When I was pregnant with twins, I remember sitting in one of those prenatal classes and listening with fear as they forewarned, “Be prepared to change everything in your life.” Being slightly OCD, I needed to do a few breathing exercises to digest that one — especially when I realized we would have to cook.
Living on South Beach, my husband and I rarely cooked. If we did, it was to reheat hash browns from Joe’s Take Away. With kids, life was going to be different.
Fast forward almost six years later, and here I am, no longer within walking distance of Joe’s, and with two happy, healthy almost 6-year-old twins. Sydney eats like a champ. Aaron would rather watch reruns of “Paw Patrol” while popping dry pieces of pasta into his mouth than eat anything remotely interesting, balanced or, god forbid, nutritious.
And I still don’t really cook.
I burn pasta. I started a fire reheating a sweet potato in the microwave for my dog. Then one day a package arrived at my door, and things suddenly changed. Enter Born Foody, a junior meal delivery service created to provide nutritious, flavorful and well-balanced meals for “hungry little foodies.”
Launched earlier this year, Born Foody is the brainchild of chef Joshua Wahler and hospitality pro Andreas Tsavos. Both fathers to young children, the duo found the demands of their careers limited not just time in their home kitchens but time with their families. Compounded with the challenges of providing healthy food in our go-go-go culture, they’ve partnered to create this one-stop shop for chef-created meals for children ages 1 and older.
“The menu we created for Born Foody is based on how we cook at home for our families,” says Wahler, who quit his job as executive chef of Estiatorio Milos in Miami Beach to partner with Tsavos, who served as general manager there. “We are passionate about introducing children to wholesome, nutritious food that tastes as good as it looks. We live in a very busy society, and it’s difficult to carve out the time needed to cook, from scratch, healthy, delicious food. Born Foody is designed to give parents an easy, cost-effective way to escape from our quick fix, fast food world and embrace flavor and nutrition, plus help teach our children how to eat.”
Both men looked at their customers and were struck by how differently diners and their children ate at the restaurant. So they trained their sights on picky eaters such as mine. Born Foody provides layered flavors normally found in restaurants without being too aggressive for undeveloped palates.
“All we’d see in the restaurant were parents having thousand-dollar meals and kids eating plain pasta,” Tsavos said.
Meals are delivered fresh from the company’s professional kitchen in BPA-free, air-sealed packaging that helps remove oxygen to naturally preserve the integrity of the food. They are delivered in insulated cold boxes, ready to heat and eat, with no cooking required. As part of preparation, all meals are slow cooked, using low temperatures to retain maximum nutrition and flavor. They are packaged with natural stocks and sauces to maintain their moisture and tender consistency.
The process is overseen by an experienced registered dietitian who guides Born Foody’s culinary team.
The menu offers only farm fresh ingredients, whole grains and sustainably raised proteins. There are no preservatives, hormones or antibiotics, and all meals are delivered fresh — never frozen.
But how would it go over with the ultimate food critics — my twins?
First off, the whimsical colorful packaging appeals to kids with its pop-arty cartoon figures looking so happy to eat animated carrots and strawberries. These mascots are on front of the cute little folder that arrives with your food, full of colorful cards explaining every single unprocessed ingredient put into each dish, which is also popping with Technicolor flavors.
My daughter devoured the Born Foody Amish Raised Chicken — chicken from the Zimmerman Family Chicken Farm in McAlisterville, Pennsylvania, with tri-color pasta, haricot vert and butternut squash. In 60 seconds I heated up the second package and waited to see if Aaron would even go near the Edamame Succotash with Mint Spinach Tofu Sauce — with organic Thai jasmine rice, corn, edamame, red bell pepper and haricot vert.
“This one is our most adventurous flavor combination,” Wahler told us. “It shows you can have a fun sauce that doesn’t have to be cheesy or creamy. But it’s pretty out there.”
For my son, it was out there in the best possible way. He dug right in, not stopping until the plate was almost clear plus or minus two edamame that Sydney swept in and ate.
“Yummy in my tummy,” the budding food critic said before asking if he could eat this every day.
We tried the other pre-prepared meals. Sydney devoured the Hudson Valley Duck Leg confit (“Our most adventurous protein,” Wahler said) and Aaron scarfed the Heirloom Berkshire Pork Shoulder (braised for three hours, but not in my kitchen!) without examining it like a television cooking competition judge.
Even the Faroe Islands Salmon, a gluten-free dish paired with a combination of snap peas, organic rice and spaghetti squash that they referred to as a “pink steak,” was a hit.
On top of it all, it’s healthy.
Customers can choose between five-meal, seven-meal and 10-meal packages or customize their own. Packages range in size from small ($46-$83) to large ($52-$93). Delivery is free throughout the United States through FedEx and is available through the website, www.bornfoody.com.
Since he started eating Born Foody, Aaron, a truly small fry, has grown and gained where it mattered. Sydney is expanding her adventurous palate. And I am not feeling guilty hitting Start on the microwave. That’s the kind of happy meal I can appreciate.