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The time of day I dread the most is lunchtime. I don’t like interrupting my workflow. I’m halfway through my day and want to power through to get it over and done with. I used only to eat one meal a day, and that was with my husband when he got home from work.
Now that I’m a mom, I can’t do that anymore. I still stress when lunchtime starts creeping up on me; I still don’t like having to cook a whole meal to feed my toddler lunch. Now that my son, Nathanael, is learning more about how the world works, he’s throwing everything. That means I spend 10-20 minutes in the kitchen cooking a meal for him that usually ends up on the floor.
I began desperately searching for a solution online. Meal prep? Ordering Doordash every day? Teaching my son how to scavenge in the wild? Just kidding!
I found Little Spoon and decided to give them a try. While I loved Little Spoon, there are some safety concerns I have.
Bottom line up front: I really enjoyed the convenience of the Little Spoon meals, but not all of their meals are safe for toddlers based on how they are prepared. Separately, their cauliflower gnocchi was so dry it caused my son to nearly choke. Some of the vegetables (like carrots) are cut in a way that increases the choking risk.
All About Little Spoon
Little Spoon is a meal delivery service that prepares meals for your baby, toddler, and older children. All of the meals offered by little Spoon are healthy, well-rounded, and clean. All you have to do is throw the meals in a microwave to heat them and serve them to your babe.
Little Spoon offers purees, finger foods, and meals. Their pureed baby foods start at $2.99 per blend, whereas each toddler and kid meal is $5.99 a serving. In addition, Little Spoon offers smoothies and snacks to add to your order, starting at $2.79 per smoothie.
Little Spoon packs their meals with nutritious and healthy ingredients, whether it be their smoothies, meals, or purees. They hide superfoods and veggies inside of every meal, so even if your baby is a super picky eater, they’re still getting the essential vitamins and minerals they need In the more appealing parts of their meal.
What is really cool about Little Spoon is they make all of the meals fresh weekly. They don’t use any artificial or GMO ingredients, which is cool because that’s something I try to avoid consistently when feeding my son.
The starting process for the Little Spoon is straightforward. First, you have to choose what type of plan you want. I love that Little Spoon offers programs for having several children.
After you choose your plan, Little Spoon will ask you for the name of your kid and their birthday. I entered Nathanael’s birthday and was asked if Nate is eating pureed foods, eating a combo of pureed and finger foods, finger food, or hasn’t started solids yet. Nate is 13 months old, and he started Baby Led Weaning (BLW) at six months old. I never really did purees with Nate, so I chose the “eating finger food” option.
This led me here:
So, I continued with the plates. Here are the plans available:
After that, I entered my shipping address, and I was able to pick out the meals!
- Spinach and cheese ravioli
- Chicken pot stickers
- Broccoli bites
- Turkey kale sliders
- Cauliflower gnocchi
- Cauli wing BBQ dippers
- Chicken tikka masala
- Pizza pocket
There was a considerable amount of meal options available. However, the meals rotate out infrequently. Little Spoon introduces “limited time only” meals, but they aren’t too different compared to the meals they regularly offer.
In total, I paid $69 for these eight meals. With shipping, that breaks down to $8.63 a meal. That’s pretty expensive, but I do understand these meals are filled with veggies, use only the best ingredients, and are made fresh weekly. However, I know this wouldn’t be an affordable option for a lot of families, unfortunately.
Shipping Process and Unboxing
My order took eight days to arrive. Considering it’s the holiday season, the wait time is not terrible. Plus, my package arrived without any damage, so I’m happy!
The box was in excellent condition. No damage was done to the exterior of the package! All of the meals were nice and cozy inside of a padded container and two ice packs. The ice was hardly melted cover even though it had been sitting outside for a few hours.
I love the colors on all of the different plates. It’s very bright and colorful and definitely caught the attention of my son. Plus, All of the meal names were super easy to read. The cooking instructions for each plate are located on the back of the meal cover.
