When Little Dish asked me if I would like to taste test some of their recipes, I have to admit I nearly turned the offer down. IJ is six after all and we are beyond the toddler food stage, which is what I perceived the Little Dish recipes to be at the time.
Then something on their website caught my eye - the company had been voted by Glamour magazine as one of the top 50 places to work in the UK. They also won the Bronze Practical Parenting Award for their Little Dish meals range in 2009 and the Marketing Society Award for best new brand in 2008, amongst many others.
So I'll be honest. I'm studying Marketing, I have a business degree and I'm an advocate of healthy eating. Suddenly this was a company I wanted to learn more about. So I agreed to be sent some free meals which arrived, by courier, in a fabulous branded cool bag a couple of days later.
My god-daughter Baby E (20 months) was enrolled as chief taste-tester. In order to gain a more articulate reaction to the recipes, I even tasted two of them myself.
So the question in my mind was : Would the recipes live up to the high expectations their numerous awards and previous media coverage had created?
And the answer was a most definite yes. They were, to be perfectly frank, exceptional.
Baby E loved them, her favourite was the Fish Pie. I was impressed by the quality and freshness of the ingredients and the obvious care and attention that had gone into creating each recipe. I particularly liked with the Chicken with Vegetables and Giant Couscous. The meals were colourful, looked exciting on the plate and they tasted home made. In fact, I didn't see them as just food for toddlers and very young children; I think IJ would probably have enjoyed them too.
They are all prepared by hand from 100% natural ingredients; salt and sugar is never added and that was reflected in the high quality of the dishes. Each recipe is created in partnership with a Paediatric Dietitian and taste tested by kids before leaving the kitchen. The chicken and beef is free from growth hormones and are sourced from British farms were the animals are well cared for. Their vegetables are tested for pesticides.
I have said before that I am not someone who gets easily excited about food, but I was impressed with these dishes and I am impressed with the company. It is definitely a brand worth getting excited about.
A recent interview with Hillary Graves of Little Dish can be read over at Mums Rock!