After having two children of my own, I have learned that it is very difficult to cook dinner with a newborn in the house. A lot of new babies have a witching hour that generally occurs late afternoon, making it very difficult to chop vegetables and cook a healthy meal for your family. Throw a hungry toddler in the mix and you have a recipe disaster and a highly stressed mom. One less meal to worry about is one of the best ways to help a new mom.
One thing I like to do before we decide on a menu for the family is to see if there is any food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, allergies, etc).
Other things I like to keep in mind when planning and delivering the meal:
1) Pick food that is really easy to reheat or is already hot. There is nothing worse than someone bringing over a frozen entree at 5:30 pm that needs an hour in the oven and you are STARVING, but you don’t have food in the house because you we SO looking forward to not cooking tonight.
2) Bring enough for leftovers the next day. There is nothing worse when you are breastfeeding and sleep deprived than looking at your meal and thinking, “Where is the rest of it?” Giving her too much is way better than not enough.
3) Bring a little something for the baby. The parents will really appreciate you bringing a book, toy, bib, blanket, or really anything for their little one. It doesn’t have to be big, complicated, or expensive. They will love anything you get them.
4) Bring dessert…any dessert. Who has time to make dessert when you barely have time to take a shower? It can be store bought or homemade, it really doesn’t matter. She will think anything tastes awesome because she didn’t have to make it.
5) Deliver it in containers you don’t want back (BONUS: bring her paper plates and utensils, too). She doesn’t need one more thing to worry about. Cleaning up after the meal and trying to figure out how to give dishes back to you is the last thing she needs right now. Make this whole experience really easy for her.
Here is what my meal looked like:
Vegetarian Quiche (I brought it cold, but it only takes a couple minutes to heat in the oven or seconds in the microwave)
Strawberry and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad (dressing on the side to not make it soggy) I like to put things in individual containers, just in case someone doesn’t like an ingredient you bring them. This is especially important when the family has toddlers in the house.
Fresh Crusty Bread
Chocolate brownies (Trader Joe’s Truffle Baking Mix)
Little Blue Truck board book for their new baby (from Amazon)