A Review of Eat Pak’d

A plate full of food from Eat Pak'd

In February, CBUS Dads was invited to a party for Columbus influencers (somehow we fooled them into inviting us), introducing Eat Pak’d to the community. Based in Chicago and new to Columbus, the mission of Eat Pak’d is to fill kids’ bellies with wholesome, homemade ingredients – free of fillers and preservatives.

The party was hosted at Firefly Play Cafe, which I wasn’t aware of previously, but is the original play cafe in Columbus. Quick shoutout to them, as the space is great. It’s centrally-located, so it makes for a good playdate location. They could easily warrant a dedicated blog post about them.

A few of us attended, accompanied by our little ones. While the kids played and occasionally swooped in for a bite, the parents learned more about Eat Pak’d and its offerings.

Fortunately, Eat Pak’d offered a free in-home trial following this event. Never one to turn down free food, I happily obliged.

CBUS Dads blogger Steve Michalovich's daughter enjoying her meal from Eat Pak'd
CBUS Dads blogger Steve Michalovich’s daughter enjoying her meal from Eat Pak’d

Some time later, five Paks arrived at our doorstep in a package with dry ice. They offer a wide-ranging menu. We received BBQ chicken tacos, chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, sun butter and jelly, and host of veggies, fruits and pretzels as sides. My two-year-old daughter is a pretty solid eater, but admittedly, some of the meals were maybe a bit exotic for her underdeveloped pallet. But the quality and freshness was impeccable – I’d probably give her a couple more years before relying solely on Eat Pak’d for a meal just yet. I was happy to polish off what remained on her plate, and I can safely say, everything was delicious.

Eat Pak’d guarantees their Paks are designed by nutritionists and crafted by chefs, limiting sugar, sodium and refined grains. The food is all locally-sourced and nutrient-rich.

Eat Pak’d aspires to be a partner in providing quality food for kids at the most important times of the day. The experience does feel like a partnership and is very interactive, as parents, with their children, can choose, and even create their own meals on the Eat Pak’d website. Part of the value proposition is removing the time it takes to plan, shop and prepare kid’s meals and making it a fun experience for the entire family.

I’m keeping my eyes on Eat Pak’d as my kids get older and wish them the best as they continue to expand.

By Steven Michalovich, Regular Contributor

CBUS Dads’ Holidays Activities and Traditions

CBUS Dads blogger Mike Liddy checked out the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival with his kids

We’re in the home stretch before the holidays. You may be off work, and the kids may be home from school. Regardless, you may also be looking for some activities that don’t include going to the mall to best maximize this special time of the year.

We polled our CBUS Dads for some of their holiday traditions and go-to activities that may be a little less mainstream than the ones that are typically top of mind:

The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival is a unique holiday experience. The Ohio Expo Center & State Fairgrounds are decked out with almost 40 displays of traditional (and some non-traditional) Chinese lantern displays all lit up. There are tons of fun things for the kids: a Finding Nemo display, a Christmas display, huge dragons, and tons of pandas. But, the Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival also has flowers, fruits and a long walk through the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Don’t miss the performances, the shopping and the food either. The paths can be a little difficult to navigate with a stroller, but they’ve placed hard plastic matting over the grassy areas to make it a little easier to traverse. The Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival goes until January 2, so there’s plenty of time to experience it, even if you can’t squeeze it in before the big one.
-Mike Liddy, Contributor

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The older I get, the more I can relate to Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation. It’s easy to get caught up in the holidays, putting a ton of pressure on ourselves to make the holidays super special for our kids. I can’t be the only that’s been here, right? Each year, Erika and I dig for the holiday event that our kids will remember forever. However, there’s one simple tradition that we look forward to every year. On Christmas Eve morning, we go out for breakfast, just the four of us. In the midst of rushing and endless family gatherings, there’s something awesome about just having a simple breakfast together. The location is flexible, but the last two years (and probably this year) we hit up DK Diner in Grandview. The diner atmosphere allows for sweatpants and they always have fresh donuts. Sure, the big Christmas events are awesome, but I encourage you to find a few simple Christmas traditions as well.
-Billy Fischer, Contributor

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Every year, the Farkas family takes an afternoon to make Christmas cookies. I’ve done this for 40 years; the only exception was when I was two months old, and I think that seems like a fair excuse. Making cookie with the kids is pure chaos. Aprons don’t help. Eggs end up broken in wrong places. Often, the weight of the frosting on top of the cookie far eclipses the weight of the actual cookie. The end product won’t end up on the Food Network, but I appreciate it more than any Bobby Flay product.
-Dan Farkas, Contributor

My family and I are reserving December 23 for a Christmas day spent downtown. Every year we try to stroll through State Auto’s Christmas Corner that includes a historic life-sized Nativity display. We are also going to stop by the brand spanking new Main Library for the Huntington Holiday Train, which we’ve never checked out before. Both activities should captivate our energetic two-year-old. From there, we’ll grab a bite, aiming for somewhere with that warm, hearty fare that seems appropriate on a cold day. Maybe Press Grill or Jack’s Diner.
-Steve Michalovich, Contributor

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For the past several years my family have grabbed dinner at Milestone 229 or Columbus Brewing Company a few days before Christmas and then walked our fullness off through Bicentennial Park to see and enjoy the holiday lights at the forefront of our wonderful city skyline. This pleasant hike has recently expanded to include Columbus Commons since that area is also a “can’t miss” now in terms of a beautiful downtown holiday spectacle. To add to the mystique and nostalgia of the holidays here in Columbus, I then take my family on a stroll through the State Auto nativity display to enjoy their reaction to this wonderful scene as I used to experience when I was a child.
-Steve Swift, Contributor

 

 

 

We also caught wind of a Christmas Cave a couple hours south of town. Has anyone been there and would recommend?