The concept behind The Whole Bowl is simple: “It’s food to keep a new mum going all the time so she’s not snacking on crap,” says Elle Doran, who co-founded the meal-bundle service with friend and nutritionist Daisy Manson in 2021.

That sentiment will resonate with anyone who’s had a baby. It’s when you’re recovering from the exhaustion, trauma and pain of birth that you need solid nutrition the most. But by some perverse twist, that’s also the time when you have a tiny, helpless person to care for – and making proper meals and taking care of yourself can feel impossible while you’re spending time bonding with your baby.

The Whole Bowl delivers frozen food bundles – nutritious, locally sourced, mostly organic breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks – to new mums to support them during the early days of new parenthood.

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The meals are substantial and nutrient dense. And with vegetarian and vegan options available, as well as soy- and dairy-free substitutes, there is something for every mum. Choose between prepared bundles or build your own for a tailored delivery. The seasonal offerings include slow-cooked beef ragu; lentil, mushroom and walnut lasagne; free range chicken and veggie spelt pastry pie; super green soup; Thai red curry with chicken or tofu; apple and berry oat crumble; and almond and sesame cookies.

And with the recent addition of toddler-friendly meals and snacks, like pumpkin mac’n’cheese or hidden-veggie beef bolognese, little stomachs will be kept happy too.

“Our menu is designed to be nutrient dense, but also energy dense – because someone who is breastfeeding or in recovery needs a lot of calories to heal and recover,” Manson tells Broadsheet.

Doran and Manson run the entire operation themselves, from developing recipes to cooking and packing meals in sustainable packaging. As their delivery radius has increased to stretch from Greater Sydney as far as Bathurst and Orange, they have engaged a delivery partner to help with the feat.

“We always loved hitting the road together and seeing people,” says Doran. “But delivery days are still special because we know that quite often we’re delivering a gift. A mum might answer the door with a baby hanging off a boob, the dogs barking. People get really overwhelmed; there are often tears on delivery day.”

The Whole Bowl delivers across Greater Sydney, up to Newcastle, down to Nowra and into the Blue Mountains, as well as Orange and Bathurst.

This story was originally published on July 21, 2021 but was updated on November 30, 2022 to reflect changes to the meals available and delivery radius.

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