Here’s My Honest Review of This Family-Friendly Meal Kit Service

published Jan 10, 2022
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Credit: EveryPlate

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This past season has felt busier than most for our family. Between playdates, hip-hop dance classes (hello, adorable), and overall merry-making, meal planning just sort of took a backseat. Okay, maybe it went all the way in the trunk of the car, along with leftover wrapping paper and the gajillion sets of gloves we keep throwing back there. But when I found myself stuffing a handful of cheesy crackers in my mouth in the 6 p.m. hour while baking my upteenth frozen pizza, I knew it was time for a meal refresh for all of us. The easiest way to get back into cooking wholesome dinners? Taking the planning (and shopping) part of it out altogether. Enter: EveryPlate, a new-to-me meal kit with a drool-worthy menu.

Though I’ve used lots of meal kit services pre-parenthood and enjoyed them, I always thought they’d be too fussy to consider with kids. But I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and satisfying it was to put together a chef-y meal (it was quicker than using my beloved Doordash). Here’s how our EveryPlate adventure went: 

Picking out my meals

Though we only have three in our family, I opted for the four-person meals so that we could stretch our meals into leftovers the next day. With the three meal kits each week, broken into six dinners, I could just do some routine grocery shopping for fresh fruit, milk, and other basics, streamlining my usual run to the store by a ton

I liked that EveryPlate offers a range of meals that feel flavorful and hearty, yet accessible, which is part of that family-friendly appeal. They even have a FamilyPlate option, curated for busy people with kids. It was hard to choose my favorite dishes, but I landed on these comfort meals:

  • Gravy Lovers meatballs
  • Buttered biscuit pot pie
  • Southwest bacon cheeseburgers

My rationale was that each meal had to have something my carb-loving 5-year-old daughter would at least try, and had to work well as leftovers (since that was part of my meal plan strategy). In retrospect, it was a pretty rich lineup of cheesy, creamy goodness … but no complaints here. Starting at $39 / week, EveryPlate is also one of the more affordable meal kit options out there (other meal plans run from $60–80 per week). The online menu makes it simple to pick what you want, with tags for “vegetarian” or “spicy,” and clear timing demarcations, so you can select more labor-intensive meals or quickie dinners based on your lifestyle.

Credit: Thao Thai

My thoughts on shipping and delivery

Way back when I started using meal delivery kits, I struggled with the consumer waste involved. A decade ago, there weren’t many options to recycle or re-use packaging from the meal kit services. I’m happy to share that this has taken a turn for the better. Though the meal kits are still large, almost everything in them can be recycled or composted; even the ice packs are non-toxic and biodegradable. Don’t get me wrong: It’s still a lot of packaging, but the fact that it’s not all landfill waste makes me feel better. 

The reason for all that packaging, of course, is to keep your items insulated and fresh, which they did! There were times when I wasn’t at home to grab the kit when it arrived, but the ingredients stayed in great shape while I was out running errands and handling school pick-up. Even with an unexpected holiday shipping delay, the food was more than fine. Overall, convenience was an 8/10. 

Credit: Thao Thai

How my daughter and I cooked the meals

Here’s the most unexpected part of using a meal kit: My daughter was super into cooking with me. Usually, I can’t tear her away from the upteenth viewing of My Little Pony, but she was fascinated by the big box of groceries. She helped unpack each item and then stayed to cook with me. There were some little tasks she could help out with, like counting the potatoes for our dish, washing produce, and removing leaves from the thyme (noticeably, she had less enthusiasm for anything involving raw meat, which I understood). She sat with her snack and watched me put it all together, asking questions about each step in the process. Afterwards, she was proud to tell my husband that she’d made dinner, though her enthusiasm did not extend to the clean-up process. 

Overall, it took about 45 minutes to cook most of the meals, which is a tad longer than I would normally spend cooking (we max out at 30-minute meals, a la Rachel Ray), but that was on me for not paying more attention to the timing when I selected the meals. None of the cooking was challenging at all though; I think even a novice cook could master them handily. The meals were very satisfying — flavorful without being overwhelming in spice, which is a must for our meals with our kiddo. Our favorite was the biscuit pot pie, which was also vegetarian, and it lasted for even longer than I thought. 

That first week, I found myself unexpectedly looking forward to those moments when my daughter would plop herself on a stool and announce, “It’s time to cook dinner, Mommy.” The meals were also yummy enough that I’d anticipate them throughout the day, even leftovers, which typically excite me as much as another viewing of Octonauts. Mostly, I was just excited not to have to think too hard about dinner. EveryPlate was well worth that small moment of everyday convenience.

Credit: Thao Thai

The final verdict

I was really happy and surprised by my EveryPlate experience and would absolutely recommend it to other parents who want to try something new.

Will I use meal kits every week from now into perpetuity? No, probably not. I still enjoy going to the grocery store, sometimes deciding on the meal plan spontaneously, or bookmarking specific recipes from my favorite food sites. I also like supporting local farmers markets when I can. But the nice part about a meal kit is that you’re not obligated to use it every week. You can pause your delivery for certain weeks. You can stop and restart, and find a cadence that works for your family.

I’m looking forward to having EveryPlate in my back pocket for seasons that feel a bit more rushed. It’s the kind of little hack that makes cooking — and parenting — feel more manageable sometimes. 

Try it yourself: EveryPlate meal kit