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Help! My friend just had a baby and I want to bring her lunch. What do I bring?

All of my other friends who have had children had "winter" babies and I brought them a pan of lasagna, french baguettes, Caesar salad and dessert from a local bakery. No idea what do do for her since it is June this week. I want to bring them something they can nibble on for a few days that is cold or reheats well. Maybe a pasta salad and fruit? Cupcakes?

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  1. Anything you would like to eat this season would be appreciated. Salad, bread, pasta, fruit, cookies, etc. Maybe if you grill or BBQ bring her some grilled chicken breasts, or whaever you're making. It's very thoughtful to bring her a meal, especially food that can be eaten 1-handed.

    1. pasta salad doesn't hold very well. what about roasted lemon chicken legs? potato or egg salad. quiche(s) or fritatta. hummus and pita. gazpacho. cookies.

      1. probably anything that doesn't need preparation or messy clean up. granola, bbq chicken, cookies. my mom brought me takeout sushi b/c i was so deprived of sushi while pregnant and it was easy to eat and clean up. you're a lovely thoughtful friend.

        1. +1 on the hummus & pita. in fact, how about a nice assortment of Mediterranean salads & dips that she can store in the fridge & serve at room temp? no muss, no fuss. in addition to hummus: baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, dolmades, skordalia, taramosalata, muhammara...

          or running with hotoynoodle's quiche suggestion, you could do egg muffins/mini frittate, or even deviled eggs.

          1. Anything that can be eaten over a few days - pasta salad, fruit salad, deviled eggs, some cold grilled chicken she can use for sandwiches, and the rolls for those sandwiches.

            7 Replies
            1. re: LindaWhit

              I think deviled eggs is a grand idea! Who doesn't like them and they can be eaten with one hand. Sounds like a real winner.

              1. re: c oliver

                I don't. I would err on the side of "non-smelly" foods. Women who have just had a baby have really wacky olfactory issues sometimes. I had a lot of food aversions (including chicken and potent smelling foods) while pregnant, and they didn't let up immediately after I had my babies. Hormones do weird things. (And I truly think deviled or hard boiled eggs are a polarizing food. You love 'em or hate 'em. And if you hate 'em, they make you gag. No middle ground.)

                I'd go for a quiche, cold soup (like cucumber yogurt or something), pita, hummus, cheese, etc. Baked mac n cheese is always appreciated, even in warmer months.

                1. re: LizR

                  This thread points up the fact that the first thing to do is ASK :) I loathe cucumbers in any form and would throw it out the moment you left. Ditto with hummus. I would eat pita if there were nothing else in the bread family in the house. Isn't it wonderful that we don't all like the same things?!?

                    1. re: c oliver

                      I should add that I recently had a friend who had major surgery. A group formed to make sure she and her family were fed for several months after she was discharged from the hospital. I was at the end of the arrangements, and was met with great gratitude for bringing something that was NOT chicken. Apparently EVERYONE brought chicken in some form or another. All good, and all well-intentioned. But, the individual receiving food was just tired of it.

                      1. re: LizR

                        Another thing that's nice is to ask "what you favorite comfort food" and make that. As an aside, both of our daughters are pregnant (six weeks apart - talk about sibling rivalry!). I was talking to one this weekend and asking how she's feeling (first trimester). She said fine but if she doesn't eat something pretty regulary she gets kind "car sick" feeling. So she just eats a boiled egg and she's fine. She a pretty extreme athlete and I think she just forget to eat at times :)

                        1. re: LizR

                          Which is why a single point of contact for organization is often the best way to go with a situation such as your friend's surgery. The organizer can tell Mary that Jane had chicken on the menu twice this week and ask if she could either make something else or hold off until the following week to make her chicken dish.

                2. Chicken salad with very good bread or rolls to eat as sandwiches. Chicken caesar salad, salmon salad, potato salad, pasta salad, or broccoli / asperagus salad all sound very good. Cupcakes and cookies would go over very well to snack on later.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I like the quiche/frittata idea, too. It's something that can be heated or not, and easily eaten with one hand. Fruit and vegetables are great, too, especially this time of year--a big bowl of fruit salad or some roasted vegetables would be a healthy treat. I'd do muffins over cupcakes because they're easier to eat and can be eaten for breakfast. And granola type foods for general snacking.

                    1. Chicken salad with some nice bread and really good cookies sounds perfect, maybe some fruit salad. As I remember, I would get just famished in about five minutes and had to have protein pronto! Anything you can dish out in 30 seconds is best! In advance I roasted a turkey breast, slice and froze it (this was a July baby) and it was just great -- easy accessible, tasty.

                      1. Hummus is a great idea as is little frittatas or quiches. Fresh fruit is good as is veggies and dip. And if she's nusing, or even not, oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal and avocado are good for milk production.

                        1. A roasted chicken and vegtable salad w/ dijon vinagarette dressing. I use red bells, zuchinni, onions, potatoes, eggplant, garlic, green beans, marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, and parsley, top with feta cheese.

                            1. re: porker

                              Not a great choice if she's breastfeeding.
                              What an awesome friend you are! Quite honestly, your friend will appreciate anything you make because (and I know from experience 3 times over) she'll be so busy with her new life that she'll not have enough time to take a shower and brush her teeth, let alone complain that dinner is something that requires an oven to reheat.
                              If you have your heart set on making it appropriate for the season, fruit salad and vegetable-plenty salads are real winners. It's light, refreshing and offers plenty of nutrients for someone whose body is readjusting back to normal after such an experience. I'd throw in some ice cream, too...doesn't have to be homemade. But it would be a nice treat to have after her meals...I know I loved it.

                            2. You are a very considerate friend! I organize meals for people at church for new parents, people recovering from surgery, etc., and I am always amazed at how much it is appreciated, especially by new moms. They have their hands full and getting decent meals pulled together becomes a luxury when sleep-deprived and figuring out a newborn's schedule.

                              I love the suggestions so far--quiches, salads, grilled chicken, fruit, etc., are all great! Another suggestion is soup. If you live in a very warm-weather climate, that may not work so well, but a lighter soup where I live (Pacific NW) is always welcome, and is easily reheated and served.

                                1. Your friend will appreciate anything you do.

                                  I love the quiche/frittata idea. I also love the idea of a mediterranean spread, a greek salad with some pita, hummus, olives, etc.

                                  I ALSO like the soup idea, think tomato soup and ingredients for grilled cheese sandwiches? Another idea that came to mind is some pulled pork/chicken, rolls, pasta salad. A friend brought us enchiladas after our summer baby was born and they were a big hit.

                                  For dessert a seasonal fruit crisp and some vanilla ice cream would also be great.