Tips for Making a Meal for a New Family
Over the years we have made quite a few dinners or lunches for new families! When a mom comes home with a new baby or a family adopts a sibling set it can be a really overwhelming time. Below are a couple Tips for Making a Meal for a New Family!
* Disposable or No Return Necessary Dishes – Trust me, a new mom does not want to work it out to return your bowl or casserole dish, so don’t use that fancy one you use to show off or that sentimental one that was passed down from your grandma. I purchase disposable dishes at the 99 cent store. Even better – I look for reusable dishes at garage sales – I often get bowls and casserole dishes for a quarter (even cheaper than the 99 cent store, and it is reusable). I let new mom know she can keep it if she needs it or use it the next time she is making a meal for someone (which will happen eventually right?).
* Set Up A Meal Registry if your new Mama friend does not have one set up already (many free online options available) with others who might want to help out too. A calendar can be emailed out and filled in with allergies and preferences by the parents, and volunteers can fill in what they are bringing on their day. This is an awesome way to make sure new parents are not answering the same question over and over again. It also helps in making sure the new family isn’t having spaghetti every single night; make sure you cook something different than what is already filled in.
* Keep in mind the ages of the new kids or the kids already in the home. Spicy food or unusual food may not be a great idea, the last thing you want is for new mom to have to coax their kiddo to try something foreign to them. I almost always make a fruit salad and maybe peanut butter sandwiches (assuming no allergies) just in case. Fruit salad can easily be stored for breakfast or snack the next day, pb & j is great if everything on the menu is not cool with a picky eater. If they don’t need the emergency peanut butter & jelly they can pop it in the freezer for a lunch on the go!
* Don’t make a spicy meal even if there are no other children, if mom is breast feeding (remember even adoptive parents sometimes attempt breast feeding) it could upset baby’s tummy.
* If not already specified on the meal registry (if there is one), ask what time they prefer a meal dropped off. Text when you are leaving your house. Remember, mom and dad are likely sleep deprived, it’s not even a little bit of a stretch that they totally forgot you are planning to drive by today. You shouldn’t expect them to clean up for you, but they probably want to make sure they have pants on.
* Visit for a bit, but excuse yourself within a few minutes or the very second they look a little overwhelmed that someone is in their home. Remind them that you do not need your dish back (or if you were crazy enough to ignore my first tip, ask them when is best for you to come and pick it up).
* Consider making a dish that is fully cooked but requires easy assembly. A casserole is awesome, but if there is a finicky eater it can be a hassle. Bringing something that is in a couple containers makes it really easy to leave onions / zucchini / sauce / whatever out for kiddos. Key words : EASY assembly – don’t get fancy on new mom!
My ‘go to’ easy and healthy “New Family” meal is chicken soft tacos. Harry loves to marinade and grill organic chicken breast, I make slow cooker black beans, and the rest is even easier! I buy a bag of pre shredded cheese, a bag of whole wheat tortillas, and sour cream (if the family is health conscious like us I will typically get Greek yogurt). Lettuce, onions, and tomatoes from our garden get washed & diced into another container. Everyone can decide what they like on their tacos and if there are left overs it is already in it’s own compartment. Chicken soft tacos can be served hot or cold and go great with a fruit salad. It gives lots of great choices and is really easy.
I am always looking for new ideas! What are you Tips for Making a Meal for a New Family? What is your go to meal to bring to a new family?