I also really liked how the plates clarified which meals were gluten-free, milk-free, vegan, and dairy-free. Nathanael doesn’t follow any special dietary restrictions, but I know this great packaging would be superfly useful for other busy mamas that have kiddos with nutritional restrictions.
The Taste Test
Thankfully, my baby isn’t a picky eater. There are definitely some foods he doesn’t like (I’m looking at you, scrambled eggs), but overall, I never have a hard time getting him to eat. His favorite foods consist of dried seaweed, broccoli, banana, tuna, and avocados. Here’s a breakdown
Spinach and Cheese Ravioli
These ravioli were the first meal Nate tried. Of course, mama duties demand a taste test from me too. These were super yummy!
These ravioli made me wish there was an option to add a parent plate in with the order too. As Nate grows in his development, I’ve struggled to stop him from throwing his food on the floor. However, this was the only meal Nate didn’t completely dump on the floor. He nearly licked the plate clean.
The hidden veggies in this meal even had me fooled. This was delicious!
Chicken Pot Stickers
The whole meal for this was chicken pot stickers with brown rice and quinoa, vegetable stir fry, and edamame. These weren’t a favorite for Nate, and I can understand why. There was a bitter aftertaste in these potstickers. He really liked the dough they came wrapped in, but the inside wasn’t his favorite.
However, he loved the edamame and quinoa! The edamame was the first thing he finished up.
The entire meal for this dish was broccoli bites with sweet potato carrot poppers and green beans. The sweet potato carrot poppers reminded me of tater tots. Nate loves broccoli, so I was really feeling confident about this dish. But he didn’t like it. The broccoli bites ended up on the floor, and the sweet potato carrot poppers mostly got eaten. I did end up giving him a little bit of catch-up to go with the poppers because they were dry.
The ketchup helped the poppers to go down a little easier, and he finished them up. The green beans also were completely finished, but I feel like green beans are pretty predictable. There wasn’t anything special about these green beans.
Turkey Kale Sliders
This dish had turkey kale patty bites with vegetable millet poppers and carrots. Based on plating alone, I don’t think that turkey kale sliders look very tasty. They reminded me of one of those beyond-meat patties that were trying to convince me that it was real meat when all actuality, it didn’t contain any. It didn’t taste good, either. I thought this was going to be tasty because it still had turkey. However, the main part of this dish was dry, mealy, and didn’t have a lot of flavors. It was like chewing on super-dried-out and grainy cardboard.
But my big issue with this dish is the carrots. The meals provided by Little Spoon are supposed to be safe for toddlers and children. There are no age recommendations provided by Little Spoon, so these meals are considered safe by the company for toddlers of all ages.
When I started introducing Nate to food, I practiced baby-led weaning with him. Basically, I never fed Nate any purees, and I introduced him to “normal” foods as soon as he turned six months. He was eating finger foods starting at six months. However, there are a few key pieces of information you need to remember when you’re practicing BLW. This is to reduce the likelihood of your baby choking significantly.
Now, I want to explain the difference between choking and gagging. I’m very familiar with the difference between the two because I have one instance where Nate choked, but there’s been plenty of times he’s gagged. It’s normal for babies to gag when they’re learning how to maneuver food in their mouths. Gagging is when a baby is bright red and making lots of noise. Choking is when a baby is silent, not able to breathe, and turning blue.
The biggest thing with BLW is making sure that you don’t provide your baby with any foods that pose a choking hazard. Hot dogs, popcorn, and marshmallows are all foods that pose a choking hazard.
The carrots Little Spoon sent out in the dish aren’t safe. They are cut up like coins, which poses a significant choking hazard. That’s because the coin shape of the carrot could get stuck in the baby’s throat and be very difficult to remove because of its perfectly round shape it is.
I ended up throwing these carrots away because they were dangerous to feed Nate.
Cauli Wing BBQ Dippers
The cauliflower wing BBQ Dippers were the wild card. I didn’t have high hopes for these simply because I’ve never hopped on the cauliflower wing trend. I’ve seen people make cauliflower wings all over TikTok, but I’ve never really understood how the texture of real chicken could be replicated with cauliflower.
