Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Four meal delivery plans for children in the UAE

Petite Gourmet, Chubby Cheeks, Yum in a Box and Pinch Gourmet deliver delicious meals tailored towards kids

Petit Gourmet's healthy lunchbox for kids. Courtesy Petit Gourmet
Petit Gourmet's healthy lunchbox for kids. Courtesy Petit Gourmet

Yum by Mum: nutrition for the little ones, delivered straight to your doorThe importance of what we feed our children, the eating habits and associations they form, and the need for varied, balanced meals cannot be overestimated. And yet for busy (read: all) parents of young children, our aspirations might be well intended, but when it comes to execution, the pressure to produce these meals – either at home or for kids to take to school or nursery – can quickly become a source of stress, particularly during the working week.

Imagine if you could ensure that your children were being fed freshly prepared, nourishing food made with high-quality ingredients and designed with little people in mind, both in terms of their nutritional needs and appeal. Sound good? Read on for more information on the UAE’s food-delivery services that are tailored specifically to children.

Petit Gourmet

Celine Lamperin and her business partner, Virginie Seurat, are the creative culinary force behind Petit Gourmet, a company that delivers wholesome, child-friendly meals to schools and nurseries in the UAE. “As mothers, we understand perfectly that healthy eating needs to start early and people don’t want to compromise when it comes to the health of their children,” Lamperin explains.

“We make sure that each and every meal we offer fulfils their nutritional needs, and is prepared with the same care and love that we would use for our own children’s food,” she adds. Not only that, they’ve also taken the somewhat pioneering move of eschewing all disposable single-use packaging and guarantee all their packaging is completely reusable.

The food

Petit Gourmet’s lunch box offering includes a snack, main meal and dessert, all of which are freshly prepared from scratch every day in the company’s certified kitchens in Dubai Investment Park, using high-quality (often organic) products and produce. The dishes don’t contain any preservatives or additives (yes, that means even the ketchup is homemade). The varied menus – perfect for picky eaters – change on a monthly basis, and focus on getting children excited about eating, while also showcasing a variety of tastes, textures, colours and flavours.

Sample Menu

Day 1

Snack: mini raisin bun, fresh fruit

Lunch: turkey and vegetable sandwich brochette

Dessert: fresh fruit

Day 2

Snack: carrot cake and fresh fruit yoghurt

Lunch: lamb pita, sauteed pumpkin and rice

Dessert: vanilla petit pot

The details

Meals are suitable for children from the age of two up to 10 years old and Petit Gourmet’s menus have been validated by Dubai Municipality. Orders can be placed online at www.petitgourmetuae.com and are customisable, meaning you can choose between different meal plans and select your delivery days.

Prices start at Dh30 per day for the “Prime” option, which includes a snack, main dish, bread and dessert. To ensure health and safety, and minimise its carbon footprint, food is transported in chiller vans, and delivered directly to nurseries and schools. If your child’s school or nursery isn’t currently on the list, it’s well worth getting in touch to see if they can be added. For daily lunch box inspiration, check out @petit_ gourmet_UAE on Instagram.

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Chubby Cheeks Organics

Baby purees by Chubby Cheeks Organics. Courtesy Chubby Cheeks Organics
Baby purees by Chubby Cheeks

The idea for Chubby Cheeks Organics came about out of need, and the realisation of a gap in the UAE market, says co-founder Hiba Van Dyk. “When it was time to wean her daughter, my sister, Malak, wanted to give her only home-made organic baby food. She also had a full-time job, though, and found she didn’t have the time or energy to regularly cook fresh, nutritious meals, so ended up resorting to store-bought jars,” Van Dyk explains.

“She used to tell me she wished there was someone she could trust to make her daughter’s baby food for her. We agreed that if we ever started a business of our own, that’s exactly what we would do.” A few years later, after Van Dyk had her own son, Chubby Cheeks Organics launched. The company delivers

freshly prepared, healthy, organic baby and toddler food across Dubai and its aim, Van Dyk says, remains simple: to make life easier for parents of young children and alleviate the meal prep burden.

The food

Chubby Cheeks offers a number of menu options with packages aimed at weaning-age babies (six months), those between seven and nine months, and 10- to 12-montholds. Toddler packages, meanwhile, cater for little ones from a year old up to the age of three, with the choice between either a full- or halfday package. Food is freshly prepared using organic ingredients, without any added salt and sugar, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours. The company offers full transparency

regarding the ingredients it uses, and food preparation takes place in a carefully monitored commercial kitchen. In addition, Chubby Cheeks follows HACCP and ISO policies, and is in the process of becoming HACCP-certified.

