Prepared meals from Fresh DirectLike so many New York area parents, I’ve been an avid user of Fresh Direct for years now. For me,
shopping for groceries online is the best way to avoid the stress and
mess of supermarket shopping with a curious toddler who wants to stick
his fingers into packages of raw chicken and take bites out of
everything in the produce section. So I did not need convincing that
it’s a seriously great way to stock my kitchen.

What I did need
convincing about, was that the prepared meals didn’t taste like hospital food.

Fresh Direct sent me a few of their favorite family-friendly prepared meals, and I’ve narrowed it down to a few I would totally order again–which also got thumbs up from me and my husband and a messy, happy
face from my son.

I’d highly recommend the Penne Rigate with Roasted Chicken and Marsala Wine Mushroom Sauce; Edamame with Coarse Sea Salt which is ready to pop in the microwave and eat; and the Porcini Mushroom Tortellini with Pancetta–by far the best frozen dinner I’ve ever tasted.

They’ve also got a new line of all-natural Kid Power meals, which are pre-made but not frozen, and all made fresh daily. My son ate most of the Megaroni and Beef, but wouldn’t go near the Sunny Falafel and Hummus. I don’t blame him; I found it to be a mushy and flavorless facsimile of a falafel. In New York no less! You’re better off making your own or grabbing it from a local joint.

I am a huge fan of the Hollywood Snack Pack,
an under-200-calories bento box of pretzels, cheese and fruit. It
was the perfect thing to throw in the stroller for an on-the-go nosh.

These aren’t Costco prices of course, but they’re not huge indulgences for the NY area either and certainly cheaper than most takeout. The Kid Power Meals are all $4.99, and the Tortellini is $7.99 for a single serving.

But the
time-sucking vortex my life has become with a newborn and a toddler shows no sign of letting up, so I
have to take shortcuts in some spots. My family could fare a lot worse than dining on
that decadent tortellini with pancetta. –Melissa

If you’re in the New York, New Jersey, or southern Connecticut areas, visit to see if they’ll deliver to your doorstep (and make your life so much easier!).

If you live in other regions, check out delivery services like Stop n Shop’s Peapod