Meal Ideas for New Mom
Looking for creative ideas for a Chow-ish couple we know who just had their first baby. What meals have you received? What can we do that is lighter and more seasonal (we are in Minnesota) than, say, lasagna or hot-dish? The meals need to be easy to re-heat and freezer-friendly, in case they are inundated with food.
Thanks in advance!
A chicken tetrazzini casserole with some diced red/green peppers and mixed veggies and mushrooms with lots of cheese on top. Very easy to make and freezes well.
A nice pan of shredded chicken enchiladas with some spanish rice. Also freezes well.
I know these are "hot dishes" but they are so easy to heat and reheat.
The best food item that anyone brought me right after having my first was a big bowl of fruit salad. There was at least 12 different kinds of fruit in it, and really I didn't have the time or inclination to sit down to a real meal. Plus, if she's breast feeding she'll be feeling dehydrated and this is a quick, nutritious fix.
I have also taken new moms soup, loaves (as in banana, etc), an undressed couscous or pasta salad with dressing on the side, add some grilled chicken on the side and they can make it a main.
Gosh, I remember a recent thread that had some terrific ideas, but I am unable to locate it. After my one [perfect] child was born, we received a dinner every night for three weeks from a wonderful group of women. They brought complete meals which was really key for us.
Obviously, anything that can be heated by throwing directly into the oven. Things like lasagna [with a salad and bread sticks], baked ziti [again with a salad], and perhaps a bottle of wine.
For more seasonal options:
1. Composed salad- nicely washed greens with some other veggies, a separate container of home-made dressing, a bag with shredded poached chicken, perhaps a hard boiled egg individually wrapped and some croutons.
2. Rotisserie Chicken Dinner: obviously a chicken, green bean salad with some crusty bread. Perhaps a fruit salad for dessert.
3. Pesto sauce with fresh ravioli. Just boil and serve. [Freezes very well.]
And as a side note, there are some wonderful website where you can set up a food delivery schedule so that the new parents don't get five meals one night, and nothing the next.
Balsamic Marinated Roasted Veggies - good hot, cold, or room temp
Gazpacho - sounds odd but refreshing and easy to drink one-handed :)
Bean/Lentil/Grain salads - also good and refreshing chilled or room temp
Spaghetti Squash tossed simply with sauteed onion, roasted garlic, olive oil, and parsley, and a little parm to finish... this is better after it's had time to sit - good hot, great cold
Egg Muffins (like frittatas) that can be eaten room temp or warm, with one hand
Polenta Rounds with Marinara or Roasted Veggie Ragu - also good room temp or chilled
Excellent ideas! All could be hot or cold... so not too much work involved.
When I packed up some food for a friend, I included the recipes.. that way she could easily recreate it if she wanted to.
You could also pack up some breakfast type items- baked oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, yogurt parfaits w/separate granola, mini quiches. Cookies and mini tarts are also nice because these items can be served all day... good for the new mom and for any guests who stop by to visit.
For a new mom, lots of fruit and green veggies are indicated, esp. if she's breast-feeding.
Cold roast beef is always a fast, filling meal whether included in a salad plate or on a sandwich. A nice variation is a cold, sliced veal or pork roast (pass the Dijon mayonnaise).
I think it's wonderful when the *community* comes to the aid of new moms. Having a child can be overwhelming -- especially the sleep-deprivation when the baby's not lasting the night asleep...
The new mother's hospital probably gave her the opportunity for a consult with a dietician. If this is the case, you'll have guidance with regard to the kind of nutrients she might have a momentary deficit in, and the kinds of foods to avoid, given her particular health profile.
No matter what you bring in the way of food, if you or your friends have the time, it's a great gesture -- especially at about 1 month -- to visit the house and sit up with the baby, therefore affording mom and dad some time to sleep. How often I've encountered new parents who're both balancing work and the new baby, and literally have black eyes from lack of sleep. Sleep is a very important "medicine" in and of itself.