Having a baby is hard work! Here are some great meals to take to the new mom in your life or to stock in your own freezer before your new bundle of joy debuts!
It seems totally surreal, but in just a few short weeks I will be welcoming my third baby into this world. And like any good food obsessed person, my mind turns just as often to thoughts of food as it does to cute little newborn sized onesies.
When both of my girls were born, I was seriously blessed by the amount of help that we received. With my eldest, we were living in Kansas City, and my mom drove down and stayed with us for 2 full weeks and helped us wash clothes, figure out which bottle parts went where, and helped make sure we were all fed, bathed, and as rested as we could be. It was SUCH a blessing! When my second daughter was born, circumstances were a little different. We were living in West Virginia, and my husband was in the middle of residency - he couldn't really take a lot of time off, and we didn't have any family near by to help out. But what we did have was a fantastic MOPS group and a great church who really stepped up and took care of us. Between the two groups, we were supplied with dinner for almost 3 solid weeks. And when you are a new mom with a toddler at home, a husband who works literally 90 hours a week, and no family to lean on - this was a miracle for us.
For me, food is a love language. A great meal, especially one homemade by someone with kindness in their heart, is better than any bouquet of flowers, any box of chocolates, or any present that can be bought. Since my girls' births, I have vowed that whenever possible I will supply any new mom I know (even if I only know her casually) with a meal. Because I KNOW how wonderful and how important it truly is. I truly try to repay the kindness that was shown to me and bless a new mom (and her growing family) with a good meal that will last for a few days.
Stock Your Freezer - Awesome Freezer Meals
Stocking your freezer with meals ahead of time is like - WHOA - such a good idea! Every time I open my freezer I kind of cry because there is literally no room in there. Why do I have 4 bags of frozen peas anyway? There is literally nothing better than having a freezer full of meals you can plop straight into the oven. These meals are great not only for when you are super tired, super busy, and super in need of a shower, but also when you are re-learning to live life with a newborn baby cradled in your arms.
Sausage and Kale Puff Pastry Pockets - Vintage Kitty
Looove these easy to eat with one hand savory pies! What makes them even more awesome is that you can bake them from frozen, so you can literally have one any time of the day. Or... multiple times a day!
Freezer Friendly Oven Baked Ziti - Build Your Bite
This awesome meal is perfect for the freezer! This recipe is meat-free, but you could totally add some ground beef or ground pork in the sauce!
Freezer Breakfast Tacos - Nourish Nutrition Blog
These freezer breakfast tacos are sooo perfect for when you need a breakfast, lunch, or a midnight nursing snack. Easy to heat and eat with only one hand, but yet so great! Add some beans and cheese before you freeze them for extra protein, too!
Easy Chicken Parmesan Wraps - Two Healthy Kitchens
Your freezer needs these wraps - stat. They take a mere 15 minutes to make, and you can totally reheat and eat with one hand at a moment's notice.
Meals to Take A New Mom
People ask me all the time what kinds of gifts they should bring a new mom. And while a fantastic baby carrier, that cute item off their registry, or all the nipple cream in the world are totally excellent choices, NOTHING beats a homemade meal they don't have to make. Nothing.
Whether you bring it over completely ready to eat at dinner, or you bring it over ready to pop into the oven - food is seriously the best gift you can give a new mama.
When bringing a meal to a new mom, please remember the following:
- meals should be easy to eat with one hand while sitting on the couch. Asking us to put on pants is hard enough, but asking us to put down that squishy new baby and sit at the table to eat soup is just ridiculous.
- meals should not be "gassy" foods. Let me remind you that everything single organ inside our body is now moving back to its original location after having a 6-10 pound human being inside us for the last several months, which we just squeezed out of our vaginas (OR had cut out of us). Please have mercy. We are already bloated, gassy, and and feeling kind of gross with our weird new post-baby bodies. Lets leave the spicy, fatty, oily fried foods for later, ok?
Easy Chicken Scalloped Potatoes - Prepare and Nourish
This is the ultimate comfort food to bring to a new mom! Creamy, classic, and soooo delicious! Add an easy side salad for a complete meal.
7 Layer Black Bean Dip - The Rising Spoon
Meals are awesome to get after having a baby, but so are other foods you can eat any time! This easy 7 layer dip is packed with great nutrition and would be perfect for snacking on all day long! Serve these with fresh veggies and tortilla chips!
One Pot Beef Stroganoff with Sautéed Mushrooms and Egg Noodles - Feast in Thyme
This simple meal is so easy to throw together, plus leftovers re-heat like a charm!
Enchilada Quinoa Casserole - My Kitchen Love
Pretty much anything "tex-mex" is a win in my book. This easy one pot meal is easy to throw together (you could even make a double batch and feed your own family at the same time!) plus I love that it is loaded with protein from the quinoa and black beans! Add some meat if you choose, or let it be vegetarian. Don't forget to supply the new mama with all the fixin's to go along with this!
Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes - Pass Me Some Tasty
I mean, in all reality sitting on the couch with a big bowl of creamy pasta is exactly what I want to do any day of the week. And especially after having a new baby. This dish is a dream come true for a new mom! Easy to enjoy whether you are at the table or on the couch, and if you are eating with two hands or with one has you get baby snuggles in. Bring a salad and some bread to go along with it! Plus, it takes only about 30 minutes of time to make!
Snacks for a New Mom
Snacks are awesome for a new mom! Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything, and sometimes sitting down for a meal is hard. Or sometimes you just NEED something to eat in the middle of the night. It totally happens. Bringing some easy to grab snacks for a new mom to have on hand is genius and will be so appreciated!
- Yogurt cups
- Muffins like these decadent yet healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins would be a total hit!
- pre-cut fresh fruit
- Lactation cookies! These homemade cookies are so healthy and so delicious!
- hummus, pretzel crisps and fresh cut veggies
- Apple Turnovers with Honey and Thyme are a great treat to bring over - you can eat them with one hand, plus they easily do multiple duty as breakfast, dessert, or snack.