Thursday, March 18, 2010

Meals for Moms!

One of the perks of being a stay-at-home mom is the ability to take time to cook. I remember during our first two years of marriage, I got home after 6:00 every night and our menu was pretty limited to a few quick meals or eating out. Now that I stay at home, I'm able to start a meal in the morning if I need to, and work on it off and on throughout the day as time allows, with lots of interruptions from an adorable little man! I love spending time in the kitchen. And, I love cooking for others, too. It's kind of like a labor of love.

This post is dedicated to the art of taking food to new moms. I made a meal tonight for some friends of mine who just had a baby (babies, babies, everywhere!) and it inspired me to create a post with some tips that I've found helpful when it comes to bringing food to new parents. Since I stay at home, I have more time to create and prepare a meal, so I tend to go all out. But, even if you work or are pressed for time, these tips can come in handy. Trust me, I've learned from doing it wrong several times. Now that I've had a baby and have had meals brought to me, I've developed a few guidelines for myself when it comes to bringing meals to others. So! Enjoy!


Repeat it again: DISPOSABLE BAKEWARE. I don't know how many times (before having Cub) I dragged (drug?) my massive crock-pot to the homes of new parents, proudly handing them my offering of whatever roast or chicken happened to be inside said crock-pot, and then promptly turned heel and left. I suppose it never dawned on me that perhaps new parents don't really want to do dishes? Especially someone else's dishes? A massive heavy dish with baked-on food?? Once I had Cub, I realized how much I appreciated the meals that came in disposable bakeware. If you use a crock-pot to cook your meal, either use a liner or dump the contents of the crock-pot into tinfoil pans. Or bring your crock-pot and dump its contents into a dish that belongs to your friends. Then you take your crock-pot (and the mess) home with you! Your friends will greatly appreciate it!

2) Home-Made!

Be sure you know what kinds of food your friends like or dislike and then prepare your meal accordingly. Also, keep in mind that if the mom is breast feeding, she might not want anything too spicy or anything with onions. And, try to include something homemade. By homemade, I mean that if your meal is frozen lasagna with frozen breadsticks and a bagged salad, try throwing in some homemade cookies. The whole point of bringing meals to friends is so they can have something homemade ... not to eat something they could have easily done themselves! And, if you are pressed for time, utilize the trusty crock-pot!

*Note: I, of course, have also been that lame friend who TOTALLY FORGETS I'm bringing a meal to someone until the day of and I end up calling them from the drive-thru at Chick-fil-A. Nothing says love like some nuggets and sweet tea! But, if you do happen to remember that you are bringing a meal before the day you bring it, try making something homemade. I made fajitas for my friends tonight (mild fajitas) and made homemade guacamole (sans onions) to go along with them! I also divvied up each topping into its own disposable container. The guacamole took all of five minutes to make. Remember that just because something is homemade doesn't mean it has to take forever to prepare!

3) Something SWEET!

Don't forget dessert. If you know for sure that your friends don't like sweets, then skip on over it. But, remember, you are bringing a meal to pamper your friends and to make this special time in their lives even more special. You probably won't see your friends out and about very much in those first few weeks, so this is one way you can spread some love and let them know how much you care about them, even if your meetings will be few and far between for a while. I've found these amazing Ghirardelli Fudge Brownies that come with chocolate sauce and my-oh-my, they are delicious. And they can be easily baked in, you guessed it, disposable bakeware!

So! There you have it! Those are the simple guidelines I try to abide by when I sign up to bring meals to my friends who have babies. If I have time, I try to toss some diapers in my meal sack, too.

How about you? Do you have any tips for bringing meals to new parents? Or have you ever had a scary brought-to-your-home meal experience??


  1. What a great idea! What did we do before disposable containers like that? Your meals look delicious!

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  2. I life the disposable bake ware suggestion... the only other thing I would add is always be sure to call and schedule a good drop off time, you never know when mom and baby are trying to get some much needed rest, so make sure that you are working your drop off as much as possible around their new hectic schedule!

  3. Yes, good call. I'd add that it doesn't hurt to touch base and see what has already been brought over to the new parents before your meal. I had a friend who was given three different enchilada meals in a three-day span...wowza! (And I hope everyone listens to your tip on bringing something sweet...nothing better to end a long day than with something sweet that you didn't have to bake!)

  4. All good suggestions. If you find yourself without said disposable bakeware, at least take the meal in something other than what you cooked it in. It's a lot easier for them to clean something when the food has only been transported in it and then you can clean the crusty baked-on pan :)

    Also, if you wanted to make your post tomorrow (or some other day) about how fajitas-a-la-Katie are done, that would totally be awesome! I've thought about making fajitas before, but it kind of intimidates me. I'd love to know how you do it! :)

  5. I think it is so great that you mentioned disposable bakeware. When my nephew died people graciously brought my sister meals for weeks. But those dishes sat and sat and then no one could remember who they belonged to. It was an overwhelming situation that could have been avoided. This is a wonderful tip - especially for people who are grieving. I would also add - drop the food and run, unless you know they want you to stay.

  6. We had several people bring meals earlier in the day (working with our schedule, like Elle said above), which was probably challenging for them because they couldn't bring it piping hot and ready to eat. So they prepared the dish (in disposable pans!) and brought it to us uncooked, with a cute little note of instructions for baking. I liked that - I was blessed by someone else's hard work, but also felt mildly productive in turning on the oven and cooking dinner. =)