Meals to Take to Families With New Babies

You know why I love taking meals to families who have new babies?  Is it because I’m so servant hearted, loving, kind, and eager to bless these tired families?  Oh please.  It’s all about me.  Really.  You should know this truth.  Blah, blah, blah – here’s your food, hope you like it, I made it just for you, now where is your darling newborn?

Of course, I am totally kidding.  (Oh she is so not kidding, said Matt.)  But I really do love helping families with newborns in their time of need.  (What-ev-er, said my four boys in unison.)

Yeah.  I love babies.  My babies are of the much taller, lankier, and less snuggly variety now.  I love them dearly - even more than when they were newborns.  Who knew that was possible?  It just is.  But given the opportunity to cuddle a newborn, and you know, give the tired mama’s arms a break (that’s me being graciously servant-hearted again, what-ev-er) – I take it.  Sweet, sweet babies.  I love them.

Taking a meal to a family with a newborn means that there are blessings all around!  Tired parents don’t have to cook, older siblings get some special attention, and I’m sorry, did I not already make my point clear?  I get to hold a newborn baby.  Blessing upon blessing.

Meals to Take to Famililes With New Babies

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No doubt many of the foods listed in this post are great to take to others for reasons other than a new baby in the house (surgery, loss of loved one, illness, loss of job, or any other trying or exhausting situation).  By all means, please use this list to take meals to anyone who might benefit.  However, this post offers suggestions specific for the family who has a new addition.

Some items to keep in mind when you take a meal to a family with a new baby:

  • Stay away from hot peppers.  Mom might be avoiding spicy food if she is nursing.
  • Check to be sure you are accommodating any allergies or dislikes the family may have.
  • Ask what time they prefer you deliver the meal.
  • If there are young children in the home, be sure to take foods that are easy to eat and typically enjoyed by kids.  We’re trying to make Mom’s job easier, not harder.
  • Give lots of attention to the baby’s older siblings when you deliver the food.
  • Consider taking a little treat just for the “big brother(s)” and/or ”big sister(s).”  This could be something like 100% juice boxes, mini muffins, or even something non-edible like a new coloring book with crayons or a matchbox car.
  • Fresh fruit is always so refreshing after just having a baby.  Ask what kind of fruit sounds good to Mom and pick some up to take along.
  • If you are able, it might be fun to take a little something extra for a quick and easy breakfast for the family to enjoy the next day.  See list below for ideas.
  • If possible, take your food in dishes the family won’t have to wash and return to you.

Now onto the list of food ideas so you can hand them something wonderful when you say, “Blah, blah, blah – here’s your food, hope you like it, I made it just for you, now where is your darling newborn?”

Those are just the main dish ideas.  Be sure to take plenty of fruit and veggie side dishes too!  (You know I had to say that.)

What about breakfast?

Breakfast items like Easy Breakfast Casserole can be a fun change of pace for dinner.  If you have extra time and resources, you can bless the family by taking along some Dark Chocolate Almond Granola or Giant Breakfast Cookies - something easy for them to eat in the morning after a sleepless night.  Muffins and other breads are always fun to receive.

What are your favorite foods to take to families with new babies?

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Comments

  1. says

    My standard is breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls or muffins, and fresh fruit. The nice thing is that it’s so easy to customize for dietary preferences/requirements. I try to keep a GF baking mix on hand to make the baked goods part easy. The fresh fruit is great because they can eat it with the meal or just keep it for snacks.

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    Emily Reply:

    I also wanted to add the using mealtrain.com has been a huge blessing for our Meals for Moms ministry. It’s so much easier to coordinate!

