I love Little Dish – ever since Addison first tried their meals and a miracle occurred and she ate real food. So when they asked Addison and I to come to London to talk and try some new recipes we hopped on the train quickly.
We were very lucky to have the session run by CEO Hillary Graves and Lucy Jones a consultant dietician who works with Little Dish. It was amazing to hear that Little Dish have now been making meals for children since 2006 and sell on average 100,00 meals every week across the UK.
I have always felt so guilty feeding Addison Little Dish meals, like others were judging me, but she truly loves them and some days when we have been out at hospital or I have worked a 12hr day they were a great option for me, but after talking to Hillary and Lucy I feel guilty no more. Here are my reason why…
- Little Dish create each recipe in partnership with our nutritionist to ensure that every Little Dish provides little ones from 1 year plus with the perfect balance of nutrition for a main meal. Every Little Dish meal provides at least one of a child’s 5-a-day, in fact most provide two. Our meals are made from 100% natural ingredients and we never add salt or sugar
- We are committed to bringing little ones great tastes and smells, interesting textures and balanced nutrition because we know a rich variety of these fundamentals helps them to develop a healthy and adventurous palate. We believe proper food for kids is fresh and that meals that can be kept in the cupboard just can’t deliver the tastes or textures that kids should be experiencing from a young age
- Our proper food follows the tightest nutritional guidelines of any children’s food manufacturer and all Little Dish meals are made in perfect portion sizes to give little ones all the nutrients they need
- We have been working with Lucy Jones, consultant dietitian, expert in child nutrition and Mum to Archie, age 2, to ensure our nutritional guidelines are best in class
I have learnt that giving Addison or any child a Little Dish meal is nutritionally as good, if not even better than a home cooked meal where we add salt and spices. Little Dish have spent a great deal of time not only with experts like Lucy making sure their meals are good but also with the general public, Mums and kids like Addison and I, they surveyed 1000 parents (with children ages 1/3yr) asking them all about children’s nutrition and the guidelines, I can honestly say I was not surprised by the result…
- 79 per cent of parents are unsure on the recommended salt intake for children
- 40 per cent are confused by nutritional guidelines on packaging
- 20 per cent worry about what their other half feeds their children
I am always questioning what I give Addison and the boys, I know they get enough fruit (as they are all fruit crazy) but things like portion sizes I am very unsure on. Being a parent is hard, as an adult we find diet hard, so why is any different with our children. That is why Little Dish have made sure to make their meals nutritionally good, but also making sure their clear packaging shows you all you need to know without being hidden in a mass of small print.
It was so interesting to meet Lucy at the event, I have spent a great deal of time with Dietitians for Grayson, which obviously was working on keeping Grayson alive on the small amounts he consumed, but my other 2 are dreadful eaters, I spend many a dinner time getting upset and actually some in tears. Lucy explained personality and emotional state is hugely important in terms of feeding habits, it has been shown that a very laid back child will always be a better and more varied eater, so all those meal times where I become stressed and even tense in my tone the kids pick up on, since the Little Dish tasting I have been trying to relax about how much they eat, especially Deacon who is currently still living on some purees and ritz crackers.
She gave us a few top tips which included
- Getting kids involved with the prep of meals
- Growing vegetables in the garden to then eat
- Having meals as a family
- Disguise vegetables in soups and sauces
- Bake together
- Introduce reward charts
- Relax at meal times, any progress even small is progress
I really enjoyed hearing Lucy’s advice and I am hoping it will help with my fussy eaters. It is reassuring that Little Dish have taken a stand in hiring Lucy to help them complete their mission for Healthier Kids. They have spent a great deal of time refreshing their meals, Lucy says…
This refresh was about further enhancing the already strong nutritional profile in their chilled meals and paying even more attention to not just nutrients but also tastes, textures and proportions which are all important to the development of young palates. Parents can rest assured that Little Dish provides meals that are well-balanced and that their children will love to eat.
So the most important part what meals are Little Dish now offering
There are 13 Little Dish meals to choose from, including:
Fish Pie with Salmon & Pollock
Mini Cheese Ravioli in a Tomato & Veg Sauce
Classic Beef Lasagne
Alphabet Pasta Bolognese
Cottage Pie with Seven Veg
Spaghetti with Mini Meatballs
Mild Chicken Curry with Rice
Chicken & Butternut Squash Pie
Chicken & Veg Risotto
And our four brand new recipes, fresh from the Little Dish kitchen:
Creamy Tomato & Mascarpone Pasta
Pork & Apple Bites with Beans
British Lamb Hotpot
Limited Edition Fruity Lamb Tagine with Couscous
What was really exciting for me were the amount of meals above which were No Dairy ( I have highlighted in bold) with Deacon being dairy free I am finding it increasingly difficult to find items which will work in his diet as well as Addison’s without having to make all from fresh. This is brilliant by Little Dish.
The British Lamb Hotpot unlike the usual Little Dish meals who have animal characters on has a cute little boy to celebrate HRH Prince George’s first birthday as he will now be old enough o enjoy his first Little Dish meal. Along with celebrating the Royal 1st Birthday, Little Dish shall be donating funds from the proceeds to Kids Company a great charity which helps with support in all areas for vulnerable children in inner cites.
Whilst we were with Little Dish they did some blind testing on us the adults with their competitors meals that run against their own. I as a parent always try my kids food before they do (unless fish) – I am so so glad the meals we were given were not ones I have ever given my children as they were DREADFUL, they tasted nothing like the meals they were supposed to be, the textures were powdery, dry or like slop. They resembled nothing like real food. As with the couple meals I have had of Little Dish before all the meals we tested genuinely looked as they do on their packaging, proper little meals that you would be hard to know were not home cooked by me.
I especially loved the new Pork bites, they were the juiciest little meatballs and I even made Mr Innocent Charmer try them when I got home as they were so delicious.
Since our tasting we have tried a few of the meals, if you follow me on Instagram you will know Grayson has even taken to eating the Fish pie, which is MASSIVE and speaks volumes for the quality of Little Dish meals, Addison still has a firm favourite in Risotto and I am quite partial to the Ravoli which I have even taken to work for lunch.
I love the fact that I can now head to Tesco, Asda or Waitrose and stock up on Little Dish meals as they can now go in the freezer and be cooked from frozen too, making my life even easier.
I urge you to try Little Dish meals with children, I do not think you will be disappointed. If you would like Little Dish to send a couple of money off coupons please do comment below and I shall try to make that happen.
Don’t forget to keep up to date with Little Dish on their Facebook page where they hold regular giveaways and chats with nutritional experts.