New Mama Meals- The Do’s And Don’ts
I am less than 3 weeks away from having a baby, and so we are in full-blown baby prep mode! I have been really blessed to be surrounded by family and friends that have helped in many ways as we get ready to welcome this little one! From personal experience, I can say that one of the most helpful things for new mamas is meals for after the baby! Adjusting to a new baby in your home is always a learning curve, and not having to worry about meals for your family is a huge stress reliever. And while I am always grateful for the meals we receive, as a giver and receiver of many new mama meals, I’ve learned some things that just make it easier!
*Provide disposable dishes/utensils! I usually have these on hand in my own home, but you never know what new mamas have, and time and energy to do dishes is not one of them ;). Sending your meal with a few paper plates and plastic forks will be definitely be appreciated- it just minimizes the mess even more!
*And speaking of dishes, as much as you can, try to send the food in dishes that don’t need to be returned. It can get really stressful as a new mama trying to keep track of several different pans and dishes and remembering what needs to go back to whom. But sending dinner in disposable pans and containers will help remove that stress from mama ;). And then you don’t have to stress about getting your nice pans back!
*Think bland. Sometimes we’re tempted to try our fanciest recipes when taking meals to people because we want to show off our skills ;). But when it comes to new babies, simple is best. For me personally, I usually can’t eat things with onions, broccoli, or anything that’s super spicy without my baby’s tummy getting fussy. When planning on what to take to a new mama, think of foods that are not heavy in spices, and avoid foods that can cause upset tummies for babies (you can always ask the new mama if there is anything in particular you can avoid, because each baby is so different!). Maybe this is TMI, but a good rule of thumb- if it causes gas in adults (e.g. broccoli, beans), it will probably cause issues for baby too ;).
*Stick with a time. Ask the new mama when you can bring the food (you want to make sure Daddy gets to enjoy a hot meal too!), and then stick with that time as best you can. Especially if new mama is also dealing with toddlers who might be getting hungry and impatient ;).
*And speaking of time, don’t forget to ask which day would be most helpful. If new mama is going to have hubby home for a few days, a hot meal brought in would probably be more beneficial after hubby goes back to work- but not necessarily! Each mama is different on what she needs and what will be most helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask her directly which days a hot meal brought in would be the most helpful.
*Have a meal coordinator! Often, the meals that are brought in have leftovers, so receiving a meal every day might be too much! Having one person who is willing to take charge of scheduling meals can make everything more efficient and can really help new mama get the most out of all the help people are offering :).
*Don’t rule out freezer meals! When my sister had her baby, we stocked her freezer with freezer meals for her baby shower; that way she had meals on hand that required very minimal work, and it was up to her discretion when those meals would be the most helpful! She was able to use those meals for months after the baby- perfect for those days when things are just a little more stressful than you’d like ;).
*Be courteous when dropping off the meal- as much as you might want to see the new baby and chat with mama, you want to make sure their family can eat while the food is warm. And I’ll be honest- when it comes to my new babies, I become a big-time germaphobe, and I prefer as little visitors as possible! Each mama is different, and she may be wanting some adult conversation, but maybe schedule a different time to come by and visit- that way you’ll know if she’s up to company or not, and she can enjoy heating a hot meal with her family :).
Do you guys have any tips for bringing meals to new mamas? Whether you’ve been on the giving end, the receiving end, or both? I’d love to hear them!
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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