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food to bring to a new mom

i'm not sure whether to post this here or home cooking?

I need advice on what t bring to my friend who is having a c-section in a few weeks. She already has a toddler and her husband is going to be away for business a few days after delivery so i offered to help her one day. this is tricky too b/c i too have a 3 month old who can become fussy frequently. i mention all this b/c i need to be able to make something really easy. i'm also on a budget since i'm fairly a new mom too.

i was thinking casserole of some sorts but not lasagne. her husband is italian and they eat quite a bit of italian food (not to mention they'll probably laugh at my interpretation of italian cuisine). any suggestions?? both savory and sweet suggestions are welcome. thanks!

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  1. I love tuna casserole and when I made it for a friend who had a baby this summer, it was a big hit.

    Veggie and polenta casserole too.

    Both of these are low-cost and easy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: victoriafoodie

      I second the suggestions for casseroles (such as tuna noodle), or maybe some kind of stew/soup with lots of veggies and maybe pasta or noodles. The suggestion for granola bars is great, or maybe trailmix or something.

      The crockpot is a great idea too, provided she has one. Could be cheap, too.

      When I had a newborn, I couldn't get enough fruit. Maybe a fruit salad?

    2. Perhaps think about something you can make once and serve alot? Think roasts (chicken a turkey, pork {fresh ham}, even a few meatloaves) that spend time in the oven then you can divide into smaller portions to freeze? One oven several dishes, a scalloped potato, a baked rice etc, a prep time (while baby naps) a roast time then, cool down, divide to freeze.

      You can make this a shared once a few weeks event. You both prep, cook and take home shared portions to freeze.

      Think of pre-packed crock pot meals. You can get those crock pot liners, fill them with ingredients, close off with a bag tie and pop into a freezer baggie, freeze, take out to defrost and pop in the crock pot.

      1. What about snacks? If new mom is BFing, she may only get a little time here and there to eat and a variety of snack foods might be great - granola or nutrigrain bars, small bags of chips or pretzels, etc.

        1. There have been numerous threads on this topic, sometimes hard to ferret out using the search function. Here's one to look over. If you type in the search box title: "new mom"
          you'll get more hits.


          There's helpful suggestions for snacks for the nursing mom as well as meals. I agree with casseroles in meal-size portions. Hearty soups, too, like sausage-lentil or minestrone with meat tortellini, mushroom-barley. Someone on one of the threads suggested things that mom can eat with one hand, like a bran muffin or trail mix.

          1. I'm thinking pasta salad with tons of veggies, in a vinaigrette... or a big veggie/bean salad would be good. It can sit in the fridge for a while and be eaten cold.

            Or maybe even a big container of hummus or white bean dip, with crudite and pretzels/crackers/etc.

            If she's stuck in the house and won't be able to run to the market, fresh veggies might be very welcome.

            1 Reply
            1. re: missfunkysoul

              I was also going to suggest pasta salad. Might not be the first thing people think of this time of year, but since it doesn't have to be heated up, it can be eaten quickly. I made one for a new mom last summer that was a big hit--cheese tortellini, smoked salmon, some veggies, etc. Protein, veggies, plus the cheese makes it more of a comfort food.

              Other than that, I'd go big on the soups. Especially something like a beef stew, tomato soup.

            2. I suggest some kind of soup like chicken noodle or veggie, and some good rolls/bread on the side. The reason I say this is because you're watching your friend a few days after having a c-section, and she may not be up to rich foods yet. Remember, a c-section is the equalivalent of major surgery, and it can take a while for them to feel up to heavier meals.

              1. Tomatoes, peppers and onions over rice w/sausage. Cheap, good and the rice is a good stretcher. This can be dished out and nuked as needed.

                Preferably use a fry pay that does NOT have a non-stick coating. You want the brown bits which add flavor.

                1 lg can (32 oz?) of diced tomatoes in their own juice (not in sauce and not seasoned)
                1 med onion - sliced somewhat thin
                1 green bell pepper - sliced about1/3 in, lengthwise
                1 pkg of sausage - I use Eckridge, but it's your call - slice in two, lengthwise
                Worchestershire - or however the heck you spell it
                Salt and pepper
                1 pot of cooked rice

                Heat pan to med. heat. Add cooking oil - your choice. Fry sausage on both sides to put some color on it. It's fine if the casing splits a bit. If needed, add more oil, add onions and peppers and saute until lightly browned with color. (Adding a bit of salt will hasten the process by drawing out the moisture.)

                Add tomatoes with juices. Add a tablespoon or two of Worchestershire along with salt and pepper to taste. Give a good stir to loosed the brown bits on the bottom of the pay.

                Simmer about 30 min., but not so long that all of the liquid evaporates. If this happens, add some water or white wine. Add sausages to reheat. Pour over rice and serve or refrigerate.

                I would suggest the use of about 1/3 c. wine or a pinch of sugar to neutralize some of the acitdity in the tomatoes.

