Burnt out on being Chef Mom? Give yourself a break from planning and prepping breakfast, lunch and dinner, day after day, thanks to these tried-and-tested Los Angeles meal delivery services that keep kids (and their picky palates) in mind. Plus, find out which of our favorite local restaurants are also serving up ready-made meal kits for you to prep at home.

California Chef

With a heavy emphasis on customization, California Chef Services creates meal plans 100% based on your family's likes and dislikes. Whether your brood is gluten-free, vegetarian, or just plain picky, it’s never a problem and it doesn’t cost a penny extra to tailor each dish to your specific needs! Check out their Family Meal Delivery plan which is a combination of best-loved family favorites such as shredded beef enchiladas, grilled pork with apples, or Italian turkey meatballs (make sure to save room for their caramel bread pudding!). 

How It Works: Choose a plan and fill out your family's food preferences. After this, your personal chef will design a menu of meals per your requirements. Meals are delivered fresh to your home, come labeled with very simple to follow heating instructions, and are all packaged to go directly from your fridge to the oven or microwave. 

Quarantine Considerations: California Chef offers no-contact food delivery in cooler bags along with safe practices during food preparation/handling. 

Cost: Pricing varies depending on the number of servings needed and days per week.  For instance, for 4 servings, 5 nights a week the cost is $440 but please visit their pricing page for more specific information. 

Online: californiachef.com

Territory Foods

For the more gourmet inclined, Territory Foods enlists the expertise of talented local chefs and informed nutritionists to bring their unique culinary skill to every dish. If you'd like a James Beard-caliber meal made fresh, delivered to your door, and ready to eat (yes please!), then this is the way to go.  Territory Foods is happy to elevate dinner (without spiking your stress levels) by letting the professionals do all the heavy cooking for you.

How It Works: Choose and customize your meal plans from a wide variety of options. While there may not be kids meals specifically listed here, there are lots of "family style" menu choices such as chicken meatballs with marinara, roasted sweet potatoes, or even scrambled eggs and bacon that are packaged as larger portions to accommodate all your hungry hippos. Meal plans are customized to you, and they're priced per meal and by size. 

Quarantine Considerations: Knowing how important it is to provide nutritious meals to frontline workers, Territory has created a donation program called Feed it Forward through their platform Territory Serves. When you donate a meal through TerritoryServes, meals are delivered straight to the frontline from Territory Foods and keeps them fueled for the good fight. It also gives vital work to local chefs and keeps their businesses open. Also, for every two meals donated, Territory will add a third! 

Cost: Standard size meal plans start at $27.90/week/per person. Make sure to visit the website for exact pricing tailored to your needs. 

Online: territoryfoods.com

DoorDash

Let's be honest, cooking at home every single night can become tedious (to say the least) and everyone needs a little break from meal planning and clean up once in a while. Why not get food from your favorite local restaurants to shake up the monotony a bit?  DoorDash understands this need for culinary convenience and literally, delivers.

How It Works: Download the DoorDash app to your phone and enter your address to see what restaurants are available in your neighborhood. Peruse full menus from great local eateries (definitely not your standard take-out fare) and add what you want to your order with a few taps. The app will also show you just how long delivery time is for each restaurant and gives you the option to schedule a future order for up to four days in advance.

Quarantine Considerations: DoorDash has "no-contact delivery" as the new default setting for all orders via the app. They are also providing food-safety guidance to merchants and have made bag stickers and tamper-proof packaging available to restaurants at minimal cost to enhance food safety. They have also provided best practices for facilitating a no-contact hand-off between the restaurants and the Dasher drivers at order pick-up.  

Cost: The food prices and delivery charges vary based on each restaurant. A tip is added to the total, which you pay via the app when you place your order.

Online: doordash.com

Yumi

Once upon a time, a pregnant mom was disheartened with the lack of fresh, nutritious, and yummy baby meals that were readily available (without spending hours steaming and puréeing on a daily basis). Thus Yumi was born. The only meal delivery service made just for babies, this service offers healthy, fresh-made baby food, making it ultra-convenient to feed your baby without the added sugars and preservatives found in store-bought options. Now they even have nutrient-rich finger food options like beet puffs and pizza bites for babies 10 months and up who are ready to go beyond spoon feedings! As if all of this weren't enough of a reason to give 'em a try, Yumi also donates a meal to Feeding America for every meal they sell, which we can definitely get behind!  