This may shock you, but I enjoyed the texture. I took a bite out of one of the cauliflower wings because the heating process for this dish was something I was concerned about. Since the cauliflower wings were a little on the thicker side compared to the rest of the meals, I wanted to make sure Nate wasn’t biting into something that was still cold in the middle.
I hate BBQ sauce. I didn’t end up dipping these wings into anything, so I just tried them plain. I only took one bite, but I really enjoyed the flavor and texture. There was definitely a little snap to the cauliflower wings, similar to what it feels like to bite into an actual chicken wing. There was even some juiciness that I was getting from the wing up that I wasn’t expecting at all.
This meal came with green veggie tots. That’s how the Little Spoon keeps sneaking the vegetables into their meals, through the tater tots that they send out with almost everything. Nate did not like the cauliflower wings, nor did he like the BBQ sauce.
I think he didn’t really enjoy the warm BBQ sauce; I’ve only served him BBQ sauce cold, so that could be part of the reason why he didn’t like this just too much. The green veggie tots were okay. I could tell he didn’t completely love them, but they were the only thing on the plate that he was willing to eat.
However, I don’t understand why we received such a hefty serving of BBQ sauce. Come on; there was more of a serving of BBQ sauce than there were dippers or tots! I definitely feel like there was an element missing from this dish, considering we get two sides for almost all of the meals.
The only meals that we don’t get a different side with are the pasta meals, but I feel like pasta dishes are on the heavier side anyway. It makes sense to me not to receive a different side with the pasta meals. I feel like this was a light meal, and I was disappointed to see such a large portion of BBQ sauce put in instead of a different side.
Chicken Tikka Masala
I never go out of my way to eat tikka masala. It’s something that I’ve never thought sounded appealing, so I’ve never bothered serving it to me, either. However, I have to say that Little Spoon actually changed my mind about tikka masala. And with that, Nate fell in love with this dish too. This came with turmeric poppers. I hate turmeric; it’s the one spice I can’t stand.
Maybe my hate for turmeric is something I passed down because he didn’t really like these poppers either. But he tore up the chicken tikka masala! There weren’t a lot of leftovers on his plate before he decided he was done. He seemed to get full rather quickly with this meal, which I was a bit surprised by, considering that day wasn’t a big snacking day. However, he was happy, so I was pleased!
I wasn’t so happy with the massive mess that I had to clean up after, but that wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.
Could I have even considered not ordering a pizza pocket for Nate? No way! This little dude loves pizza. This meal was a pizza pocket with cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli. I would love to give a little shout-out to my son because he’s tried a vegetable that I’ve never had. Romanesco broccoli is a type of broccoli, not how it’s prepared. There was cheese on top of the broccoli; I’m still entirely convinced that there was more cheese than broccoli for the vegetable serving.
The visual appearance of this pizza pocket reminded me of empanadas. This pizza pocket got demolished by Nate. There was no chance that I was going to get a small nibble. As soon as he could smell it heating up in the microwave, he was game in. He didn’t eat much of the broccoli. I think that the pizza pocket was gigantic and filling, so I’m not mad that he didn’t touch his broccoli!
I saved it for last, and it’s because it’s the one I want to have the most conversation about. This is the gluten-free cauliflower gnocchi with vegetable marinara sauce.
This dish scared me. This was the last dish that I saved for Nate. I thought another pasta dish would be an absolute hit for him. So far, Nate and I have had a good journey with Little Spoon. There hasn’t been anything that he struggled with eating. He’s a very good eater, and he always does an excellent job working through challenging textures or big bites. There have been twice in our BLW journey where I have had to pull Nate out of his high chair and perform the Heimlich maneuver. This was when Nate was younger and still learning how to work through food, so it’s been a couple of months since I’ve had any scary experiences.
When a baby turns a year old, its gag reflex is completely developed. Between the ages of six months to nine months, babies have a more sensitive gag reflex to reduce the likelihood of them choking. The more sensitive the gag reflex is, the more likely they are to spit food out instead of choking on it. Now that Nate is 13 months old, his gag reflex is completely developed.
