Bringing a new baby home creates an upheaval in a household schedule. A new mom who is spending hours feeding, changing and soothing a newborn has little time for meal planning and preparation. Bringing a meal to a family with a new baby is both thoughtful and practical.
Contact the family and let them know you wish to bring them a meal. Ask them what time they usually eat dinner and whether they have food preferences or allergies. If possible, ask whether they would enjoy what you are planning to bring, because they may have just eaten it the night before or do not care for it. If there are other children in the home, make sure they will enjoy the meal as well. Because grandparents or other helpers may be visiting for the first couple weeks, ask how many people will be eating.
Make the meal as easy as possible for the couple to prepare. Casseroles are easy because they only need to be placed in an oven. Write the cooking instructions on the lid. Making casseroles in a disposable baking dish will ease cleanup and keep the couple from having to return your dish. Zip-top bags and disposable plastic containers are useful for food items like shredded cheese or diced vegetables. Make meals complete. If you are providing a casserole, also bring a loaf of bread, a salad and a bottle of dressing. If you are bringing tacos, include all the garnishes as well as a tub of guacamole or pico de gallo and a bag of tortilla chips. A dessert of cookies or brownies as well as beverages adds a nice touch. Bringing a frozen meal for the couple to enjoy over the next few weeks is another option and may work if cooking is difficult to fit into your schedule.
It is still possible to bring a meal to someone with a newborn even if you are busy. Many supermarkets have delis that sell prepared meals, including macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and rotisserie chicken. They also sell both hot side dishes like green beans and mashed potatoes as well as cold sides like potato salad and coleslaw.
Ordering pizza or Chinese takeout is another way to provide a meal to a family with a new baby. Ask the family if they have a preference, and simply call the restaurant, place the order and pay with a credit card. Ordering enough food for leftovers will help with next-day lunches. Do not forget beverages or dessert and be sure to include a tip for the delivery driver.
- Photo Credit Lasagna in baking dish image by kuhar from Fotolia.com