Healthy ready meals for kids don’t have to be an oxymoron, according to two Yorkshire mums behind a new range that uses locally sourced meat and vegetables.
The Martha and Lawrence range will go on shelf in Co-Op stores from January and is in the process of gaining listings with Waitrose and Morrisons. It is also available in Booths.
The 225-250g meals come in three varieties with an rsp of £2.59 - chicken breasts in tomato and smooth vegetable sauce, mild chilli con carne and cheesy meatballs in a chunky tomato sauce - and new recipes using Swaledale lamb and free-range pork are being developed.
The products use locally sourced veggies and beef from a farm in Patrick Brompton, in the Yorkshire Dales, where the meals are made. With no sugar, low salt levels and no additives, the meals meet increasing interest in provenance and healthy eating for children, according to former Nestlé Rowntree food scientist Elaine Stephens.
She developed the range with schoolteacher Andrea Hayes and Hayes’s husband Andrew.
“I’m sure the ideal for parents is to go to the farmers’ market and cook meals for their kids from scratch, but there are times when you need something quick and good quality,” she said.
“We only use stuff you can find in your cupboard at home, and there are no nasties such as hydrogenated fats. The vegetables also count towards the recommended 5-a-day.”
The meat in the dishes is raw and they can be cooked in the microwave or oven-baked.