At work, when the opportunity came up at work to trial the new My Family Food Bag, I wasn’t actually sure we were the right family for the job. Nobody we knew had ever tried it. Quietly we doubted they could really supply enough fresh meat and veges to feed a whole family. The price seemed very cheap and privately we all if the people at My Food Bag really knew how much a family could get through when it came to food.
At home, it was the start of another school year. For the kids it was back into a routine of uniforms, homework, after school practices. It is also the time of year when, as a family, we sit down and work out which household jobs the kids will do as part of their contribution to getting our family up and out the door 5 days a week. Cooking meals is something I remember myself doing as a weekly job but it wasn’t a routine that we had ever nailed with any regularity in our own house.
And then…. I had an idea – instead of the parents cooking the food – let’s give My Family Food Bag to ‘the teenager’ for a week and see if she could cook our family 5 meals unassisted simply using the My Family Food Bag Recipes and ingredients. Our teenager (my 15yr old step-daughter) is pretty awesome but asking her to cook for our family of 4 was still a pretty big ask.
Our first impression was just how much food there was. The teenager unpacked all of the items, rolled up her sleeves and got stuck into ‘Fish Tacos’ with Mango Salsa. And so it began… the next four nights she cooked full meals for our family totally unaided by any other adult. The recipes were clear, they didn’t miss anything out and we found ourselves quickly becoming rather accustomed to sitting in the sun with a quiet drink while dinner was cooked for us by the teenager.
What were our meals? Soft Fish Tacos with Mexican Mango salad and Steamed Rice; Yummy Chicken Chop Salad; Little Lamb Rice Paper Rolls with Vegetables and Warm Egg Noodles; Little Beef Bap Burgers with Cheddar, Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes and Fusilli Pasta, Broccoli, Peas and Baby Carrots.
Were there stuff ups? Not really – a couple of times the vocabulary of cooking came into play and we had to translate but nothing too major. Did the teenager take longer than the average adult? Yup – because we had a vigilant non-cook on our hands the recipe reading was pretty intensive but certainly not hard. We found most meals with 30mins prep time took our teenager 45mins. Could you eat it at the end?Each and every meal the teenager prepared us was delicious and looked very much like the photo on the recipe card. Was anything missing? My Family Food Bag was a slick operation form start to finish – right from the Friday afternoon email that told us what we’ve be having for dinner next week, to the grocery check off list, the language of the recipes and even the delivery. Was there enough food? Every single time.
What did we learn? Portion size – My Family Food Bag isn’t a diet or a healthy eating plan but it is healthy – great fresh veges and meat will do that for you. Our biggest learning was regarding portion sizes – our family really likes food and while the meals were never small they were a great reminder in just what proportion of your meal should be vegetables.
Could you do the same thing for the same money yourself?I seriously doubt it and definitely not in Hamilton. Many of the products that made the meals delicious, such as the egg noodles, are sadly not able to be purchased anywhere near where we live. The quality of the veges and meat was superior and not anything we could have purchased at our local supermarket (please note we live rurally). For us, as a busy family, the added bonus of having every single ingredient arrive at your door at the start of the week was awesome.
Was there a downside? My Family Food Bag is aimed at the New Zealand family that is trying to get kids to eat a good spread of veges and meat and to try new things without going too far out of their comfort zone. If you’re a more adventurous family of eaters I suggest you try The Classic Food Bag or get The Family Bag and keep extra chillies to hand.
When the week was over we had a teenager who felt that she had achieved no small feat in cooking for a family of four for 5 nights. We also had two adults who had grown very accustomed to their own personal chef complete with the freshest of veges and high quality meat. My Food Bag also had a new regular customer. Check out the teenagers efforts on twitter #theteenagercooked