The Kids’ Table is a new concept in collaboration with Chef Mark McEwan and team. The meal kit delivery service aims to take a bite out of the daily grind of grocery shopping and meal prep, with easy heat and serve (or just serve!) meals that are devised to be a simple solution for the what’s-for-dinner conundrum that most parents are facing.
The meals come in a few formats and flavours, from breakfast to dessert, there’s options for everyone, including picky eaters and those on special diets. Dropped off to your doorstep, the kits come in fully recyclable packaging, with reusable ice packs, bags and meals made with a reduced food-waste mission.
Executive Chef Shen Ousmand oversees this new offering on behalf of the McEwan Group, and being a father himself, he’s clearly in tune with not only the demands being made on parents, but also is dedicated to providing nutritious comfort food that kids will actually enjoy.
We spoke with Chef Shen about this new delivery service and what goes into creating a menu crafted just for kids.
Libby Roach- Kids are notoriously picky, how do you bridge the gap between bland and pushing the envelope a bit towards something more adventurous?
Shen Ousmand- We are always up for the challenge and continuously pushing the envelope at McEwan Fine Foods. We always use quality ingredients and the bottom line is the taste. Kids can be picky, however, we blend flavours well for young palates and get creative with fun names and colourful ingredients.
LR- What is most important to keep in mind when curating a menu specifically for kids?
SO- Our number one priority is ensuring the meals are well-balanced and full of vitamins and nutrients. We make real food that tastes good using whole ingredients and we never add preservatives. This is the main focus when curating our menus.
LR- Will parents enjoy these meals too, or is it more for kids to eat on their own?
SO– Parents do enjoy them! We’ve heard back from The Kids’ Table Team that parents have tried and loved our food. These meals and snacks are just plain delicious, so we feel anyone would love them!
LR- What was your favourite meal growing up?
SO- Anything my mom cooked, especially her Sri Lankan style rice and curry or curry and bread. If I had to choose one dish, steamed rice with Dal curry. I added a curry variation to the Kids’ Table menu, our “Butter Chickpea Delight”. It’s butter chicken without the chicken! It’s a lightly curried chickpea dish with paneer on rice. For me, this is the ultimate comfort food.
With a few kids around the table we put a good portion of the menu to the test. Assisting in heating up and serving, the kids were excited by the ease and practicality of the meals- veggies weren’t relegated to being snuck-in, instead proudly on full display in satisfying dishes like the Frittata-Tat Tat, with a hefty egg portion stuffed with steamed broccoli, a great grab and go breakfast ready in under 2 minutes.
The Nicole Bowl is a McEwan-esque take on a Nicoise salad that will appeal to elevated palates, ditto for the Grilled Cheese Supreme made with brie cheese and sun dried tomatoes.
Ringing in at as low as $7.69 per meal, these kits can save parents from the last minute pizza order that tends to happen when schedules slide. Lunch options make slamming a sammie in a bag a cinch, and early hockey mornings will be a bit brighter without a stop to get a bagel. It’s a personal and family choice- do your kids need a new path to something beyond bland and beige? One of my kid’s sunk into a date for the first time in her life, and only because it was in front of her. Did she love it? Not really, but that’s part of learning, trying something new and exploring, variety is the spice of life, even if you have an aversion to anything hot!
Thanks to Chef Shen Ousmand and The Kids’ Table team for the gifted experience.