Mother and Baby

Rated! Which recipe box is the most family-friendly?

Section: Meals & Baking

Everyone's going bonkers for food kits in a box, but should you actually bother and will they save money?

Who wants to queue up at Tesco after a long day of surrounding to our toddler's every whim? Could there be a solution which doesn't involve your little one dramatically pulling down an entire display of Weetabix boxes? 

Cue: recipe kits which are designed to take away all of the stress of supermarkets and slaving over the stove. You simply select your chosen meals, state any dietary requirements and wait for the specially-measured ingredients to arrive. 

But which ones are a cut above the rest and which are family-friendly? 

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1) Gousto

A Gousto box contains almost everything you need to make ‘exciting, fuss-free food from around the world’ – literally all you need is your own olive oil. Everything comes pre-portioned and ready for you to get started on making your Cavolo Nero Linguine, or perhaps you’d prefer Cajun Fish with Salsa?

Happily, all meat is British and veggies are organic where possible. There’s also a handy calorie and nutritional breakdown. This one comes in at around £2.98 per portion, with weekly boxes starting from £29.99 for four meals.

Family-friendly? Their family section features faves like fish and chips, pasta and pizza will we know will please little mouths

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2) Cook Well by Waitrose

Waitrose pride themselves in providing only the best ingredients that are ethically sourced and fresh. Their trusty Nutritionist and Head Chef work together to ensure tasty, but healthy recipes for your family including hearty chicken, chorizo and butter bean casserole, lemon and dill salmon and vegan tikka tofu. 

We loved how all the exact quantities of ingredients for each meal, came in separate brown bags, meaning less time hunting around for the garlic salt! The twist on modern classics brought you out of you comfort zone and each meal was a real treat for the whole family. 

Family-friendly rating: The portion sizes are good, though this is more suitable for older children who are happy to try more sophisticated spices and flavours. 
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3) Simply Cook

These guys say they’ll have you sitting down to a restaurant quality meal within 20 minutes, which is a pretty amazing claim. Their boxes provide four recipes and flavour kits that will each feed 2-4 people, depending on how much of your own fresh stuff you use.

They’re one of the only companies to accomodate gluten-free diets, and they’re also the cheapest of the lot at £8.99 per box.

Family-friendly? They don't have a family section and their meals are quite adventurous so unless your tots have adventurous palates it might be one to save for date night!

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4) Riverford Organic

t’s impossible not to feel healthy and incredibly worthy when you take delivery of a Riverford box. The veg has been plucked freshly from their organic fields, everything is seasonal and the recipes are pretty virtuous. They say their ‘inspiring healthy meals’ and ‘simple for even novice cooks’ and they are.

Their Steak & Runner Bean Salad looks great, but their veggie delights like Japanese Rice with Umemboshi Shiitake & Edamame will thrill the less carnivorous among us who can rejoice in not another goat’s cheese tart. Riverford send you everything you need starting from £29.95 for four (very large) meals.

Family-friendly? Their meals are quite fancy and although they don't have a specific family section they do have 'simple options' that would hopefully suit fussy easters!

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5) Hello Fresh

You get the feeling with Hello Fresh! that they’re almost not in it for the money. Well, obviously they are, but their mission to get everyone cooking good healthy meals from scratch really comes across. And you don’t even need to sign up to see their YouTube tutorials or use the free mobile app with a massive recipe database.

Again, everything you need is provided in handy pre-portioned amounts, so you can get on with cooking an impressive Thai Massaman or Grilled Lamb Pittas hassle-free. The Courgette & Cheddar Gratin floats our meat-free boat, and for £4.90ish a go you can’t complain. Especially when they get their fish from the same place as the Queen. Boxes start from £39 for six meals.

Family friendly? They have family options that have been created with busy parents in mind, taking the hassle out of meal-planning, prep and cooking, so that you spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the family.

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6) The Spicery

The Spicery send you all the spices that you need to make a seriously impressive exotic banquet for four. You need to buy the fresh stuff, like with Simply Cook, but they offer you a choice of all sorts of amazing menus like Friday Night Curry, Date Night (a romantic meal from around the world), World Kitchen, or even Gourmet Student.

Host a Turkish night and serve up beautiful home made kofte, ottoman rice and Shepherd salad and watch your mates’ jaws drop because this is serious cooking made utterly simple. Really good for adventurous types, and especially those who love cooking anyway. £19.95 for a three month subscription (three meals).

Family-friendly? They have a family favourites option full of familiar recipes that aren't too spicy!

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7) MyCookBox

MyCookBox deliver good quality, pre-portioned fresh ingredients at the best price by keeping the recipes super simple and cutting out unnecessary costs! Meat and dairy are in a special chilled bag to keep them fresh if you aren't home to collect the delivery.

The box comes with pre-measured ingredients straight from suppliers so there is no food waste. There are 2-4 servings per recipe and they are easy to follow with step-by-step recipe cards! It costs about £4.17 per serving and the delivery is free. You can manage the account online easily to pause your delivery or swap meals whenever you fancy! Veggie and meat options available.

Family-friendly? Although their meals aren't specifically designed for families they pride themselves on simple fuss-free recipes and they have lots of family faves like burgers, pasta and meat and veg!

What's your favourite recipe box? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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