Do you find yourself scrambling to pack school lunches as your kids are getting dressed in the morning? Stare into the abyss of your pantry, cursing yourself for not buying bread yesterday so you can throw together some freaking sandwiches? Realize you’re out of Ziploc bags and try to wrap apple slices and pretzels in torn off pieces of plastic wrap? (Literally would have happened to me with my son’s lunch this morning if it wasn’t for a snow day.) Or maybe your kids buy at school, but you don’t feel great about the options being served.
I recently published a post on some products to make the packing job easier, but if putting together school lunches is still on your list of least favorite activities, or if you’re looking to outsource the job, you need to hear about Wise Apple!
I just love the concept behind this lunch delivery service based out of Chicago. Think healthy lunchables, delivered to your front door. Once you sign up, you get to select meals in advance from the weekly menu, including an option to “build your own” from their dishes that week. You can pause, skip, or cancel at any time, which is great if it’s not working for you or you want or need to take a break for any reason. There are a few different meal plan options (how many meals per delivery and how often), with the current lowest plan being five lunches per week at $6.99/lunch. The price per lunch decreases if you add more lunches per week.
I was so excited when they recently sent us some lunches to try! Our packages arrived each week on the doorstep, the actual food surrounded by ice packs and an insulated pad, which reassured me that the lunches would be fine out there until we got home to bring them in. Take a look:
Although I am vegetarian, not everyone in my family is, so we were able to try a variety of their creative and healthy combos, including choices such as roast beef/spinach/cheese rolls ups and breaded chicken nuggets. We received a good mix of vegetarian options too: veggie nuggets, the creamy harvest bagel (sunbutter and apple cream cheese), macaroni and cheese, pita pizza, and sunbutter and jelly on zucchini bread. And around the holidays, they included special themed desserts, like a mini pumpkin pie, a candy cane cookie, and star shaped yogurt covered pretzels with silver sugar sprinkles. Check out their website for the upcoming week’s menu to get an idea of the kinds of choices they offer!
As for the packaging, the little containers are each covered in plastic (although I removed it for pictures), and they’re removable (if you want to throw just a few into a lunchbox) and interchangeable between the cardboard holders (if you want to mix and match to create a new meal). The plastic containers and the cardboard holders are recyclable.
If your child(ren) has a nut allergy, you can rest easy knowing that all of the Wise Apple food (and their kitchen) is nut free (they do use coconut). The meals arrived with a print-out of each item, listing all ingredients and any potential allergens.
Every lunch comes with fruit, whether it be grapes, apple slices, or a mango/pineapple mix that I see they are including next week. Aside from actual vegetables (i.e. carrots with ranch, grape tomatoes), they included veggie chips in several lunches we received, and even managed to sneak some sweet potatoes into their veggie brownie (which I thought was great but surprisingly the kids didn’t like):
This picture below is from my phone, but you can see how the compartments look with the plastic covering, and how it fits into my daughter’s lunchbag. This was cheese ravioli, veggie chips, granola and yogurt, and a candy cane cookie for the holidays.
Although the meals were a good size for my daughters (4 and 6), they were generally not enough food for my 8 year old son. In these cases, Wise Apple suggests ordering the larger meal plan or selecting options with higher protein and/or calories. Also, in some cases the kids didn’t love some of the meal components that I thought they would (i.e. chicken nuggets and spaghetti and meatballs), so I would suggest letting them help pick meals in advance.
Due to the price point, Wise Apple may not be for everyone. I personally like to cook and don’t mind packing, but I know many people who would be willing to pay for the convenience of healthy school meals delivered to your door! If If you want to give it a try, you can get your first week FREE when you enter code FEEDMEGREENS at checkout! You’ll pay only the shipping. Let me know if you do!