How It Works: When you sign up, the Yumi team will ask for info on your little eater, like age and any food allergies. You’ll choose from a few different delivery plans depending on how much baby food you need per week. Your food will be delivered to your doorstep in an ice-packed cold tote. Each “baby meal,” which includes things like blueberry chia pudding and cauliflower soup, is served in a sealed, four-ounce food-safe plastic jar (eco-friendly and reusable) and will last in the fridge (unopened) for about 7 days.

Quarantine Considerations: Yumi always upholds stringent cleanliness policies and contactless delivery but now they are also offering a free book download for your little ones to help them better feel connected to the outside world. Head to their website and download the book (and printable coloring page) "Rainbows in Windows" which is a book about big imaginations, big feelings, and sheltering in place during a pandemic. If you don't want to read the book yourself, you and your little one can instead watch a video of Donald Sutherland reading it out loud. Best part - no purchase is necessary to access these thoughtful materials!

Cost:  One meal a day (7 jars per week + 1 bonus jar) - $38.33, Two meals a day (14 jars per week + 2 bonus jars) - $71.18, or Three meals a day (21 jars per week + 3 bonus jars) - $98.55

Online: helloyumi.com

Z.E.N. Foods

Standing for Zero Effort Nutrition, this company prides itself on dishing up fresh and healthy options for those looking to clean up how they are eating. With three in-house nutritionists guiding the menu choices, you and your family are sure to eat ingredients that will make for strong bodies and minds. Sign up for their classic dinners plan that offers yummy menu items for mom and dad as well as kids meal add-on choices (mac & cheese for the win) that do not sacrifice on taste or nutrition.

How It Works: After you sign up for the Z.E.N. Classics Program on their website, you will then select your desired program length and begin customizing your meals. Your first delivery will be made in just three business days after you place your order and entrees can be heated in under three minutes with a microwave. Place the empty Z.E.N. cooler and ice packs out on the day of your next scheduled delivery and their driver will collect them; easy peasy!

Quarantine Considerations: The folks at Z.E.N. Foods are committed to putting their customers at ease with their safety practices. All employees prepare food following strict guidelines, which include frequent hand washing, gloved hands, and full protective chef coats, safety masks, and hairnets. Surfaces are sanitized between duties, and gloves are changed to prevent any cross-contamination. Cooler bags and ice packs are sanitized and disinfected every day, and a zip tie is applied to your cooler bag for safety.

Cost: Meals start at $9.95 per meal per day with kid’s meals available to add on at $7.95 per meal per day. Delivery charges range from $6-$13 per day depending on zip code.

Online: zenfoods.com

One Potato

Feeling like a short-order cook come dinner time is never ideal, which is why One Potato believes that it’s possible to prepare one meal that will satisfy everyone at the dinner table. The idea behind this family-friendly company is to make it easy for parents to serve up healthy, organic meals that appeal to both grown-ups and kids (even the fussiest of eaters). The best part, however, is that the prepped food kits are built to encourage your little chefs to get involved in the dinner-making process. Another bonus: each meal delivery comes with your own organic slice-and-bake cookie dough, guaranteed to delight your sweeties.

How It Works: Once you join, you’ll input the size of your family and typical meal preferences. They will send you an email with pictures and recipes of the meals you’ll be preparing and eating for the week. Your weekly box will arrive packed with all the healthy, organic, fresh ingredients you'll need to prepare three different meals. Ingredients are already measured and chopped so all you have to do is put it all together. Each recipe should take 30 minutes or less to prepare. And every week, you get new recipes and ingredients. You can cancel or skip a week with prior notice. One Potato recently added smoothies to the mix! When selecting your meal plans, you have the option to add up to 10 tasty, organic frozen smoothie packs to your order for $5.95 each. Just add your favorite milk and blend. Each pack makes a 14-16 oz. smoothie (perfect for one adult or two kids) and stay fresh in the freezer for up to one year!

Cost: Plans are based on how many meals you want to be delivered weekly (or how many mouths you’re feeding) and range from $78-$132 per week.

Online: onepotato.com

Nurture Life 

Nurture Life is a meal delivery company that caters to babies, toddlers AND older kids with prepared meal menu plans tailor-made for ages 10 months old up to 18! Choose from selections like chicken parmesan and broccoli, beef lasagna or mac & cheese with cauliflower sauce to really get little mouths watering. Order weekly meals for the kiddos to be delivered to your doorstep all freshly made and pediatric dietician approved!