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  2. alicia says

    Laura, these are great ideas! I love, love being on both ends of this food for new addititons. Our sweet babe #5 is now 3 months old, so I opened my sleep deprived brain for you all. And my best input here is this: don’t worry about taking The Best Meal They’ve Ever Eaten. Sure, if you’ve got time, make something special; but also realize that new parents really just need Food. If the best you can do is BBQ take-out, do it! It’ll be a blessing among blessing for that momma to not cook & the whole family loves visitors. Since our wee one has been born, we’ve had the opportunity to gift a couple families with meals. Obviously, time is not in abundance around here, so we took sandwiches & wraps with veggies & fruit, chips & dips, and cookies from a local bakery. NOT my 5 star meal, but they got to eat & be loved on & told their baby was beautiful, which is all a new momma (or any of us!) really needs. Blessings Laura! What a great way to use our time and energy to love on people in trying times of life.

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    Molly Reply:

    Thank you for saying it doesn’t need to be the Best Meal Ever! I try to remember that it is STILL a blessing even if it’s plain and simple food and I’m not the best cook! And that the new moms really need someone checking in on them and knowing someone cares. :-) (Cookies never hurt, either, right?)

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  3. Stacy W says

    anything that is easy to eat, new mamas are STARVING! high fiber muffins or even a hearty “cake” in a 13×9, a cheese tray, fruit, a shrimp platter, a big salad with grilled chicken. Did I mention high fiber? ;) yes, bring on those veggies.

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  4. R says

    Great topic:)
    One of the best meals we received after our youngest was born was a simple old-fashioned beef pot roast with potatoes and carrots. It was just what my body was craving to boost my iron, and I wasn’t usually a big red meat eater. It was filling and delicious and easily enough for a second meal, too.
    The online meal train site is a great resource, especially because you can see what people are signing up to bring and can avoid bringing a third meal in a row of lasagna or roast chicken or whatever.

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  5. says

    This is a great list! I’ve taken your Cheesy Beef and Rice on numerous occasions and it’s always well received!

    I often throw in a jar of homemade applesauce with whatever meal I’m bringing and people love that!

    I don’t have any experience with receiving meals since we haven’t had any illnesses (thank you, God!) and we don’t yet have children, but I’ve heard that many families get a lot of lasagna and pasta type dishes. So I stay away from that type of thing!

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  6. Rebecca says

    I always bring something that can be or is frozen. New parents tend to get a lot of meals all at once when i have always found that it was better to have one or two a week for a longer time. So i do stuffed shells with home made sauce. Its easy to make gf or vegan and the sauce freezes separately. Plus some cookie dough frozen in scoops so it just gets put on a tray and baked.

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  7. says

    I tend to rely on meatloaf and oven roasted potatoes and a salad and dessert for my meal of choice to bring new mamas. It’s easily increased or decreased based on family size.

    I also bring overnight cinamon rolls (from Chickens in the Road) for them to bake for breakfast. A container of cream cheese frosting and a fruit salad to to accompany it.

    I enjoyed seeing all these ideas, thanks!

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  8. Laura D says

    I like to take sweet potato biscuits with ham, in addition to the dinner meal. They can be eaten cold, straight from the fridge, for breakfast, lunch, or midnight nursing snack. Kid friendly, mama can get them with one hand, and they last several days.

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  9. Karen says

    I love this post! I, too, have always enjoyed supplying families with meals when they have a new baby or have be struck with illness (my neighbor had breast cancer and during her treatment she couldn’t stand the smell of food to cook for her family, so I told her to leave a cooler on her front porch and left meals regularly for her husband to just heat up — everything from dinners to breakfast, snacks, you name it!). I always provide food in containers that do not need to be returned to me so there is no trying to figure out what dish belongs to whom — one less thing for the recipient to have to keep track of. Thanks for this list — very helpful, indeed!

