Specifically crafted for kids
Not a lot of variety
Best way to reheat meals can be confusing
Most meal delivery services have at least some kid-friendly options, but they're not always what kids actually want to eat. Little Spoon was founded to help parents navigate the minefield of mealtimes with their kids.
Little Spoon bridges the gap for parents and offers a few different options that might work depending on the age of your children. We ordered and tested the company's Plates line of meals for older kids, mainly because they seemed the most varied. Continue reading to see what our tasting panel thought of the food.
How It Works: Easy Ordering and Plans
The Little Spoon website is fun and very easy to navigate. You select one of three plans: Babyblends—organic pureed food for babies; Plates—kid-sized meals for toddlers and up; and Boosters—natural remedies to common ailments, probiotics, and vitamins, all in powder form.
We selected the Plates plan and chose the number of meals for delivery each week. The price starts at $4.99 per meal. We then picked from a variety of 23 meals. After that, Little Spoon will let you know delivery dates.
All of Little Spoon's meals are fresh, not frozen. While you can transfer them to the freezer for longer storage, the company recommends eating them soon and then ordering more.
Choosing Meals: Plates for Different Ages
If you have a baby, check out the BabyBlends for fresh baby food, but for most kids, the Plates are the sweet spot. Each plate has a few compartments and offers a protein, a vegetable, and another side like a puff, popper, or pasta.
Some of the same elements are mixed and matched on different plates, but you can’t select specific pieces to make your own plates. The list of meals has some variation week to week, but we checked back a month after we ordered and still saw the same plates we ordered—so there might be some standard options that are offered on a regular basis.
Some of the more interesting plate options when we ordered included a BBQ chicken plate with cheesy grits, mac and three cheese with invisible butternut squash, and chicken teriyaki with quinoa stir fry.
What We Made
We ordered a selection of diverse meals that we thought our kids would like. Like all of Little Spoon's offerings, these meals had some hidden vegetables in them. Our choices included:
- Chicken super nuggets with sweet potato poppers and broccoli
- Cauli croquettes with veggie millet poppers and carrots
- Turkey kale sliders with veggie millet poppers and carrots
Support Materials: Fun Extras for Kids
Our Little Spoon box came with some fun extras for kids, including a coloring book, a brief magazine explaining some food facts, and a nice explainer on how Little Spoon seals each plate.
Little Spoon also has an online community platform called “Is This Normal,” which allows parents to interact with each other and read about the struggles they may face as parents—including those around their kids' eating habits.
Packaging: Easy Serving and Reusable
Each meal is individually portioned on a reusable sturdy plate with a thin plastic film vacuum-sealed over the top of it. This makes it really easy to microwave the plate if you choose. You can also remove the food from the plate and heat it in the oven in an oven-safe dish.
We loved that the plates are reusable as well. While you probably won’t have a need to keep all of them, especially if you are getting shipments every week or two, it is nice to have a few extra plates in the pantry.
The Cooking Process: Oven Over Microwave
While all the plates are microwavable, consider the best reheating method for each meal. For example, for the mac and cheese and pasta plates, the microwave is probably fine because there isn’t much to gain from reheating in the oven or stovetop. The film will puff up in the microwave; let it cool briefly before peeling it off and serving.
The plates we tried all have some sort of popper and these got very soggy in the microwave. We found it was worth the extra step to heat these items in the oven so they stay crispy.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Kid Approved
In general, we thought the quality of these smaller portioned meals was quite high. The only ding we would give is that one piece of broccoli in one of our plates was missing the florets. It was still edible, however.
All of the poppers, nuggets, and vegetables we tried were perfectly good and the kids on our tasting panel loved dipping the food in various sauces. While the packaging does say that these meals will keep in the fridge for two weeks, we would probably try to use them before then to maximize flavor and freshness.
It was no surprise to see chicken nuggets on a kid food plate, but the chicken super nuggets were slightly different than your traditional fast food version because there are some pureed veggies in them. The two kids in our group liked the chicken nuggets but not as much as a standard one. The sweet potato poppers were a big hit all around and were excellent with their honey mustard sauce, which you can add to any order.
The cauli croquettes dish was a veggie-packed plate with flat cauliflower croquettes and veggie poppers. The downside of having both the croquettes and the poppers is that everything had a similar texture, but both were very dippable with the right sauces. The croquettes didn’t have much taste to them and definitely didn’t taste overly of cauliflower. The adults on our panel enjoyed snacking on the leftovers from this meal.
The turkey kale sliders meal were a miss for our kids, likely because of the kale, but the adults on our panel liked that they felt more substantial than some of Little Spoon's other offerings.
Nutritional Value: A Healthy Balance
Each Plate we tried had a nice nutritional balance of protein with servings of veggies. We loved how transparent Little Spoon is about nutrition, printing the nutrition facts label on each plate that is delivered.
Here's the nutritional breakdown of the meals we ordered:
- Chicken super nuggets: 160 calories, 4g of fat, 1g of saturated fat, 13g of protein, 240mg of sodium, and 23g of carbohydrates
- Cauli croquettes: 160 calories, 4g of fat, 2.5g of saturated fat, 6g of protein, 350mg of sodium, and 26g of carbohydrates
- Turkey kale sliders: 240 calories, 10g of fat, 5g of saturated fat, 14g of protein, 440mg of sodium, and 25g of carbohydrates
Little Spoon Is Good For
Parents struggling to find fast, nutritious meals for their kids or parents who are time-crunched or in a meal rut may find Little Spoon to be a good fit.
Little Spoon Is Not Good For
Parents with kids who are picky eaters may not find value in Little Spoon.
Add-ons: Boosters and Sauces
Little Spoon doesn’t have too many add-ons to accompany its main offerings, but we found the mix of unique sauces to be a hit and the kids on our panel enjoyed them. We were glad we forked over the few extra dollars for these. The sauces will expose kids to new flavors and will make the meal process more fun. (Plus, it turns out that adults like the sauces too.)
We found the mix of unique sauces to be a hit and the kids on our panel enjoyed them.
Customer Service: Many Options
Little Spoon has an FAQ section, an email address, a phone number to call or text customer service, and an online chat. The phone number is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. We contacted the company via the chat option and were connected with a live person in less than 20 minutes. The representative quickly answered our question in a professional manner.
Making Changes and Canceling: Very Easy
The account view for Little Spoon is really nice and gives you a wide range of change options for orders. You can adjust the number of plates you get each week, skip any number of weeks if you need to take a break, add new plans for different children, or easily cancel your plan entirely all with a few clicks. There's no need to contact anybody or jump through any hoops to cancel.
The Competition: Little Spoon vs. Yumble
Little Spoon and Yumble are both striving to be the service parents look to when they need easy and balanced meals for their children. During our testing, we found that Little Spoon offers more comfort meals for kids that resemble foods they most likely already eat (nuggets, tots, etc.), while Yumble tends to offer slightly more chef-inspired meals that push kids to try new foods. We liked that Little Spoon offered reusable plates, compared to Yumble's disposable ones, although consistent Little Spoon subscribers will likely end up recycling a lot of plates as well. In terms of price, Little Spoon's lowest cost per meal is $4.99, compared to Yumble's $5.99.
Feeding children can take up a lot of parenting energy, and any service that can help with even a fraction of that work is worth a look. Little Spoon does an excellent job of delivering varied meals at a reasonable price. Kids will like the appealing meal options and parents will like not having to think about it too much.
We spent numerous hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Name Little Spoon
- Lowest Price per Serving $4.99
- Number of Diets Served 3
- Number of Recipes 23
- Delivery Area 48 states
- Serving Sizes Available 1