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Tips For Delivering Meals To New Moms

delivering meals smaller

When we brought each of our babies home from the hospital, my mom stayed with us for a few days.  But she had responsibilities to get back to, and when she left, we were on our own.

That’s when our church family stepped in.

Every night around 5pm, a hot, ready to eat meal would show up on our doorstep, along with a happy smile and not even a glance at our unkempt living room.  We so looked forward to those meals!  Especially by the time the third baby came along, recuperating from childbirth while doing bus runs and homework took it’s toll.  We would have been eating McDonald’s every night, if it weren’t for the families that took time out to provide dinner for us.

Since then, I’ve been able to be one of those doorbell ringers, with a hot meal in hand.  Whether it’s for a family that’s just added a new child to their family, or a family that’s undergone a big life change or transition, or when a parent is sick, I’ve learned a few things about making my delivered meal as convenient as possible for those who will be enjoying it!

Ask about allergies or other dietary concerns.

Make sure that the entire family will be able to enjoy the meal.  If there are allergies or food sensitivities, plan your delivered meal around them.

Use disposable serving dishes.

Dollar stores have all sorts of wonderful aluminum pans and plates that often come with cardboard lids.  Delivering your meal in containers that can be tossed means that your new mom friend doesn’t need to wash, store and return your casserole dish to you.  It’s one less thing for her to worry about.

Make it a complete meal.

Take any kind of stress off of the parents by rounding out that casserole with salad or bread, a dessert and even a bottle of apple juice for the little ones.  Make it as easy as possible for everyone to sit down at the table with as little prep as possible.

Include a full set of disposable plates, cutlery and cups.

If there are 5 people in the family, put 5 paper plates, 5 forks, 5 knives, 5 napkins, and even 5 disposable plastic cups into a large zipper bag.  If you’ve used disposable serving dishes, the family won’t have to do any dishes at all.  Win!

Add a special touch for young children.

When we had our second baby, one or two of the meals that were delivered to us also came with a special gift for our first child, a toddler at the time.  They weren’t huge gifts – just dollar store books and small toys in a gift bag – but my toddler loved them!  With all of the gifts coming and going for the new baby, he was so happy to receive gifts just for him.  It was a special touch that made his adjustment to our bigger family much easier.

Drop Off The Meal and Run.

Don’t make your delivery into a social call.  Stay outside and just hand the food over, along with any verbal instructions.  Even if the family asks you in, politely decline.  After all, they’re just about to sit down to dinner ;-).  And I’m sure you know yourself, when a family is going through a transition, you don’t have time to tidy up or get dressed for the day.  Inviting yourself into their home will likely cause more stress, which is exactly what we’re trying to cut back on.

When new neighbours move in, when a family separates, when a child is added to the family through birth, foster care or adoption, or when there’s been a death in the family – all of these are perfect opportunities to help out by providing a meal.  Everyone needs to eat, and giving a family a chance to sit down together and enjoy a meal in spite of the upheaval in their life is a huge blessing, both to them and to the one providing the meal!

How about you? 

Has there been a time in your life when others have stepped up to help by providing meals for your family?

 

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

26 Comments

  1. Savannah Miller

    I so wish someone would have brought hot meals to my house! With my first son my hubby and I lived off cans of soup and freezer food for a few months.
    My 2nd son wasn’t much better. My hubby made me leave the hospital the day after I had him! So he wouldn’t have to miss work taking care of our oldest. The 2nd time around I didn’t want my oldest eating that much processed food, so we relied on a local healthy restaurant for take out 🙂

  2. Terri Ramsey Beavers

    This is truly a great idea for new moms. When I had my three kids, I would have loved to have received a home cooked meal at any time from someone in our church or community.
    Go check out Terri Ramsey Beavers’s latest post! Premium Quality Folding Drying Rack #collegestudents #DryingRack #holidaygiftguide2015My Profile

  3. Rena McDaniel

    This is such a sweet things to do. My daughter had twins almost a year ago and when they were born they were in the NICU for several months. It was a wonderful gift knowing that dinner was waiting on them when they got home. great tips.
    Go check out Rena McDaniel’s latest post! THE 2015 MOM CONFERENCE OCT 13TH – 15THMy Profile

  4. andi

    what a great way to bless others!