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  10. Trudi says

    Great tip about bringing fruits and veggies and other healthy foods! It’s so easy to resort back to junk food because it’s quick and easy. Just keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a spicy food that can upset baby. If it’s a food that can cause even the slightest bit of gas in us adults (even just a little burp), it could spell big trouble for baby in the way of gas if mama’s breastfeeding. Broccoli, cabbage, and beans are obvious, but even eating cucumbers could in turn give the baby a monstrous tummy ache – I found out the hard way! I also had to stay away from chocolate . . . even just the few chocolate chips in a couple homemade cookies was enough to put my baby in agony. I was also unable to eat the Italian meals brought to us after our daughter was born, as the sauce upset her tummy. (You’d never know it now by the way she loves anything Italian!) Now when I bring meals I stick with the bland (but tasty!) foods: soups, casseroles with no spaghetti sauces (tetrazzini, chicken & rice, etc.) and meat and potato dishes. Obviously every baby is different, and it’s largely trial and error. Just some “food” for thought . . . . .!

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  11. says

    Ooooh, sloppy joes are a great idea! Super easy, makes great leftovers, and is freeze-able. Also is easy to make allergen-free. (Also, from experience, it’s great to take enough that the family will also have leftovers. They’ll make great lunches or another easy supper, and your help will have doubled with only one trip out!)

    I always double the recipe I’m taking to a friend and we eat the other half for supper. It cuts down so much on prep and clean-up time :)

    And I usually try to bring a case of bottled water too–makes it easy for even a toddler to bring mama water when she sits down to nurse the baby and gets that “I’m-going-to-die-if-I-don’t-get-water” feeling :) But sometimes I forget that part… ;)

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  12. R says

    It was a challenge for me to find containers that I could take certain kinds of food in and leave, especially since I was reluctant to spend a lot on flimsy disposables. Then I realized that I could look for them at yard sales for a dollar or less. I picked up 8×8 glass casseroles and 4 cup Tupperware type containers. Families can keep the containers to use or pass them on when they share a meal.

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  13. Lyndsay says

    My littlest just hit the 2 month mark and the best thing brought to me was not a prepared meal (we have 5 older boys, 1 is a teen and 2,are preteen eaters!) I think that making us a meal was daunting! But our pastor’s sweet wife brought us a ham to heat later, plus wonderful things that my kids don’t get a lot like graham crackers, store bought cereal, plus things like pasta and sauce and peanut butter and jelly so my older kids could make a quick something for lunch for the little ones. While it wasn’t normally what I feed my kids it was so nice to have something’s on hand to just give them!

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    Lyndsay Reply:

    Ooh, and Laura you can hold my sweet girl anytime :) Since I spent 15 years being a mom to nothing but boys I can say there is just something wonderful about girl snuggles!

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  14. Molly says

    Oh, I hear you! I take meals to new parents because I’m super kind and generous and caring .. and really, I just want to ogle your cute new baby and ooh and ahh for you. I usually bring bean and cheese burritos and some kind of dessert. The last new mom I visited was allll about the chocolate – I told her I wouldn’t tell her hubby that I’d brought cookies. :-)

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  15. 3angels4me says

    Ok I don’t usually comment BUT I felt especially close to this topic while typing this with one hand and nursing my 5 week old with the other while 2 big sisters playing in the floor. Please forgive spelling mistakes. I received three meals after birth and two were from same person. And maybe it’s just be but I was so excited and could care less about what I got because I was u mean I AM starving ALL THE TIME! Nursing does that to me while the rest if the world loses weight while nursing :-/. But I can assure everyone that anything you bring is so helpful and please please remember to give special attention to older siblings. They really need it at this time and always of course! The main thing is that you DO bring something, anything for these mamas no matter how many kids they have or don’t have already! I know I will make it my goal to always bless a mom with a newborn with food! And disposable containers or purchased containers you would like to include in the food gift is great because the family having to load an infant up to deliver someone’s container back? Not a good idea! Thanks for allowing my post and keep up the great work on this site!

