It’s no secret that one of the greatest gifts you can take new parents is a delicious meal. After I had my first son, my friend set up a “meal train” for our family that lasted 10 weeks! TEN WEEKS of people bringing us goodies every other day, everything from homemade dishes to items from some of our favorite restaurants. It was AMAZING!
I love to cook, but in those first few weeks, it was the last thing on my mind. In fact, eating was one of the last things on my mind. Thank goodness for a vigilant husband and all the snacks people provided us with! Experience is one of the best ways to learn a lesson and in this case it has helped me help so many of my friends who had babies after me.
Today I’ve rounded up a list of four meals to take new parents (and more specifically, mom). I use the term “meal” lightly because not all of these items would be considered a meal but you’ll get the picture! These are excellent choices because most of these you can make multiple servings and the family can either choose to eat again and again that week or freeze.
Freezable sauces are a perfect for new parents! Most will typically last for up to 3 months and beyond taking out of the freezer to thaw and throw some pasta in a pot there is minimal effort to prepare a yummy meal. Consider leaving out a portion of the sauce for the family to eat that night and then put the rest in a freezer-safe container or in ice cube trays for something like pesto! Below are some easy to make sauces that your friend will love AND leave your house smelling amazing (go ahead, take a few tastes)!
Flavorful Spaghetti Sauce from (appropriately) The Busy Mommy
Arugula Pesto Sauce from The Kitchn
This is one of my favorites and is regularly found in our freezer!
Peanut Sauce from She Simmers
Okay, so “chicken” probably reads a little silly but hear me out. When my best friend and I were living together out of college and trying to find our ways in the world we had no clue how to cook and often resorted to spending a lot of money on meals out or on ramen (I cringe remembering those nights). Her mom came to the rescue on more than one occasion with zip lock bags filled with pre-seasoned and cooked chicken breasts or strips that we were able to thaw and eat with salad or a side of veggies or pasta. How fantastic is this idea for new parents?! If you know the family well enough you can spice the chicken to their tastes and be sure to include a few different styles! Again, deliver frozen chicken with a hot version too for the family to eat that night!
These are especially great meals to take new parents during the winter, though we love soup and chili any time of the year! And there are a ton of great summer soup recipes. Either of these options can be packed full of protein and veggies, both of which mom should be getting! Some of my favorite recipes are:
Lentil Chili from Little Broken
Roasted Tomato Soup from Gluten Free Goddess
Lasagna Soup from Skinny Taste
The Goodie Basket
I wish I could take credit for this but I can’t. Instead, this was an item that I received from a friend right after I had my son and I just think it’s so genius. She knew we were receiving full meals every other day and so she brought over a basket of SNACKS that I could easily grab throughout the day that were healthy. Another great idea is a breakfast basket because, again, most people provide meals for dinner. Bonus, your friend gets a cute basket and you can even throw in a little something for baby!
Items to include:
- Homemade Egg Muffins
- Overnight Oats in a Jar
- Cheese cubes/String Cheese
- Fresh Fruit
- Chopped veggies with hummus
- Sliced Turkey
- Granola/Protein Bars
- Bottles of Infused water or Juice
For more ideas on items to throw in the basket check out my lactation snacks post.
Hopefully you can use some of these ideas the next time you’re wondering what you should take new parents. (Or make ahead for yourself!) Honestly, momma’s going to appreciate anything you take her. Even, maybe, a cupcake and a glass of wine.