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feeding a new mother...

i know i've seen threads about this before, but i can't seem to find any of them. i apologize if i'm rehashing an oft covered topic.

a friend of mine just gave birth to her first child the other day. it was a rather difficult birth, and the new mommy is gonna be tired and drugged up for awhile. i want to make a few meals for the new family, that can easily be reheated and eaten at least twice. meals that might replenish a spent body and help make healthy milk for the little one. the daddy is no cook, believe me.

so here are my ideas so far:

shepherd's pie
quiches, frittatas, and the like
roast meats that can turn into sandwiches
a trial bowl of korean miyok guk, or wakame soup, traditional for new mothers. but potentially she might think of it as a slimy bowl of ick. healthy, though! my sister was forced to eat vats of it when our mother visited her after she had my niece. my poor mother simmered bones for hours to make this soup, but unfortunately, my sister just doesn't like the taste. too bad i don't live in texas, since i would've eaten it all...anyways, back on track:

ok so i'm at a loss. a lot of these ideas are heavy, rich, and quite fatty. i just want to make a few healthy but substantial meals until the new mommy recovers enough, but i'm short on ideas. i think i will make the shepherd's pie, though...and i made a lovely julia child quiche recipe tonight...but that came out of the oven with a film of shimmering fat.

any ideas? again, sorry if this has been gone through before. maybe i don't know what to search for. weather-wise, it's currently very warm here in san francisco but that could change tomorrow.

any new moms out there? what would you have wanted me to make for you?


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  1. What about something like a pasta salad? It seems like most peole bring heavy things that can be eaten for dinner, but something lighter like that might be a welcome change. I just made one with tomatoes, arugala and feta cheese. Maybe not the best combo for her right now, but there's plenty of ways you could take it and still keep it healthy. It could be eaten cold or room temp, and if she's just looking for something quick and light, it would be a good option.

    1. Augustiner, it's kind of you to offer food to the family. Your ideas are good ones that would be welcomed by any mom, new or not. In addition, I would recommend preparing/purchasing some items that: 1) are not messy to eat and 2) can be eaten with one hand - baked empanadas, for instance. New moms are often very thirsty if breastfeeding so lots of healthy drinks are always appreciated. You might also make some items that can be frozen - soups, stews, spaghetti sauces, etc. - for later when mom is still too pooped to cook but doesn't have all that "new baby goodwill" around her. Finally, I always suggest putting in some cookies/other baking that mom can serve to visitors, as she will not have time to worry about that herself.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodiemommy

        Your ideas sound wonderful. I second foodiemommy's suggestions, anything easy to eat while breastfeeding is a definite hit. Baked empanadas are a great idea since they pack a lot of nutrition in warm doughy goodness :) I'd also suggest (since the weather here is definitely Fall) soups that can be sipped out of a mug - butternut squash or roasted tomato for instance.

        For the lastest new arrivals (twins) I brought the parents a banana bread, muffins, brownies, hummus and veggies. That way they had snacks for themselves and something to put out for guests. My youngest is now two so it's been awhile but I remember being grateful there was a quiche in the fridge I could reheat in a minute between what seemed like continuous feedings (for the first month or so anyway) and a wonderful spinach dip that came with crackers and a mini pumpernickel - came in handy when company came by unexpectedly. :)

      2. I think pretty substantial food can taste good after such hard physical work as giving birth, so lasagna and things like you've suggested are great. YOu could also do some ziploc freezer bags of things like homemade chicken soup, pasta sauce. Fruits and veggies would be great, too, as it's easy to forget to eat healthy foods when you are immersed in new-baby world. A box of mixed fruit, some homemade applesauce, peaches and greek yogurt.....

        1. High protein.... Egg salad, humus, quiche, avocado salads or guacamole, things you can eat on anythjing (dip it, spread it, eat it straight)
          Nothing too spicy or gassy....(eg no raw broccoli or cabbage)
          Nuts... I was eating walnuts and almonds constantly!
          The pre-made guac from trader joes was great!

          If she's still taking percocet (paid meds) , those pills do a number on your intestinal track... high fiber foods are really important!