                1. Having been through 2 sections in my lifetime....what a great friend you are!
                  C-sections are major surgeries...
                  Comfort food...good soups, nice casseroles etc.
                  Her body will crave anything healthy if she's breast feeding (or not) in the way of fruit and stay away from beans or vegetables that can create discomfort ie: cabbage or broccoli etc. Anyone who's been through a c-section knows what I'm talking about :).

                  1. Definitely comfort food.

                    And honestly, since you also have a little one, why don't you make it easy on yourself...go to the supermarket and pick up one or two roasted chickens. And then you can make a mac and cheese w/broccoli or nice salad. Your friend can enjoy the leftover chicken, cause really, it's always great having leftover roasted chicken!

                    Good luck!

                    1. well, I would say no wine, onions, bell peppers, broccoli, etc. (cabbage)

                      It all passes through to the baby, and can cause gastrointestinal distress. And alcohol in any amount passes through and is not "burned off 100%" through cooking. Don't give the infant alcohol.

                      As I recall after my two C-Sections with a 3 y/o and husband in the house, things that he could re-heat such as have been suggested, meat loaf, mac n cheese, ham, fried chicken. The new mom herself needs good nutrition and extra liquids such as chicken soup, tomato soup.

                      1. Totally agree...no broccoli, cabbage, onions, anything heavy on milk products, tomatoes, spicy, greasy....well you get it, something pretty bland. Chicken and rice, chicken pot-pie (my grocery store has a pre-made, very good, in the deli area), veggie soup, pot roast, egg, ham & spinach casserole.
                        It's been a few days...have you already made something?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: foodie247

                          no, I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm in Los Angeles and it's unseasonably warm again (think 75 degrees during the day) so thoughts of stews and casseroles aren't enticing me very much nor will new mom be into it. I think a pasta salad will be my best bet.

                          1. re: trolley

                            pasta salad with... salmon? :)

                        2. I've brought salmon in different forms (chowder and quiche) to a few friends and that might be a good bet if it is not too expensive. (You should eat it, too!) It has a lot of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (great for babies) and does not have the mercury risks associated with some other fish.

                          Here's a recipe I've tried and liked for salmon chowder:


                          A little bit of salmon goes a long way in that recipe. I brought the chowder over with a big batch of latkes, which the friend froze and was able to microwave for a quick snack whenever she wanted one.

                          1. Remember that after abdominal surgery she won't be able to lift anything heavy so don't give her a huge pot of heavy soup etc since her husband's going to be away. Keep things in smaller lighter units.

                            1. In addition to all the cooked dishes, how about something super-convenient, in case your friend needs to rest in bed or nurse and can't move around much? Something like a huge bowl of pre-washed fruit such as apples, pears and bananas (that would keep even without the fridge), and a snack platter such as cheese, crackers and nuts?

                              I actually went through that phase not long ago (without the C-Section, though), and found those very helpful.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: tarteaucitron

                                I agree, when I had my baby I was in a hotel for a month...he was a preemie...and I loved the cheese and crackers.Anything that was already done.Salads, quiche, etc.

                                1. re: LaLa

                                  Good for you! In whatever circumstances and no matter how equipped the hotel was, I imagine it must have been tricky with a preemie in the hotel!

                                  Especially for the cheese, crackers and fruit, I cannot emphasize enough how much it helped at that time, for the much-needed source of fat, protein, energy, vitamins and fibre (I had mostly the high-fibre Ryvita-type crackers). Forget about the need to lose weight -- I could barely keep up with the weight!

                                  1. re: tarteaucitron

                                    Actually he was in the hospital for the month and I stayed in hotel next door so I could go be with him while he was in the NICU...I refused to go to our home about an hour away until he could go home.

                              2. People, most things you are suggesting are not very healthy! Don't start the kid's (or the mother's weighloss) eating habits off to a bad start. Try some sort of lean protein and veggies. I think a chicken and vegetable stir fry with pasta sauce and sprinkled with some parm or other cheese. It can be served over brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Jacey

                                  thanks for the replies. i did end up visiting her with some cookies. jacey i agree but i think there's that period right after birth where you just want to eat and not worry about weight loss quite yet. it's the "yay me i did it" time when i wanted to indulge a bit!

                                  1. re: trolley

                                    Exactly. For most, it's a very emotional phase and any food that nurtures the soul is good!

                                2. I know it has been a while since the original post... but I would like to add:


                                  1. And don't forget the wine.

                                    1. Probably past the time but I usually made a simple chicken and vegetable casserole. Somewhat figure friendly, but still comfort. Kids like it, adults like it. Reheats well, Easy to free or keep. I usually made a simple salad and included some fresh baked cookies or simple desert. It was always a hit. I also did A turkey meatloaf, mashed cauliflower and salad. All low cost, easy and quick to reheat and keep.