I live in the Land of My Late 20s (let’s not speak about how that number 30 is looming mere weeks away). In this Land, the population is being increased every day by friends giving birth. Of course, there are many members of all ages in this Land, but I think your late 20s and early 30s is probably the peak of life here.
I have two little ones myself (3 and 1) and have been beyond blessed with the visits of my friends during those newborn times. Because almost always, the friends come bearing food.
There is nothing worse than thinking about making dinner when you are juggling a toddler and a newborn, breastfeeding and groggy from lack of sleep. If it’s your first baby, you’re probably in the “why did they let me bring this thing home by myself” daze. With your second and beyond, cooking becomes more difficult with a child wrapped around your leg screaming “MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY I HUNGRY!!!!!” (Or maybe that’s just mine who doesn’t seem to equate me cooking dinner with her being less hungry in half an hour.)
Thankfully, those meals from friends seem to make the first few weeks with a newborn more tolerable. I try to mix it up a little when I take food to a friend, because no matter how appreciative you are of the meal, sometimes another dish of baked pasta gets old.
So think outside the box! Here are some ideas.
Bring breakfast. Everyone loves breakfast for dinner, and it’s probably something the new parents haven’t been brought yet. I think Berry Baked French Toast is perfect for this time of year and makes a fun dinner. You can throw in some cooked bacon, too, for an easy protein, if you want.
Classic Meat and Two or Three. Think of what you often cook for dinner at home: a protein, a carb, and a veggie? (At least that’s my default.) This kind of meal is comforting and “normal,” but most people bring casseroles when they feed a friend. Recently I made Chicken and Cherries and cooked rice with peas for a friend with a new baby. Maybe a little boring, but my friend said her husband went crazy over the plain old brown rice.
Think seasonally. Hamburgers aren’t too difficult but are something most everyone loves, including kids, as the weather warms. How about a gift of some doctored-up Tomato Basil Hamburgers, Broccoli Salad , and a bag of gourmet chips?
Remember everything. If you bring burgers, bring buns, too! If you’re really nice, throw in paper napkins and plates and disposable silverware so the new mom won’t have to do dishes, either.
Now or Later? I always ask if the mom wants to eat it now or if she wants a frozen meal she can cook later. Sometimes people bring enough food for 3 or 4 meals, and it would be more helpful to have an extra meal for a later time.
Bring an extra meal for later. A simple crockpot meal assembled in a big ziplock bag will be super easy for her later. She can just toss it in her crockpot and not have to cook that night. This comes in super handy when baby is going through a growth spurt and nursing 24/7, a day with a busy schedule, or just a night she doesn’t have the energy to really cook. Try Honey Parmesan Pork Roast, Summer Vegetable Chowder , or Vietnamese Chicken Thighs.
And you know … if you bring pasta or poppyseed chicken, I bet it will still be VERY appreciated.
What’s your go-to meal for a new mom?
Jessie is a stay-at-home mom of two and freelance writer in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She writes about faith, recipes, and her failures as a mother and housekeeper at VanderbiltWife.com.