  5. Miranda

    Our church does the same thing by delivering meals to new moms. We have many similar rules–disposable packaging so there are no dishes to wash and return, no staying and chatting, etc. But I had never thought of including a small gift for the older children. What an excellent idea!!!
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  6. Carmen Perez (listen2mama)

    This is fantastic. I remember those first few weeks with a newborn, not having time to barely shower much less cook a home cooked meal!

  7. Sophie O'Reilly

    What a lovely thing to do, I haven’t got any children at the moment but it’s great to know their are people out there who can help out new mums.

  8. Sophie O'Reilly

    What a lovely thing to do, I haven’t got any children at the moment but it’s great to know there are people out there who can help out new mums.
    Go check out Sophie O’Reilly’s latest post! My Top 5 Favourite Plus Size OnesiesMy Profile

  9. Susannah

    Oh my goodness, these tips are absolutely perfect! We had our fair share of dud meal deliveries and great meal deliveries when I had my son!
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  10. Alli

    Our church delivers meals to new moms, too, and I always make sure I take a disposable dish. Oh, and I try to always actually prepare the meal instead of running through the closest drive-thru. Yes, drop it off and leave – these are all GREAT tips!!
    Go check out Alli’s latest post! Appetizer Party Tips & Buffalo Chicken BitesMy Profile

  11. Lisa Worthey Smith

    Every church should copy and print this list! I have been on both sides of the meals, preparing and receiving. It is quite a blessing BOTH ways! Thank you for the practical advice!

  12. Mama to 5 BLessings

    Those are great tips not just for new moms but to bring to someone in need as well. You can never be too careful with allergy issues.

  13. Lisa

    I agree with all of these tips. It can be hard not to stay and try and hold the baby, but it is so much better to drop the food and go.
    Go check out Lisa’s latest post! Sweet Treats Dessert: Marshmallow Covered Pound Cake with Strawberries & Chocolate SauceMy Profile

  14. Nicole

    These are great tips! Our church has always done this for new moms as well. Can I add another idea? Make a meal that can be frozen in case the family doesn’t need it right away….or make a second serving for their freezer! They may have leftovers piling up and would rather save your meal for a later day.
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  15. Claire

    Great tips!! Meals are great for new moms – but yes do what you can to make cleanup and etc. a breeze!
    Go check out Claire’s latest post! Fall Family BootsMy Profile

  16. Franc Ramon

    I’m sure the adjustment process is difficult. It helps to bring in meals but it’s important to make it quick too.
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  17. Melanie

    What a great idea to include disposable cutlery!
    Go check out Melanie’s latest post! Ballerina GirlMy Profile

  18. NYC SingleMom

    What a brilliant idea. The last thing a new mom wants to do is cook. And even if the family does take out this would be such a help. Who doesnt want a home cooked meal?

  19. Marissa

    Love that included the drop off and run tip… while I loved my friends for bringing food, I was often way too tired to entertain when they stopped by, especially near dinner hour.

    Great tips!

    Marissa

  20. Denise

    Our church and community took great care of us between babies, illness and natural disasters. I would love to share this on my blog, if you don’t care. I usually try to feature someone else on Wednesdays but I did not get it done for this week yet.

  21. Jessica Harlow

    I really love the idea of showing a family some support by preparing a meal for them. It would be a welcome gesture at my house for sure. Plus, I think it’s great that you thought to include dinner settings so a sink full of dishes can be avoided!
    Go check out Jessica Harlow’s latest post! Stacking bangles for just $4.95 plus free shipping during the Cents of Style Arm Party! #stylestealsMy Profile

  22. Mardene carr

    This is a great post with great ideas that any church or community can use to assist new parents
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  23. Jonathan Key

    These ideas are fantastic! Plastic silverware and paper plates/cups is a lifesaver! Also a complete meal and making it special for the other kids is important too.
    Go check out Jonathan Key’s latest post! 7 Tips to Running a S.W.O.T. Analysis on Your BlogMy Profile

  24. jacqui odell

    These are great tips. It helps having meals on handy for the first few weeks.

  25. Wildish Jess

    Drop off the meal and go is probably the most important tip of all! No one wants to have a ton of people over after having a baby.
    Go check out Wildish Jess’s latest post! How Do You Go Pink for October?My Profile

  26. Sophie

    This is really helpful to new moms.Thank you for the great article.

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