I think that any new mom will agree that in those first few days after bringing home a new baby, cooking is the last thing on your mind. I know it was for me! Luckily, my mom flew in the night I came home from the hospital with Jack, and we had delicious, home-cooked meals for over a week. And after she left, our ward from church arranged a few meals as well.
1) Bring disposable dishes
and make it easy to clean up. Trust me, the last thing a new mom wants to do is clean a bunch of dishes, or worry about returning a dish. Making the meal in disposable containers makes life easier for everyone, including you! How many of you have brought a meal somewhere in a non-disposable container, and never got it back? I sure have!
Whenever I know I’m going to be making someone a meal, I head over to the Dollar Tree, or even our local Smith’s, and pick up one of the inexpensive, aluminum dishes available. These are perfect for taking to people, and easy to throw away. If you feel so inclined, include some paper plates and plastic utensils.
2) Ask About Allergies/Sensitivites
Along the same things, be careful about what you put in the meals, especially if you know the mother is breastfeeding. Just yesterday I read this article about 17 foods that breastfeeding mothers should avoid. While you don’t have to super strict about this, especially if the mom didn’t mention anything about it, it is good to be aware of these foods. Perhaps making your five-alarm spicy chicken covered in cheese wouldn’t be the best idea.
3) Oh, and Preferences
4) Team Up
Chances are, your friend who had a baby and you probably have a similar social circle. So why not team up with others? It makes it easier to prepare a meal if you are only in charge of one part of it. Or even volunteer (with the mom’s permission) to coordinate meals if you know enough of the same people. By doing this, you can also help ensure your friend doesn’t get the exact same meal every night (even though I’m sure the food would still be appreciated!)
5) Avoid Overstaying
It’s always exciting when a friend or family member has a new baby, and of course you want to stay and visit! But be sure to not overstay, or bring to many people. I’m sure I felt more extreme than a lot of people, but I really didn’t feel like visiting with anyone, besides my mom, Forrest, and a few family members, for about two weeks. Those first few weeks were so exhausting and emotional, and I was on the verge of tears for most of them. I appreciated people coming by, but I got overwhelmed after a little while. This may not be the case for everyone, and I don’t think you should just drop-and-run, but watch for cues of when you should leave.
Also, if you can avoid it, try not to bring lots of people with you, especially if they’ve been sick, or around sick people recently. A newborn is so susceptible to picking up illnesses, and it’s just not worth it! Plus, a new mom might get overwhelmed if there is too much noise.
6) Use Kid-Friendly, Fool Proof Recipes
Making dinner for someone really isn’t the time to be experimenting. I say, stick to the recipes you know are good, and that people usually like. Personally, I would avoid using odd ingredients that may or may not be popular among the general population, especially if the person has kids. This doesn’t mean you can’t make something super delicious but isn’t your typical lasagna or enchiladas, but I’d say it is good to err on the side of caution. But, if you know the family you are bringing food to is adventerous in their taste, then go for it!
7) Just Offer
8) Freezer Meals
And just to help you out, I have gathered together some great recipes that would be an excellent choice for taking to a new mother (or anyone!) They are easy to prepare and transport. First, I’ll share some that I’ve posted in the past on Clarks Condensed, and then some from from my favorite food bloggers! If you like this collection, be sure to pin the image at the top of this post…If you like an individual item, please go pin directly from their site.