A slightly above-average achiever's guide to parenting
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Nom Nom Nomsly
March 31, 2017
You know when you think to yourself “something like [_______] should exist.” And then you find out it does, in fact, exist? That’s how I felt when I discovered Nomsly, which is a healthy prepared lunch program for kids. I am lucky enough that Chewie’s daycare provides healthy lunches as part of tuition. In fact, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a huge reason of why we chose the place. But, while his daycare has lots of healthy options and always includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, I’ve seen grade school public lunches. Public school lunches often use canned peaches doused in syrup and ice berg lettuce and consider them to be proper fruits and vegetables. Just the other day I saw an article where a high school cafeteria served chicken nuggets on a hot dug bun with nothing else. That was lunch. And don’t get me wrong, I loved them growing up. I loved pizza day, and French toast sticks. But I didn’t really learn healthy eating until college.
And you might be saying “well, if you’re so worried about healthy lunches, just go ahead and pack a nutritional lunch for you kid”. To that I say “pfffffftssssttttttt” (I never said I was the most mature person around).
Look, I have friends who look forward to preparing school lunches. They lovingly prepare meals for their entire family. They also happen to be good in the kitchen generally—which I am not. I can hold my own, but cooking definitely falls into the “chore” not “hobby” category. I sometimes daydream about a romanticized version of myself--meal planning for the whole family for the entire week Cutting sandwiches into cute shapes. Making smiley faces out of broccoli, grape tomatoes, and carrots. (I should add that this version of myself also happens to be a super-coupon clipper, regularly makes overnight oats, and also may or may not have a fall out shelter…I have weird daydreams). But as they say: “know thyself”. And thyself does not have time to be that kind of mom.
Enter Nomsly. Nomsly sends healthy, prepared lunches to your door every Sunday, containing a week’s worth of kid-friendly foods. The service costs $35 for five meals which includes shipping. There is also a vegetarian option. Brilliant, right? They even ship the lunches in disposable plastic containers so you can just grab and go. If you’re feeling particularly nurturing, you can stick one of the stickers they include on your kid’s lunch.
I love this service. It’s a brilliant idea, and has an even better back story. One of the co-founders became passionate about healthy lunches because he wasn’t given access to healthy foods at a young age, and reached almost 300 pounds by college. Recognizing that healthy habits start early, he came up with this idea to make it as easy as possible for parents to give their kid’s healthy lunches. And man has he hit the nail on the head. Because if left to my own devices, my kids would in reality be eating a school lunch of nugget dogs. Or if I was ambitious, I’d probably grab a lot of prepackaged things like goldfish crackers and whatever else was in my pantry. Nomsly on the other hand, works with a registered nutritionist to make sure the meals are both healthy, and kid friendly and includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
I was lucky enough to try out the service for a week and really enjoyed it. As I said, we have healthy school lunches provided at daycare, so we tested them for dinner instead. This option worked great. Because as much as I swore our kid would “eat what we eat”, some nights, it’s just not worth the battle (honestly, it boggles my mind. He’ll eat raw vegetables like they’re going out of style, but if you ask him to try baked chicken, we end up in a Mexican Toddler Standoff).
The meals arrived in a typical USPS box with ice packs and insulation. If you’ve ever ordered from Blue Apron, this is pretty comparable. The packaging is all recyclable, or you can get a free return label to send it back to them an they'll reuse or recycle it themselves. The great news is that you don’t have to be home for delivery to occur (did I mention that they “get” the busy parent thing? One of the founders is a parent of two toddlers). The meals are packaged in the equivalent of takeout containers and have three items in each one. Typically one major item which has some protein (sandwich roll up, three bean salad, pasta with nut free pesto) and then two sides of a vegetable and a fruit. The items are pretty hearty so they lasted the whole week. But you’ll need to make some strategic decisions as to what to serve first. For example, I wouldn’t want to eat a week old sandwich, so we started with that. But the pasta lasted really well until the end of the week.
None of the items seemed too ground breaking (although I was really pleasantly surprised when Chewie took down the falafel balls and yogurt sauce TO THE FACE). And at times, when I grabbed them, I thought “this isn’t hard, I could make this”. But then again, see my tirade above for the fact that, no, I don’t have time to make this. On the whole, Chewie liked almost everything. I suppose if you sent something to lunch that your kid wouldn’t eat, then you might be in a bind. But I suspect the more you use the service, the more you’d get to know which ones to swap out, or when to throw in an extra item. Plus they're adding an option to pick 5 out of 7 or 8 options, which will solve that problem.
For now, we’re sticking with the included daycare lunches only out of convenience. But I cannot wait to use this service when Chewie hits Kindergarten. I’m hoping by then that they have a sibling discount…and possibly a parent discount, because I wouldn’t mind if someone else prepped the meals for our entire family. I spoke with Nomsly and they've talked about doing both, so whoo to that!
They are available to pretty much all areas of eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. PLUS as a bonus for my readers, if you use the code BPLUS you can try a week for FREE. So what are you waiting for?? NOM NOM NOM