I heated this meal just like I did with all other meals. I sat beside him and started working on my laptop while he ate his meal. I didn’t take a bite of these because I don’t like gnocchi. He ate one gnocchi and was fine. When he started working on his third piece, he began to gag. I looked over at him and watched him work through the piece before I saw him really start to struggle.
I continued to watch Nate for another couple of seconds before I realized he could not get the pasta out of his mouth. He was starting to look panicked and like he was having a hard time breathing. I got him out of his high chair, laid him down on my lap, and patted the crap out of his back. He finally was able to get the gnocchi up.
I was bewildered, in all honesty. I wasn’t scared while this was happening because I trusted my knowledge and training to make sure that he was going to be okay. But I didn’t understand why this had happened. I took a bite of one of the gnocchis on the plate, and that’s when it hit me.
It was SO dry!
And I’m not saying that it was dry like I’m a food critic. I couldn’t swallow the food myself because it was so dry. I had to wash the pasta down my throat with water to swallow it. Even with the pasta sauce on the gnocchi, it was still incredibly dry. The cauliflower texture inside the gnocchi reminded me of boxed instant mashed potatoes before you put the water in them.
Nate was trying to eat the pasta as he knew how, but he couldn’t swallow it because it was so dry. The gnocchi piled into his mouth/throat and was stuck there.
I always give Nate a Dr. Brown Straw Bottle with his meals. However, he doesn’t usually drink until the end of the meal.
I threw this meal away for safety purposes.
Other Alternatives to Consider
If you don’t feel like Little Spoon is the best fit for you and your toddler, I understand. Here are a few other alternatives I’d recommend you look into:
With plate costs starting at $6.89 a plate, your toddler can get access to meals designed by a dietitian. Nurture Life offer meals for infants and toddlers, serving meals for kids as big as 12 years old. All you have to do is throw a meal in the microwave, and in less than two minutes, you’ll be able to feed your kiddo!
I like Nurture Life because they offer unique meal plans, too; if you’re looking to avoid coconut, gluten, pork, soy, milk, fish, eggs, wheat, or sesame in your toddler’s diet, Nurture Life has plans available for you! Plus, all their meals are in a nut-free facility, so you can feel even better about keeping your baby’s meals safe if your babe has a severe allergy.
With pricing starting at $6.99 a meal, Yumble Kids is a great option for picky eaters. Yumble Kids offers meals that are egg, soy, dairy, or gluten-free. All the meals from Yumble Kids are entirely cooked and designed by a nutritionist. The majority of the menu options provided by Yumble are the “safe” foods most picky eaters will eat, with less salt, sugar, and hidden vegetables inside of their meals.
Top Chef Meals
If you love to feed your kid the best of the best, Top Chef Meals offers healthy kid’s meals! All of the meals delivered by Top Chef are ready to be heated and eaten in two minutes. Top Chef Meals are great for people who only need a few meals a week for lunches, considering there isn’t a wide variety of meals to choose from.
Answer: Little Spoon is not FDA-approved. However, they claim to use an FDA-approved food safety technique to blend all their baby foods. This cold-pressure pasteurization process doesn’t involve heat, reducing possible bacteria growth.
Answer: No, you cannot. Little Spoon plates and purees are only available online.
Answer: Yes! Little Spoon tests for over 400 possible contaminations in their foods, including chemicals, BPS/BPA plastics, pesticides, and heavy metals.
Is Little Spoon Worth It?
I love the convenience of Little Spoon. It was so nice to grab a healthy meal from my fridge, throw it in the microwave for one minute, and serve it to Nate. There wasn’t any thinking involved; that was my favorite part about Little Spoon.
However, I wouldn’t repurchase these meals. Not only are they pretty expensive, but they’re not entirely safe. I think safer meal options are available for parents who don’t want to throw out portions of a meal just because it isn’t cut safely.