          1. A big batch of fruit salad might be nice, that way she can grab a few scoops as a healthy snack. I have been told nursing makes you thirsty, so juicy watermelon etc in the salad would be a welcome addition I bet.

            1. ask her what she wants. Seriously. different moms want different things. The best thing someone brought me was a wonderful loaf of crusty bread, hummus, and all the soft cheeses I was not supposed to eat while pregnant.

              I'd have my husband spread goodies on a piece of bread, and I could eat it while nursing the babe, plus it was easy to grab a bit whenever i had a moment.

              1. This is a great question and we all admire you for your kindness. Definitely ask her or her husband what kind of food she likes. From my experiences, I know when my sister in law had my niece, people brought them a lot of baked pasta dishes. While this did the trick, they could have probably used some more veggies or something. How about a lasagna or something with tons of veggies?

                I also thought others had great ideas like cookies and little extras for them to serve to guests. Or soups are always nice too. Good luck!

                1. It is very kind of you to bring food to the new family! I am sure that they will all appreciate such a thoughtful gesture.
                  In my experience, lots of people offer food in the first few weeks whilst the baby sleeps alll day and alll night, and then the food stops coming round...right around the time that the baby "wakes up" and you could really use a ready cooked meal. I really appreciated the people who waited a month or so before bringing food to us after the births of my two children (or, brought things that could be popped into the freezer to be eaten at a later date). Just a thought that I wanted to throw out there.

                  Also, someone brought us some croissants, homemade bread, sandwich meats, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, gourmet cheeses, and nice mustard spreads. It was a great idea, as a lot of times as a new mum you only have one hand to eat; a sandwich was easy grub during the endless hours spent nursing a newborn while sitting on the couch.

                  1. these are all very helpful, thanks for all the suggestions. i'll report back in a few weeks.

                    1. I'm a Texas girl so that colors my tastes, obviously. Some things stand out for me - my mom's homemade chili (very very mild) - so versatile. I used it for Frito pies, we put it on tostadas, or just ate a quick bowl of it microwaved with some crackers at 2 in the morning...also fresh homemade bread was great too. Homemade bread and butter can feel like a meal, along with a glass of OJ...

                      I loved it when people brought soup/stewish things that would last a few days in the fridge and could survive the microwave. To me, lasagnas/enchiladas weren't as helpful, though still appreciated.

                      My typical meal I take someone (not necessarily a new mom but in other meal-help circumstances) is mild chili, a pan of cheddar cornbread (ideally still warm from the oven), a six-pack of Dublin Dr. Peppers, and the Hershey's chocolate cake (recipe on back of cocoa can).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MarbleFallsParadise

                        what about the lasagnas and enchiladas did you not find helpful? i'm just curious because you mentioned "soup/stewish things that would last a few days in the fridge and could survive the microwave." i've always thought of lasagna as the perfect food in that sense (while not a soup or stew, granted), although i don't own a microwave and reheat it in the oven.

                        i've decided that the most logical thing to do is just ask the mother what she wants, and she is really blessed in that she has a big network of friends who are all trying to do the same thing i'm trying to do. it's the least i can do as "uncle." this weekend i'm gonna start cooking, and i'll post back . more responses are more than welcome!

                      2. What about a nice jambalaya filled with loads of vegies and chix, shrimp, healthy sausage, etc.

                        Also a nice spaghetti pie, you can get creative and add broccoli, chix, etc. to a mix of spaghetti, an egg, ricotta cheese, parm, garlic, etc. - throw it all in a pie plate, top with sauce and cheese.

                        I also love a great pasta e fagioli - it freezes really well, in fact better the second time and if you add a nice healthy sausage it adds more depth. I love giada's:

                        1. Soups are always good. Vegi, or Chicken Noodle. Casseroles or lasagna. Something that can be reheated easily. Of course healthy snacks as nursing moms are hungry most of the time. Ham w/ augratin potatoes, braised ribs w/ roasted vegis. Breads or muffins. I'm sure anything you bring will be appreciated.