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Ideas and recipes for great foods to take to a new mom! Plus, other ways to pamper and help her.
I love taking food to a new mom. It’s such a sweet way to love on her and her family. It brings nourishment, strength and comfort.
Over the years, I’ve been loved on in these ways and had a chance to dote on new moms quite a bit. It always feels so important. Not only are you meeting a brand new baby, but you’re seeing your family, your friend, your neighbor in a whole new role. A whole new light.
In some ways, you can’t go wrong. Any effort is appreciated, any visit, any food, any help is more than welcome. But I think there are some best practices to be had.
Settle in, cause I’m giving you the full run-down.
Things to consider, food-wise.
* Take snacks, too, not just full meals. New moms don’t always have the time or energy to sit down for a whole dinner. They may want to munch on something and get back to nursing or resting or – gasp! – sleeping, if that’s an option. Sometimes it’s easier to have quick and easy low-maintenance snacks.
* One-handed foods are gonna be a hit. I had me some clingy, clingy babies. Both just wanted to be held and rocked and held and rocked (and fed, fed, fed) all hours of the day and night. Take foods that can be managed easily while holding an infant.
* There’s more to food than just dinner. I loved having dinner meals delivered – what a huge time-saver for a new mom. But don’t forget about breakfast, lunch and daytime snacks, too. Moms have to eat around the clock to heal and to keep their energy up to care for those precious babies. And during the day, dad may not be around to help, so foods for all hours are welcome.
* While it’s thoughtful to make a whole huge casserole for a new mom, it’s even more thoughtful to go ahead and prep part of it for the freezer, so she doesn’t have to. Make your meal, portion out a couple of servings to eat now and pack up (and label!) the rest for her freezer, so it’s ready to go.
* Send healthy, wholesome foods. New moms are often anxious to eat a bit lighter, since they have just shed a whole lotta baby, but they also desperately need good nutrition and plenty of energy to take good care of themselves – and their new baby (particularly if they are nursing). Make the nutrients count with real foods, not processed junk.
* Label everything. Also write out any notes (heating instructions, freezer instructions, etc) on a piece of paper so she can reference it later that day/week. Her head will be too full to remember the details that you spout at her during your visit.
So, now that we’ve covered those basics, what to take? What fits the bill? Here are some of my favorites to make and take to hungry mamas:
* Granola – 5 ingredients and oh so tasty. Great on yogurt, with a parfait or just by the handful.
* Farro and veggie salad – light but flavorful and veggie-packed.
* Regular or pesto chicken salad – good on a fork, cracker or sandwich/wrap. I devoured some chicken salad after M was born.
* Hummus with veggies and crackers – a wholesome and versatile snack. Always a fave.
* Soup. Pick your type depending on the season. But soup is good. Oh so good. Throw in some bread or crackers while you’re at it. Yum, yum.
* Oatmeal chocolate chip muffins – they taste amazingly indulgent but are packed with goodness. They can be eaten for breakfast, snack, dessert or in the middle of the night, when mom will surely be up for a feeding.
I also like to take some foods that are prepped for the freezer and meant to be eaten later. It’s kind-of like a reminder of your visit down the road.
* Egg McMuffin sandwiches – you can make one in 5 minutes or do up a whole batch. She can pull it out on a crazy morning and be in breakfast heaven.
* Blueberry yogurt bread – any kind of breakfast/snack bread will do. They freeze great and are such a homemade, comforting treat.
* Veggie or black bean burgers – Full of veggies and goodness. Great for lunch (on a sandwich round, crumbled over a salad or in a wrap) or dinner (burger bun and sides), these are wonderful to be able to pull out of the freezer.
* White turkey chili – Chili of course is a great freezer food. This version is lightened up but plenty hearty so she’ll feel good about diving in for seconds. And maybe thirds.
* Your favorite casserole – As mentioned, casseroles are great comfort foods and can really hit the spot. Go for one that doesn’t feature a lot of processed ingredients. And be sure to portion it out (some for now, some for the freezer) or package it properly so she doesn’t have to worry about it later.
1. Fresh flowers – She may not be getting out much, so bringing some brightness indoors is a welcome thing. Can’t have enough those early days. They are great in the kitchen, in the bedroom, wherever she nurses the baby and even in her bathroom (cause she’ll be there a lot, too).
2. Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, blueberries) – there were days where I would have killed for someone to bring me fresh fruit from the store because we were all out. Which leads us to…
3. Ask if there’s anything you can pick up at the store. Maybe they are desperately low on paper towels or toilet paper. Offer your delivery services as part of your trip to the house. Even if they don’t need a thing, it’s a super thoughtful gesture.
And finally, here are some other wonderful ways to love on a new mom:
* Ask what she needs. Is she craving the adult conversation during your visit or is it one of those days where she just wants a few minutes to lie down/shower/have a moment while you watch the baby?
* If you are a close friend or family member, ask if there is anything you can clean. Organize? How about laundry? Dishes? She will be forever in your debt.
* Would she like you to take an older child or children outside to play for a bit? Or does she want you to take the baby so mom can have time with an older child?
* Can you walk the dog? OR
* Can you two put the baby in a stroller and go for a walk together? Fresh air is good and light exercise is good, if it’s OK with her provider. If she’s up for this, ask if she wants you to push the stroller. She might want to be hands off for a bit and not have to huff it — or she might want to gaze at that baby the whole time.
I hope those are some helpful recipes and other tips on visiting a new mom. It’s an amazing time and an amazing thing to witness and share in!
**What were your favorite foods to receive as a new mom? What else would you add to this list?