Once upon a time, I relied on Smart Ones for myself all the time for lunch. They’re convenient, low-cal lunches. I’d add some fruit and some string cheese, and voila, lunch! But now that I’m home all the time working and momming, I rarely eat a frozen meal. And I don’t know that my daughter has ever had one. But that all changed when Mom Made Meals sent me some coupons so I could try out their meals.
Unlike many of the meals you’ll find in the freezer aisle, Mom Made Meals (MMM? Coincidence?) aims to make its kid’s meals as nutritious as they can. With fresh, organic ingredients (the packages let you know how much organic goodness is included), they give you a “break from the kitchen without the guilt.” Guilt is definitely something moms could do without!
I will preface this review by saying that my daughter is the opposite of a picky eater, and she always finishes a meal and then will ask for more. Seeing as my daughter is ready to eat at 5 p.m. on the dot and I’m usually just starting to think about dinner, having a meal to throw in the microwave that’s ready in just a couple of minutes made life so very convenient.
The company makes frozen meals, snacks and bites, and my 2-year-old and I sampled something from each category. First up, Cheesy Mac at 230 calories. Now, unlike the boxed macaroni and cheese variety, this one includes butternut squash, sweet potato and peas. My daughter gobbled it up. I had to try it, too, of course, and it was really tasty. It tasted like a mac and cheese fake out—in the best way! With a nice creamy texture, it tasted cheesy and a little sweet because of the vegetables. Definitely a mac I wouldn’t mind eating myself.
Next up was the Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs & Sauce, which came in at 170 calories with 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar. Now, my daughter has been insane in the membrane lately, so I do not know what got into her, but she didn’t finish it. She was throwing the side of broccoli I made to the dog and ended up trying to give the spaghetti to her as well. It tasted great to me; a tiny bit on the bland side, but perfect and unoffensive for kids. The meatball bites were also rather tasty—they’re sized just right for little ones. I added them to pasta and sauce and my hubby and I enjoyed them as well. Quite yummy, in fact, and he only commented that they were a touch small (I don’t think he knew I was sneaking a kids’ meal into dinner!).
Then came the Turkey Sausage Munchie, a pizza-pocket type of pouch of yumminess. The crust was flaky, the filling tomato-tastic. It seemed a bit small for the 220 calories it contained, but it did have 5 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber and only 1 gram of sugar. The pocket was super convenient for me to eat one-handed, and my daughter liked it and seemed to savor every bite. In the dessert department, we tried the Apple Pie Munchie. At just over 200 calories, it won’t fill you up as a snack, but it’s a warm pocket of apples that will give you an apple pie fix if you get a hankerin’ for one this fall.
Overall, everything was tasty and the ingredient lists and nutritional value of this brand definitely take away the microwave-meal ick factor. They were a bit on the pricey side, ranging from $3.69 to $5.49 at my grocery store, but you can also shop around for them on Amazon. But for nights that are especially busy in your house? These are just the quick ticket.
Ever fall back on the freezer aisle for quick meals? What are your favorites? —Erin