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

    Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

    Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

    Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


    This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

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    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

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    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

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    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

    $30

    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

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    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

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    $40

    Vintage scooter balance bike

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    $121

    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

    $100

    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

    $45

    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

    $179

    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

    $100

    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

    $33

    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

    $88

    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

    $75

    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

    $30

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    If your little one is going as a lion, coordinating is as easy as breaking out the khaki!

    Here's how Halloween unfolds in most households I know: Mom spends weeks—even months—planning the perfect costumes for little ones. Then Halloween creeps up and they realize they need an outfit to coordinate with the kids' get-ups. What's a mom to do?!

    Thankfully, there's no need for fear or pressure: There are so many ideas for parents that are easy to make and still super clever.

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