Meal Train Ideas
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.
However, I know that’s not always the case for everyone!
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So, that’s where friends come in. If you know someone that is having a baby, why not ask if you can bring a meal in?
Here are a few tips for taking new mom meals.
And, at the end of this post, I have 30+ great recipes to help cut down on the planning process.
If you are a new mom looking for recipes, I highly recommend signing up for the Six Sisters’ Meal Plan service – it’s very affordable and gives you awesome and easy recipes that you can make. If you pair this with a subscription to Shipt, meal planning will be even easier (this would make for a great gift idea for a new mom!).
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!
The Dollar Tree is an AWESOME place to find disposable pans, plastic storage containers, and more.
2) Ask About Allergies/Sensitivites
This is something I highly encourage you to ask anytime you make a meal for someone else.
You never know when someone might suffer from an allergy or sensitivity to a food.
In fact, the last few people that I’ve brought a meal had someone in their family that couldn’t eat a certain food. It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially before you go buy all the ingredients.
Along the same things, be careful about what you put in the meals, especially if you know the mother is breastfeeding. While most breastfeeding mothers don’t need to limit their diet, some DO have dietary restrictions.
3) Oh, and Preferences
When you are asking about allergies, it doesn’t hurt to ask about preferences.
While I’m guessing most new moms will just be grateful to have anyone bring a meal over, some people (or their children. Or husband.) may be very picky.
For instance, one of my sister’s husbands hates cream cheese and sour cream, which would be helpful to know for anyone making them a meal!
It’s generally a good idea to avoid things that are super spicy or bitter.
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!)
A lot of people use MealTrain.com to organize meals.
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 adventurous in their taste, then go for it!
7) Just Offer
Even if you don’t know if someone needs help with meals, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
In my experience, most people won’t ask someone for help, even if they desperately need it. Be the friend who steps up to the plate and offers. It will mean so much to a new mom.
It doesn’t even have to be way in advance either, or right after the baby is born. Maybe a few weeks after the baby is born, you could text the mom in the morning and say you’re bringing dinner over that night, or even a few groceries.
Right after Jack was released from the hospital the second time, a very kind family from our church dropped by bags of groceries for us. It was such a tender mercy.
A few other friends brought me by lunch on the spur of the moment right after Jack was born. It was so kind and unexpected. You don’t have to do something huge and elaborate to be thoughtful, and even if someone rejects your help, it is always worth it to ask.
8) Freezer Meals
Before I had Jack, I made a bunch of freezer meals with some friends. It was so nice to be able to pull a delicious meal from the freezer and have it ready to go in minutes.
So if you have time, you could offer to bring over a freezer meal or two for your friend to store in the freezer.
That way, they can eat it when they really find themselves in a tight spot, or just don’t feel like cooking.
9) Send Meals from Afar
I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of friends and family who don’t live nearby – and I. can’t take them meals when they have babies!
There are a lot of really great ways to send meals from afar though – Ubereats or Door Dash is a great idea. I would search for meal delivery services in the area your friend or family member lives if you want to go this route.
Do you have any tips for taking a new mom dinner, or things you wish people knew? Chime in below!
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. Many of these can be easily frozen and heated later.
First, I’ll share some that I’ve posted in the past on Clarks Condensed, and then some 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.
Originally posted in 2013; updated in 2019.