Sample weaning menu

Breakfast: apple-tastic puree

Lunch: carrot puree

Dinner: courgette and rice

Sample toddler menu (full-day option)

Breakfast: apple pancakes

Snack 1: corn dogs

Lunch: meatballs and couscous

Snack 2: fruity chia seed pudding

Dinner: lasagne with hidden veggies

The details

Chubby Cheeks delivers to nurseries and homes throughout Dubai, and is planning to expand to other emirates. Cooler bags containing the food are delivered to customers once a day, five days a week (from Sunday to Thursday). Weekend packages are also available.The cooler bags contain a daily menu, list of ingredients used to prepare the food, storage and serving instructions, production and expiry dates, and a cooler bag inspection and sanitisation checklist. In the interest of sustainability, the company asks that empty bags and recyclable glass jars are returned with the next delivery. Prices start at Dh150 for the five-day weaning packages (three meals/jars, five days a week) or Dh570 for a 20-day weaning plan. Visit www.chubbycheeks.ae.

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Pinch Gourmet

He might be a professional chef who trained at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, and has worked at some of Canada’s top restaurants, but Elias Kandalaft is all about comfort food. When he returned to his childhood home of Dubai from Canada, Kandalaft says that he felt there was a gap in the F&B market: a catering service that provided gourmet versions of homely, classic dishes that people are familiar with.

“Pinch Gourmet is Dubai’s first comfort-food caterer,” he explains. “We specialise in producing unique, unpretentious, seriously good food. Our menus are fun, casual and offer plenty of choice. We love cooking and hosting as much as we love to eat, and you can see that in our food.” The business has been operating for four years, and Kandalaft says that it was actually his customers who suggested expanding the offering.

“The idea for catering for children came from clients and nurseries approaching us, and asking for quality, wholesome food for their children. This was a lovely new avenue to add and one we’re very excited about.”

The food

The Pinch Gourmet team pride themselves on providing hearty, family-style meals and home-made snacks. All allergies and food intolerances are accommodated and they work closely with the nurseries they supply to, ensuring that nutritional needs are met.

Sample menu

Day 1

Main course: chilli con carne

Side dish: lime coriander rice and green beans

Dessert: watermelon slices

Day 2

Main course: white fish cakes

Side dish: mashed potato with vegetable gravy

Dessert: kiwi slices

The details

Pinch Gourmet currently delivers meals to nurseries in Dubai and is in the process of expanding the business to include home delivery with monthly meal plans for kids. It also offers a dedicated kids’ catering service and specially created menus for children’s parties and events. Nursery food orders must be placed on a monthly basis, with prices starting at Dh25 per day. Meals are designed for children who are over 18 months and are delivered shortly before they are due to be served. Visit www.pinchgourmet.com or email info@pinchgourmet.com.

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Yum in a Box

The concept for Yum in a Box – “a healthy lunch box for children” – came to founder Sara Ghosn when she was studying graphic design in the UK. She says that when she returned to the UAE, she decided to put her plan to help children and their parents adopt better eating habits into action.

Following the successful launch of Yum in a Box in 2016, the company delivers tasty and nutritious meals to schools and nurseries in the UAE throughout the academic term. Ghosn says that the objective is multifaceted. Providing children with healthy, balanced food that tastes home-made (“as if it has come straight out of their mother’s kitchen”) is key.

However, the company is also passionate about highlighting the importance of children developing good eating habits and a positive attitude towards food from a young age, and is keen to educate parents on how to do this. “We go one step further to make the experience as enriching as possible, not only for children, but also for parents by bringing physical fitness and nutrition experts together to create a platform for the exchange of information to empower communities and help them to lead better and healthier lives,” explains Ghosn.

The food

Yum in a Box has an extensive range of dishes, with different choices every day. It caters for two age ranges (children between two and five, and six to 10-year-olds) and offers full-board, half-board and lunch-only options.

Sample menu for ages two to five

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and hummus, served on a rice cake

Snack: no-bake mini strawberry pie, fresh fruit (orange)

Lunch: turkey and mushroom pizza

Sample menu for ages six to 10

Breakfast: French toast bites served with honey

Snack: lemon chia seed loaf, fresh fruit (peach)

Lunch: chicken meatballs with spaghetti and tomato sauce

The details

Yum in a Box menus are created by certified nutritionists, and include breakfast, lunch and a snack. The meal packages are fully adaptable, according to requirements. The food is prepared using high-quality, fresh and natural ingredients, and has a team dedicated to quality control.

Once made, the food is immediately packaged, and delivered to nurseries and schools in municipality- approved chiller vans. Prices start at Dh18 per day for the lunch-only option for the two to five age group. Visit www.yuminaboxuae.com.

Updated: May 16, 2019 10:10 AM

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