When supermom Joanna Parker decided to give up her career in early childhood education to spend more time at home with her family, she looked forward to enjoyable mealtimes feeding her children healthy foods and teaching them about nutrition. But she soon discovered that even kids raised in health-conscious households often think healthy is “yucky” and refuse to eat what they should.
That was in 2017, and meal delivery services were gaining traction. So, she and her husband, David, decided to launch one for picky eaters. “We called it Yumble, a playful name that starts with “Yum” and appeals to both parents and kids,” said Parker. “Kids like it because it rhymes with fun words like tumble, crumble, bumble, and fumble. Eating well is serious business, but it also has to be enjoyable.”
“There was a lot of consumer interest in Yumble from the outset,” Parker continued, “and the business grew rapidly. Then it hit a wall we should have seen coming.” Despite exhaustive recipe development and testing to ensure the kid appeal to their menus, parents began reporting a pattern of trial, acceptance, and then rejection. The food was palatable, but the idea of a steady diet of healthy menus that mom didn’t cook was not.
Determined to find a solution, the Parkers consulted nutritionists, educators, parenting experts, child psychologists, and other parents. They came up with a new idea: child-led eating, an evolution of baby-led weaning, which has been gaining traction among new moms. The approach they came up with was elegantly simple: provide kids from 4 to 12 with a custom web page or app that guides them through the process of choosing and ordering their own menus from a range of healthy options with loads of kid appeal.
“As a parent who trained to be an early childhood teacher, I’ve learned that giving kids authority and control can be a great motivator,” Parker said. “Making kids responsible for choosing their own meals from Yumble increases the odds they will eat healthy because it is their menu. And that’s not the only way Yumble helps encourage and teach good mealtime habits. There is also a new Prize Program & Rewards Platform designed to encourage and reinforce good behavior. Kids accumulate points for every order, for cleaning their plates, and for trying and learning new things. Points are tracked on a virtual dashboard with an exciting rewards catalog to help them set their goals. Children also learn the value of patience as they accumulate more points for bigger and better prizes, and they have the satisfaction and self-esteem that comes from self-reliance.
Yumble’s original mission was to help busy parents ensure that their kids have easy access to nutritious meals—every mealtime, every day—while teaching them healthy eating habits. The new Yumble provides that and a whole lot more: Responsibility, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and patience.
Here’s how it works. Kids visit their special order page on www.yumblekids.com to plan their own meals. They choose what they want to eat from Yumble’s carefully curated menus and order with the approval of a parent, caregiver, or older sibling. The menus, which are designed for kid appeal, include age-appropriate information about good nutrition and balanced meals. Yumble’s fully-prepared meals use only sustainable, regionally-sourced, nutritious ingredients, delivered in a 100 percent recyclable, refrigerated box, ready to heat and serve.
Yumble’s delicious and nutritious menu provides over 70options for even the pickiest of eaters. Orders can be changed, paused, or canceled at any time. Yumble has menus for every meal occasion, with discounts for ordering multiple meals:
- 4 meals per week for $9.99 per meal
- 6 meals per week for $8.99 per meal, plus free shipping
- 8 meals per week for $7.99 per meal, plus free shipping
- 12 meals per week for $6.99 per meal, plus free shipping
Some of the most popular Yumble meals are:
- Turkey Sausage & Eggs, all-natural and gluten-free, with over 20g of protein
- Classic Cheese Ravioli with organic tomatoes in a veggie-packed marinara sauce
- Mac N Cheese & Nuggets Please, a gluten-free mac-n-cheese with lots of veggies and organic, gluten free chicken nuggets
- Yumble UP! Mozzarella Chicken Marinara & Pasta featuring cheese topped organic, gluten free nuggets with creamy gluten-free pasta, all portioned for older kids!
Of course, there are other benefits as well. As dual-earner households proliferate, family time is scarcer, and not having to cook permits parents to be more present with their kids at mealtime. Special menus designed for teens provide plenty of choices suitable for adults, so time-strapped families can eat together without the burden of preparing meals. Finally, when measured against the retail cost of food, Yumble is a really good value, and its price-per-meal is below almost any restaurant’s charge for the same menu.
“There are other meal delivery services for children, but they transact with parents, not kids. Only Yumble engages kids at every step, respecting their ability to make smart choices and rewarding them for doing so,” Parker said. “We are thrilled to provide kids with meals that are healthy and fun, to help teach them healthy eating habits, and to reward them for eating well.”
Yumble is available nationally (not in Hawaii or Alaska), and parents can sign up at www.yumblekids.com or download the YumbleKids App. Follow Yumble on Facebook @ yumblekids and Instagram @ yumblekids.