I’m in a season of life right now where every time I turn around, another friend or neighbor has had a new baby. As everyone adjusts to the new family member, thinking about — let alone preparing — food can be downright overwhelming. So do these good people a solid and feed them! They will love you for it.
But wait! I don’t cook or I have no time to cook for myself, let alone some other people. Have no fear!
1) Send them a ready-to-heat-and-eat meal from a local service like The Real Good Life.
2) Get in touch with the new mom and ask what she needs in the way of groceries. Even if she says, “Oh, nothing,” go to Trader Joe’s and pick up some pre-cut fruit and ready-to-cook veggies as well as vacuumed sealed fridge staples or freezer meals. They have a wide variety of tasty, healthy, and quick things to heat and serve that will make life easier for a family working overtime.
3) At the very least, in a total pinch, bring a Jimmy Johns gift card. They will deliver a freaky fast lunch to her home on a day when food is so far off her radar that a box of dog biscuits might have been her only other option.
I’d love to cook for a friend in need! What should I bring?
Make something that you like to make and that your family likes to eat too. I send a text that asks, “Is there anything your family is allergic to or any foods that I should avoid? Does Mexican or French sound better to you?” I pick cuisines for which a have a particular dish or two in mind. If you have one signature dish that fits the family’s dietary needs, then don’t offer a choice. Make what tastes good to you!
Pro-Tip: Buy disposable or reusable containers to put the meal into and stress that you don’t want them back. The last thing a preoccupied mama wants to deal with is washing and returning your dishes.
Still need ideas?
1) I love to bring a quiche or two with the makings for a side salad and maybe a dessert. Quiche is a reliable choice because they are easy to make, freezable, fit into any mealtime, and are delicious eaten hot, cold, or room temperature. Let’s be real here: it’s going to be a good long time until the new mother is going to eat her food at a normal temperature. Spoiler alert: I use store-bought crust to make it simple and fast!
2) Bring the taco bar! After I had my second child, a friend brought taco meat (both beef and shredded chicken — totally overboard and yummy), hard and soft shells, and every possible fixin’ a taco could want. Sheer heaven.
3) Chicken Marsala. My favorite recipe for this is here. I bring a bag of ready to steam broccoli or green beans and (don’t judge me) a bag of Idahoan instant mashed potatoes. All the family needs to do it heat the veggies and chicken, and boil water to pour over the potatoes. It’s a great dinner. I swear by those darn potatoes.
Of course, there are many other scenarios in which a friend might need a meal from you, too, like bereavement, a difficult family moment, or a tricky medical situation. We all need to eat, so I hope these ideas have you ready to be the hero!