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Things to bring a new mommy? [Moved from Home Cooking]

Are there traditional things that a new mom is supposed to eat? I don't know anything about babies, but perhaps there are certain nutrients (calcium? protein?) that a new mother needs.

I ask because I'm making a few things to include in a gift basket for a new mother, but am not sure what to include. I know pregnant women typically shouldn't eat too much sugar (danger of prenatal diabetes, right?), but what about afterwards?

For some reason my gut tells me to stay away from full entree type things like casseroles for the freezer (which is what I would do for a relative or close friend). I don't know her or her tastes well enough to bring her entire meals. Somehow it feels like imposing my tastes on her. A basket of goodies seems more appropriate.

I'm also not sure about making something for the baby since she's probably breastfeeding now.

How does this sound for a basket (bearing in mind that the husband can eat everything if for some reason the mom can't):

-mini muffins of something healthy, like oatmeal blueberry or raisin bran.
-chocolate chip cookies (just because I make a mean chocolate chip cookie)
-a jar of oven-dried cherry tomatoes soaked in chili, garlic, and olive oil. Good for dipping bread, or for when they start cooking again (or maybe preserves since it's summer?)
-baby clothes from the couple's alma mater (they met in college)
-a pair of cigars for New Dad.

I'm so lost and open to suggestions it's not even funny. What did you want to eat when you (or your partner) had a baby?

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  1. That sounds great! Fresh fruit (maybe instead of the muffins) would be a nice addition.

    P.S. I'm not sure about the chili & garlic added to the dried cherry tomatoes. Depending on the baby, nursing after having eaten spicy or gas-producing foods can mean the baby is up all night (at least that was the case with with one of mine who had acid reflux.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Funwithfood

      Good point. My aunt ate all kinds of spicy food through and after her pregnancy, but even she knew she was unusual in that aspect. Better safe than sorry.

      I wish I could jar some pesto or other easy sauce that they can just pour over pasta. How could I jar it in a way that would stay green for awhile, in case they don't get to it for a week or two? Or, probably easier, how to jar some homemade tomato sauce so it'll keep in the fridge for a month or so?

      Dad only smokes away from children under the most celebratory occassions, so we thought it'd be fun. Maybe chocolate cigars instead...

      1. re: Pei

        Blanche the basil first and then shock in ice water, heard that keeps the basil a bright green. Also the fresher the better....

    2. Does Dad smoke? In any case he shouldn't do so around baby :)

      Otherwise, those sound like great suggestions. When you're breastfeeding you get pretty hungry, and those seem like nice indulgences. And even if baby isn't breastfeeding, he/she isn't eating food, so don't worry about that.

      And people may say that she shouldn't eat spicy food because the baby will be up all night. I personally think all of that is kind of silly and I breastfed two kids, but what really matters is, does the *mother* seem like someone who would obsess about such things? If so, don't do spicy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DGresh

        "And people may say that she shouldn't eat spicy food because the baby will be up all night. I personally think all of that is kind of silly and I breastfed two kids, but what really matters is, does the *mother* seem like someone who would obsess about such things? If so, don't do spicy."

        In response:
        Just because *you* haven't been up all night with a baby with digestive problems, doesn't mean they don't exist, geez! Believe me, there is nothing "silly" or "obsessive" about this problem! (I breast-fed two children also, for 1 year each.)

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. From what I hear, the best thing you can give a new mom is.. time. So they value any prepared food that can be re-heated in no time. If you think you're super imposing your tastes, maybe get something like gift certificates to HomeBistro.com so the new Mom can chose herself?

          1. I would ask the mom if they are avoiding any foods. Now the current advice is: don't worry about it, except for nuts and if you have a strong history of allergies, other allergens. I always ate garlic, spicy food, etc. and the only thing my baby ever had reaction to was dairy (but that is rare).

            How about something to drink, even a great water or juice? You are SOOOO thirsty when breastfeeding. Also, I needed things for lunch that took NO prep time, and small snacks. High fiber items are good, but I won't go into why :). Nice breads are good for quick meals/snacks? Sauces are great as you suggested.