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Meal Ideas for New Mom

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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!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: smtucker

          Here's the thread, and the OP should note the other related threads that are listed at its end.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7051...

        2. 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

          2 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            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.

            1. re: cheesecake17

              def breakfast items preportioned.

              also perhaps some cookie dough to freeze, pre-portioned as well into balls, so mom can pop in as many cookies as she (or guests) would like.

          2. 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.

            1. my favorite things I received were the fresh fruit and cheese....that they had already sliced!....made it so easy....and crackers.

              1. i am a newish mom and have been delivering meals to newish moms lately.

                i know you said freezer ready, but i've been bringing a lot of cous cous or quinoa salads and rosemary chicken salads. and brownies. you don't get a lot of lunchy stuff. and this just requires nothing really in the way of asseblage. just serve and eat. plus i bring pita that you can freeze. they defrost in no time. like minutes.

                for the freezer...pasta fagiole (sans pasta) and quiche and chicken pot pie.

                1. Thanks to all---great ideas here, especially the emphasis on lunch. It's gonna be a huge fruit salad, a variety of cold salads, tomato basil soup, roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, and homemade bread/compound butter. Off to shop and prep!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jillbcooks

                    Wow. That all sounds fantastic! The new parents will certainly enjoy your gift.

                  2. I've given and been given a variety of foods over the years at the time needed.
                    I know I've mentioned this before but it was really good and couldn't believe how easy it was for her to prepare for me. I'd have never thought of it, its way too easy.
                    1.Boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot, I'll bet she didn't even season her chicken before putting it in the crocker. A can of golden mushroom soup on top, cook 6 hours on low. Brought it to my house in a tupperware type thing, done, and with another tupperware container of buttered white rice.
                    2. I did this > it's the popular spicy roast beef again in the crock pot. Put a 4 lb beef roast in the crock pot. Add on top of it, a pkg of dry italian salad dressing, 12 peperoncini's, 1 cup of the peperoncini liquid from the jar, lid on 8 hours on low. I brought it to her sliced, and done, with a container of mashed potatoes and gravy I made from the liquid.
                    3. Large package of country style ribs, brown up in a little oil in skillet, when browned both sides take out, put into crock and cover. In the skillet you just browned the ribs in, equal amounts of dark brown sugar and catsup. start with 3/4 cup each. Stir to blend and pick up any brown bits from the bottom of skillet, then pour over the ribs. 6-8 hours on low. Line a lasagna pan with foil and dump in there. Do a batch of buttered noodles with parm cheese/salt/pepper/& a bit of coffee cream mix well. Container that too, when you get to the recipients house, you can take your lasagna pan home and just leave them with the foil package tightly sealed.
                    4. Make a quiche using up your cheese and eggs and cream and vegetable and meat, take it baked or ready to bake.
                    5. A fritatta using the same as above, take it done or ready to go into oven.
                    6. Make a batch of meatball, put in container, bring them a bag of noodles and a jar of your favorite pasta sauce, like Sockarooni by PN. It's deeeeeeeeelish. Garlic bread ready to pop into the oven.

                    I've been inundated with other peoples cookware when I didn't know who's was who's. Plus consider they may not have room to store everyone's cooking stuff so take that into account. Those foil preshaped baking pans are nice and are a buck at WallyWorld.

                    They'll love you. And I'd love you since you live in Minnesota, if you'd send me some lefse. thanks *)