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Hello Fresh Family Plan Review by Kirsten West

Hello Fresh
1 (646) 846-3663
https://www.hellofresh.com

Hello Fresh is a new food delivery service with a twist. They send you all the ingredients you will need to cook a meal for your family, complete with instructions. No shopping for ingredients at the store. No hunting for unusual spices that you would not normally use. It all arrives in one box at your doorstep each week.

As a homeschooling mom, you will find that you will have a lot of extra time on nights that you cook a Hello Fresh meal. The time to cook each meal is laid out for you and if you follow the step by step instructions, you will be feeding your family in pretty close to the total estimated time to cook.

When you are ready to cook a Hello Fresh meal, you remove a mid-sized brown paper meal bag from the fridge. All the ingredients, except the meat, is located in each labeled meal bag. The meats are packaged separately and shipped at the bottom of your Hello Fresh shipping package, right on top of the cooling packs. Using the meal preparation card for that particular meal as a guide, you follow the six easy steps to cook each meal. There are pictures for each step as well as simple instructions with the ingredients in bold type so that in the heat of battle in your kitchen, you can easily follow along. There is even a ‘Bust Out’ guide for each meal that lists the bowls and pans and incidentals you will need for each meal.

I found that the instructions are perfect for teenagers as well. We turned some of the meals into cooking classes for my son, who loves to cook. Each meal teaches a particular cooking and preparation technique. I worked alongside my son on nights that he cooked as I discovered that there are a lot of cooking techniques that I did not know. For instance, I cooked meat by tossing it in a hot pan and adding spices. But when you dry the meat first and roll it in spices before placing it in a hot pan, the meal is really delicious. Also, it is an opportunity to learn to cook with ingredients you are not used to, like poblano peppers and truffle butter, hazelnuts, and balsamic vinegar.

You order and select your meals online in batches by week in advance. That gives you the opportunity for forward-looking meal planning. We received three meals each week for a month. Having those meals decided on ahead of time gave structure to my meal planning and made it easier for me to cook the other nights of the week from scratch.

One final result of cooking with Hello Fresh for a month was that I learned better ways of balancing vegetables, meat, and carbohydrates in a given meal. I have read about meal planning many times, but actually walking through the steps and assembling the plates of food I realized that I was not feeding my family as much vegetables as I should. I have adjusted the way I assemble meals for my kids.

If you live in a part of the country with ready access to freshly-grown fruit and vegetables, you might find the produce in the Hello Fresh boxes not as fresh as you are used to. I discovered that generally the produce in the boxes was less than the level of freshness I am used to, but we like very near the area of the country where most produce and fruit is grown and so the quality we are used to is very close to freshly picked. Other than that, the meal quality is very high in each Hello Fresh meal.

Priced at $7.49/person plus $5.99 shipping for a Family Plan that includes three recipes each week for four people, the cost is above what I generally spend to feed my family. We do purchase most ingredients in bulk and I plan my meals far ahead of time, but the pricing is definitely lower than purchasing take-out meals or taking the family out to a restaurant to eat.

I would encourage you to try Hello Fresh for a month at least just to teach your children how to cook balanced, flavorful meals that include flavors you do not generally use. Anyone can cook a Hello Fresh meal to perfection. The steps are simple and easy to follow and the results are very tasty.

-Product review by Kirsten West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018

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