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  16. Kristin says

    My current favorite thing to bring is chicken fajitas. I marinate the chicken in fajita seasoning and cook it (you could leave some plain), cook the peppers and onions, then include whole wheat tortillas and all the toppings, avocado, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, and limes for garnish. For sides I include a veggie prepped and ready for steaming, like broccoli, and some fresh fruit (pineapple in the winter, melon in the summer), though I ask family for preferences ahead of time. In lieu of dessert, I send muffins for snacking later on. I like this meal, because families can prepare portions when they need them. If Dad works late and the kids need to eat earlier, no problem. Plus, everyone can customize the fajita the way they like it. I send everything in ziplock bags. I send enough for 2 meals.

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  17. Teresa Yb says

    Some things I like to bring to families are breakfast casserole (usually unbaked and stick it in their oven when I get there) with muffins and fruit, sloppy joes, and chili and cornbread or other soup and bread meals. I like to make some homemade granola bars for the mama with some good milk-producing add-ins like oats, flax, and brewers yeast. and chocolate ;) I individually wrap them for her to store in the freezer.
    I love the idea about a case of bottled water. That is not something I usually buy but could have been a big help for us. If I think of it at the store, I try to pick up some paper plates and napkins to send along. Again, this is not something I usually get, but it can be a help during the crazy times.
    We have four children and have received a lot of meals. Our youngest is 5 months old. One of the tastiest meals brought to us this time was so simple. Baked sweet potatoes, baked chicken, steamed veggies, and some bakery cookies. Seriously, that sweet potato was so good!
    One friend brings taco salad any time she brings anyone a meal. She sends all the fixings separate with a bag of chips. She brought us a bunch of fruit along with it this time- Clementines and grapes. We were all ready for some fresh fruit, and it was just what we needed.

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  18. Serenity says

    I loved this list!!!! When my third baby was born we had just moved to Ohio. The preachers wife at our church organized 2 weeks of meals for us. That was a huge blessing and made us feel so loved and cared for even though we were far from family:). One lady who brought us dinner called and asked what I needed from the store so she could grab it before she came to deliver dinner. That stuck with me and I do that every time now:).

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    Laura S Reply:

    I always ask what they need from the store too. When my kids were born we had wonderful meals delivered. Anything you don’t have to make yourself tastes wonderful!

    We were out of food for our kitty, but I couldn’t get to the store. It was a huge blessing when a friend asked if we needed anything. I think she had milk, bread, etc in mind, but I asked her to bring over a big bag of cat food. I was so grateful that my cart was taken care of and I didn’t have to try to lift that heavy bag before my body was ready.

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  19. says

    I had to laugh when I read this because I can totally relate about the baby-love! I purchase disposable foil dishes at the dollar store so that they can be baked right in the container and then tossed. Often paper plates and other disposable dishes are appreciated during this time. Another tip, regarding the older kids, is to pay attention to them first, before the mama and the baby. I find that new moms appreciate fresh salads and homemade dressings, as well as the fresh fruit, because that is something that often gets neglected with a new baby in the home. Thanks for the great post!

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  20. Erika says

    I absolutely love cooking for a family after they bring home a new baby! I’ll usually take them a main dish (many times Lasagna Casserole – everybody loves it!), veggie or salad, fresh fruit, something for desert, and something like muffins or a coffee cake for breakfast. Now I’m wishing I knew someone with a newborn so I could do this tomorrow! :)

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  21. Kathy says

    Great ideas, reminds me when we helped out our daughter and son-in-law when their first child was discharge from nicu and came home. Their anxiety at this stressful time was off the radar. They would have starved to death if we hadn’t been there to help out. So thank you to all that send meals to new parents from a gramma

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  22. Brittany says

    Such great ideas! And I’d totally let you hold my soon-to-be newborn son if you brought me any of them! :)

    Fresh fruit is an awesome idea! I’d bet some fresh-cut raw veggies–maybe even with a hummus or dip of some kind–would be greatly appreciated too. Or any other healthy, filling, easy-to-grab snack…especially in those early days of nursing when mama is starving all. the. time.

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