header 2
Babies, Inside Nurture Life, Kids, Toddlers

Making Your Kids Meal Plan: Behind the Scenes with a Nurture Life Registered Dietitian

As a registered dietitian, my role at Nurture Life is to make sure that we’re providing the right nutrients for babies, toddlers and kids at their respective ages. I collaborate with another registered dietitian and our R&D chef to ensure that we’re serving up kid-approved cuisine that never compromises on nutrition.

At Nurture Life, we’re on a mission to positively impact the way kids eat—and our work starts long before our baby, toddler or kids meal delivery arrives at your doorstep! We approach each meal from a child’s point of view and start our meal planning with what matters most: the balanced nutrition your little ones need.

To see how I work to create nutritionally dense meals for kids of all ages, join me for a quick insider’s look at Nurture Life’s kids meal plan development!

Kids Meal Plan Priority #1: Wholesome Nutrition

The process of developing Nurture Life’s baby, toddler and kids meal plan is based on a simple premise: providing better food for kids. I research child nutrition guidelines and incorporate the latest scientific research to make sure that our meals promote healthy growth and development at all ages. Let’s take a closer look at what that means.

Sourcing Only the Best Ingredients

The foundation of Nurture Life’s kids meals is wholesome, high-quality ingredients. You could say that our unofficial mantra goes something like this: balanced, real food, as fresh as possible, from scratch, no added preservatives

To source the best quality ingredients, I work with our R&D chef and food suppliers to bring in ingredients that meet the highest standards. Prior to sourcing any ingredient, I analyze the sub-ingredients and nutrient content so that we (and you!) know exactly what’s in every meal. As much as possible, we focus on organic, minimally processed foods with little to no added sugar or salt.

Maintaining High Nutritional Standards

In addition to finding the most nutritious ingredients, I check that each meal meets our carefully developed nutritional standards, which are based on the nutrient ranges set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, USDA MyPlate food categories and general clinical nutrition knowledge. 

The standards for Nurture Life’s kids, toddler and baby food delivery meals include guidelines for calories, total fat, saturated fat, fiber, protein, salt and sugar. It’s always my goal for our toddler and kids meals to contain at least one serving of non-starchy veggies. We’ve definitely set a high bar for our food, but your kids are worth it!

Constantly Improving Our Baby, Toddler & Kids Meals

At Nurture Life, we’re always trying to do better. One really fun part of my job is to look at our recipes to see where we can make creative improvements to encourage palate development and more balanced nutrition.

For example, some of our recent recipe tweaks to baby, toddler and kids meals have included:

  • Incorporating additional herbs and veggies to reduce salt without sacrificing the well-rounded flavor of turkey meatloaf 
  • Sourcing new and different proteins, like barramundi or lamb, to expand your little one’s palate 
  • Creating a nut-free pesto to eliminate one of the Big 8 allergens (while adding a hint of superfood kale, too!) 
  • Mixing chopped mushrooms into meatballs for extra veggie goodness 
  • Making international flavors and cuisines more kid-friendly and approachable

Creating Weekly Meal Plans

Each week, Nurture Life sets a new Chef’s Choice Menu for babies, toddlers and kids. This selection of meals isn’t just a randomized mix—I work with our chefs and other dietitians to ensure the menu includes a nice balance of different proteins, fiber sources and cuisines. Although customers have the ability to change their meals at any point, sticking with our Chef’s Choice Menu ensures your child is being introduced to new flavors and ingredients to expand their palate!  

Double-Checking Food Labels 

Even after we’ve selected our ingredients and reviewed the nutritional breakdown, we’re constantly reviewing our vendors to make sure that nothing has changed. Every week, I sit down and compare our meals against the ingredients we’ve sourced. We take food allergies very seriously, and this weekly review ensures that our labels are accurate and reliable.

What Else Goes Into Nurture Life’s Kids Meal Delivery?

While much of my job focuses on maintaining strict nutritional standards for your kids and ours, nutrition is just the starting point for Nurture Life’s ready-to-eat baby, toddler and kids meals! Once we’ve checked and double-checked the nutrition profile, we work on balancing out our other priorities:

  • Kid-Friendly Taste: Whether for sloppy joes, spiced lentils or leafy greens, our R&D chefs do a great job of adapting foods to delight a child’s palate.
  • Ingredient Variety: The nutrient content of our meals comes from a variety of different foods. Instead of relying on the “same old, same old,” we’re always looking for new and exciting veggies, proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Palate Development: Even for our Stage 1, 2 and 3 baby food delivery, we seek to expand flavors, textures and cuisines. We take inspiration from around the world to introduce foods that many kids would not otherwise experience at such a young age.
  • Picky Eater Options: Although we do prioritize palate development, we’ve also got favorites for the picky eaters at your table. Even dishes like chicken nuggets and mac and cheese are held to our high nutritional standards!

Taking Our Expertise Into Our Homes and Beyond the Dinner Table

nurture life dietitian

I don’t just work at Nurture Life—I bring our meals into my home. As a mom with a young daughter, I had the opportunity to raise her on Nurture Life, leading her through all three of our baby food stages and into our toddler meals. I know that I’m setting her up for a lifetime of loving nutritious food as much as I do.

This mission to develop healthy eaters extends far beyond my daughter and any single breakfast, lunch or dinner. We’re aiming to create a positive change in childhood health for an entire generation.

As part of that mission, I get to work directly with parents and caregivers, answering questions, creating educational guides and helping develop baby, toddler and kids meal plans that work for each individual family. From transitioning out of baby food to navigating picky eating, I’m always here to answer any questions you may have. Just send us a message at support@nurturelife.com!

RJ Bio

Rachael Janas

Rachael joined the Nurture Life team as the Marketing Production & QA Manager. From menu design to nutrient analysis, she covers all things food. Rachael is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a strong foundation in clinical nutrition and a keen interest in nutritious food with phenomenal flavor. Her passion for incorporating whole foods and creative cuisine while focusing on age-specific nutrient needs of children is essential to Nurture Life’s menu design. Rachael has been practicing dietetics since 2011, with the bulk of her experience in clinical nutrition at Loyola Medical Center, specializing in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as critical care nutrition related to lung disease and lung transplant. She also has experience in cardiac health and nutrition during pregnancy. Rachael received her B.S. from Saint Louis University in Missouri and completed a dietetic internship with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Rachael’s interests include creative cooking at home, using a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs for a unique meal each night. She truly believes nutrition and food should be enjoyable and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.