How it Works: Check out their menus page to start putting together your first order or get started by telling them about your family, and Nurture Life staff will help you create a weekly subscription plan that is tailor-made! A week’s worth of meals are delivered straight to your door in an insulated box to maintain freshness and can be frozen for up to 90 days. Their Heat & Eat Meals only need a couple minutes in the microwave or oven, and the cold lunches are made to be served cold. All meals include heating instructions, use-by dates, full ingredient lists, and nutrition facts.

Quarantine Considerations: To show their support for healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, delivery drivers and those struggling to provide healthy nutrition for loved ones, Nurture Life is holding a "Hard Working Heroes" giveaway. They are calling on people through their Instagram page to nominate day-to-day heroes and, each week, Nurture Life will select 2 nominated individuals and offer them a month of free meals delivered to their door!

Cost: The cost ranges depending on the age of the child but for toddlers, pricing starts at $7.99/meal/day, and for kids 5 - 10 meals start at $8.99/each. The minimum order amount for a box is $39 (before shipping), with an $8 shipping charge. 

Online: nurturelife.com/

Sunfare

Over two decades ago, this company started out as a gourmet food delivery service to the stars, pioneering the way for modern-day meal-delivery services. Nowadays, Sunfare offers full-service food delivery that can be customized to any of their healthy meal plans. Try considering everything from your weight, sleep habits, food aversions, and more, to come up with the perfect daily menu. They also offer gluten-free and vegetarian meal options as well as GMO, nitrate, hormone, and antibiotic-free proteins.

How It Works: Once you sign up, a Sunfare client-counselor will contact you and ask a few quick questions to determine your best meal options. You’ll select your meal plan from a wide variety of options, like the Family Dinners plan, which includes an entrée and four sides to share. You can customize your menus and make changes as you go. Deliveries are made daily at 7 a.m. and arrive in an insulated cooler filled with all your meals for the day.

Quarantine Considerations: Aside from contactless delivery where drivers will simply leave the coolers at your doorstep, Sunfare has also hired full time "sanitizers" who wipe down and disinfect all high touch areas ( such as door handles, desktops, keyboards, countertops, van interiors, and more) over the course of operating hours. 

Cost: Prices vary depending on the plan you sign up for. The Family Dinners plan (for a family of four) is $68.95 per day with an additional $2.99/day delivery service charge. Right now they are even running a special where you can get 50% off your first dinner so check out the website for more details! 

Online: sunfare.com

Restaurant Meal Kits

If you're not quite ready to sign up for weekly meal deliveries but would love to take a night (or three) off from dinner duty once in a while, consider checking out some of the below restaurants offering take-home meal kits. Oftentimes more cost-effective than ordering take out, these do-it-yourself meals are a great way to have someone else take the guesswork out of dinnertime. Here are a few of our favorites! 

Milo and Olive: This Santa Monica favorite is offering up meal kits for purchase featuring various types of pasta and sauces, paired with different types of house-baked bread OR snag a kit containing their famous pizza dough with fixings for you to cook at home. Order through delivery apps or call & order for curbside pick-up. 

Dudley Market: Their dining room may currently be closed, but this Venice Beach hot spot is still selling whole fish (and filets). The selection depends on that day’s catch, but usually includes sand dabs, red snapper, mackerel, and occasionally some halibut. They’ll give you instructions on how to cook the fish (fried, roasted, made into ceviche), and can include all the fixings to make it a dinner kit for an extra $5. Call ahead for that day's catch and they will even deliver for free if you live within a 2-mile radius! 

Guerrilla Tacos: Because everyone loves tacos, the fine folks at one of the Arts District's hottest taco joint have "Emergency Taco Kits" for sale that are designed to provide you with enough taco meat and fixings for more taco Tuesdays than you can shake a tortilla at! The two taco kit options may come with a hefty price tag (the large kit even comes with a roll of toilet paper!) but their meats can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. Try the sweet potato taco kit or the nacho kit for delicious variety (and a lower price). Orders take 2 hours to prepare and are handed off via no contact curbside pick-up. 

Porto's Bakery: If you have never had the chance to sample the goods from this uber-popular Cuban bakery chain here in Los Angeles, then now is as good a time as any to get Porto's delectable delicacies shipped directly to your home! With their "we make it, you bake it," slogan, you can choose from a variety of tasty treats. They offer savory options such as chicken empanadas, potato balls, and cheese rolls or snag their famous dessert pastries like different flavored strudels, snickerdoodle cookies, or dulce de leche cookies. All items ship frozen and unbaked and you have the option of ordering small (2 dozen), medium (3-4 dozen) or large (5-6 dozen). With a price tag of only $16.99/dozen for most of these items, it's kind of a no-brainer!!

-Jenifer Scott

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