When I weaned my kids it involved endless hours wrestling with a food processor, fruit and an selection of implausibly small freezer pots. I was a devotee of Annabel Karmel and would blend combinations of fish and spinach or mix up fruit purees to get as much goodness into the kids as possible.
Nowadays, as readers of this blog know, my cooking is a little more, er hit and miss and there are times, particularly when the Husband is away on business, that I’d love to give the kids a proper hot meal with real family favourites.
The reality is that we dash home from school, dash straight out again and then come home to reheat a pizza or when time is really short to yet another round of sandwiches.
I always mean to get something out the freezer and cook something up in the slow cooker in the morning, but now I write full time (and am hopeless at getting side-tracked), I usually remember after lunch that tea is looming.
The kids are too big for baby ready meals and too small for adult ready meals which, being generally stuffed with too much sugar, salt and other additives are often a poor choice anyway. Ieuan is still resisting baked potatoes, although he will deign to eat roasties so I was happy to find that there is a range of ready meals for kids which cater up to 8+.
Miniscoff is a children’s organic food brand founded by Angus Oliphant, who, as a working dad discovered that trying to cook meals from scratch was challenging and that healthy prepared meals suitable for kids were hard to find. He decided to create his own range of organic ready meals for parents that didn’t want convenience to mean compromise.
|Ieuan weighing up the Miniscoff Organic Sauces|
All Miniscoff dishes are certified organic and made by hand and the brand has recently received awards from Prima Baby & Pregnancy as Best Toddler Food Range and Best Children’s Food Brand from Junior Design Awards.
Miniscof meals are available from Ocado as well as the Miniscoff website and are also available on over 300 menus across the UK if you’re travelling.
The meals include 9 organic ready meals and 4 organic sauces:-
The Ready Meals
Ali Baba’s Shepherd’s Pie (lamb) (GM, Egg & Gluten Free)
Mr MacGregor’s Pie (beef) (GM, Egg & Gluten Free)
Curly Wurly Chicken (GM, Egg & Dairy Free)
Broccoli Bill’s Pasta Pie (GM & Egg Free)
Salmon Ocean Pie (GM & Egg Free)
Jolly Spag Bolly (GM, Egg & Dairy Free)
Planet Spaghetti (GM, Egg & Dairy Free)
Chilli Yum Yum (GM, Egg, Dairy & Gluten Free)
Creamy Salmon Pasta (GM & Egg Free)
The Organic Sauces
Chicken & Bacon (GM, Egg, Dairy & Gluten Free)
Bolognese (GM, Egg, Dairy & Gluten Free)
West Country Cheddar (GM & Egg Free)
Cheese & Tomato (GM, Egg & Gluten Free)
We were sent a selection of Miniscoff meals to try and we tried Ali Baba’s Shepherd’s Pie, Curly Wurly Chicken and Broccoli Bill’s Pasta Pie.
|Caitlin tries Miniscoff Ali Baba’s Shepherd’s Pie|
Initially I wasn’t too convinced about the portion size but they were just right for my two. You may want to add a side dish or two of extra vegetables if you have time to bulk the meals out.
We did find that, particularly with the Ali Baba’s Shepherd’s Pie, the omission of seasoning was noticeable, although only to be expected and that a pinch of salt and pepper improved the dish greatly. My kids are 8 and nearly 7 though so you would not want to do that for younger children.
The pasta dishes we tried, (the Curly Wurly Chicken and Broccoli Bill’s Pasta Pie) were preferred by my two who adore pasta and they both said the sauce had more flavour.
I found all three dishes to be tasty and with a natural flavour. You can tell that there are no artificial additives in the dishes.
In fact, Ieuan actually cleared his plate which is practically unheard of in the Hobbis household.
Miniscoff have set themselves a challenge by coming up with organic ready meals for such a comparatively large age range (1 – 8+) but I think they have succeeded. I will be trying the organic sauces during the week and they will be ideal for a quick half-term holiday lunch.
I did find that microwaving two meals together required extra time for the Shepherd’s Pie but that is standard with microwaved foods.
As an option I think that the Miniscoff meals give you a hassle free choice of menu options to serve up without having to rely on pizza and fish fingers.
I don’t know about you but when the kids are off I find I really have to scratch my head to come up with lunch and dinner options that find favour!
If you fancy trying Miniscoff organic ready meals, I have a lovely hamper of 6 assorted ready meals and 3 organic sauces for one lucky winner. Entry is via the Rafflecopter in the usual manner. Terms and conditions apply. UK entrants only. The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 17th June 2016.