Meals for New Parents

In the past year, I have delivered A LOT of meals to new parents.

Maybe it’s something about being in my 20’s, or being part of a young, growing church with lots of families. Add to that the fact that I teach childbirth classes, and it’s easy to see why I’ve been delivering so many meals. I think bringing food to new parents (not to mention sick friends/family or shut-ins) is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them- aside from maybe doing their laundry or letting them sleep.
In my opinion, the toughest part of delivering meals is knowing what to bring. No one wants to bring them something they don’t like and won’t end up eating- that’s wasted effort and wasted food. This post is meant to give you some pointers so you won’t make that mistake (even though they probably won’t ever tell you if you do).
The first thing to do- just ask them what they like! You are doing something sweet for them, so don’t feel like you are bothering them by asking about their preferences. If you are worried about disturbing them in the first few days, plan ahead and ask before the baby comes so you can be prepared. Ask about any dietary restrictions, allergies, and general food preferences. If mom is breastfeeding, don’t forget to ask if she is cutting anything out of her diet or if she has any specific cravings.
 Now comes the fun part- deciding what to bring. I like to do things a little differently (surprise, surprise) and try to be creative with the meals I bring. Here are some meal ideas I’ve enjoyed giving and receiving.
This is the typical meal you’ll be dropping off.  I like to bring a main dish, side item and a treat for dessert. Try one of these menus:
 Snacks and Breakfast Items.
Any parent knows that the first few weeks with a newborn can be crazy, and you often don’t get to sit down to an actual meal. I love to bring along snack items so that the parents have something quick and healthy to grab if they don’t have time to eat a sit-down dinner.
Freezer meals.
If you are staying with the new parents, or if they are receiving lots of meals and help, a freezer meal might be the way to go. This can be done in advance of the baby and dropped off before or after birth. This is also ideal if you want to help out but you’ll be busy or traveling around the estimated due date. Check out my post on freezer meals for tons of meal ideas and tips.
Their favorite take-out.
If you’re really short on time and can’t make anything, ask them what their favorite take-out meal is and deliver that to their door. This will typically satisfy a craving they’ve been having (for the food or for contact with the outside world). There is certainly no shame in going this route- they probably won’t be going out to their favorite spots for a little while, so you can provide them with a little date night at home.
My final and most important tip- don’t stress about delivering meals! The parents will be so appreciative that the exact meal that you bring is not really a big deal. Enjoy the time you get to spend with them and cherish those newborn snuggles!
Time for you to share! What are your favorite meals to take to new parents? Moms and dads who’ve been there before, what meals did you enjoy receiving most? Can’t wait to hear your ideas.
3 Responses to “Meals for New Parents”
  1. Jena says:

    Chicken pot pie (especially the recipe from Annie’s Eats with double veggies) in the winter, enchiladas in the summer. Soups and chili in cooler weather, too.

  2. Mary Jane Zobel says:

    Do you know of any online schedule programs that we could use to provide meals to families that need a week of meals and the volunteers could go online and sign into the secure site, look up which days are already covered and sign up for a day they don’t have any meals being delivered?

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