Busy Mums always feel guilty about the food they give their little ones. Do they have enough fruit?
Is there an equal amount of vegetables to carbohydrates?
Should I introduce a more varied diet?
How much sugar are they consuming?
Guilt, guilt and more guilt. You can check out our Recipe section if you want; it’s a guilt-free version of quick, easy meals for all the family as opposed to reaching for ready meals.
As a busy working Mum, I know the stresses and strains of ensuring that my family eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet and when I have meetings back-to-back in London and Beard working late, I can guarantee if there are no other plans, the option is take away. Of course, this is fine in moderation, but it’s not OK for a healthy balanced diet or your bank balance.
As a backup, I decided to invest some time in reaching out to ready meals. I am not a ready meal lover; however, I opt for the odd pack now and then, although usually from Cook when in an emergency. Yet, on this occasion, I was shopping to stock up the fridge/freezer, you know, for those “Shit! I forgot *he/she* was coming round after school” kind of scenarios.
After long consideration of some supermarket favourites, I was pleased to be offered Annabel Karmel’s older child range as my boys are 9 and 7 years old. The only place I found an extensive choice of this range is Waitrose; however, the selection changes weekly, as do prices and special offers within the range.
We tried the Mild Chicken Curry with white rice.
Judging from the photograph – I will let you make your own decision on its aesthetic values.
The things I looked at were:
Price; good value – 2 for £5.
Portion size; looked good to me, although I would need to add naan bread and probably poppadoms, as my two are bottomless pits!
Nutritional Value; 1 of your 5-a-day cannot be bad.
I have based my review on the aesthetics of the meal and the dietary information provided. Due to the nature of this review, it’s over to the boys:
Josh, age 9
I do not like things that have a plastic bowl you cook food in. I can taste the plastic. You can microwave this one, but I wanted it in the oven. Even though it was in plastic, it did not taste of plastic. Sometimes when Nana cooks rice in the oven it is dry and not nice, but this rice is nice and fluffy but not like take away rice, or the rice Daddy does in the pan; they’re the best.
I do not like the colour of this curry, and there is not enough chicken. I had two tiny pieces in my dinner. I left the vegetables because they are hard and I like soft vegetables. I had a pizza when I finished my dinner because I was still hungry. I do not want to eat this again unless I have to.
Finn, age 7
This curry looks like poo. Why is it that colour? It smells funny too. I don’t want it.
The rice is ok, but there isn’t much there. Is that chicken? It doesn’t look like chicken.
After more persuasion.
Ok, well, I will eat a little bit because the sauce tastes good. Actually, the sauce is yummy, so I can dip my naan in that. But that stuff there (points) is not real chicken, and I am not eating that yellow and green stuff. And I am still going to be hungry, and I do not want this again.
Results: In my opinion, it’s easier to make homemade curry. On tasting this dish myself, I think I would rather have bread and butter.
Come on, Anna, surely you can do better than this. Your recipe books are fabulous! I wouldn’t have my name on these meals.