The Diaper Diaries

but hopefully not full of crap

Works for Me Wednesday- Providing Meals August 21, 2007

Filed under: Works for me Wednesdays — thediaperdiaries @ 10:01 pm

wfmwheader_163.jpg One of the best perks of popping out a baby is the meals. Seriously, if you have had a baby and not been provided with a plethera of homemade dinners, you are hanging with the wrong crowd. Sure, they are usually unhealthy, and every once and a while someone brings you something that tastes like chalk (if you are reading this and you have brought me a meal, I am totally not talking about you…your meal was absolutely the best thing I have ever tasted), but they are free and you don’t have to cook when you are so tired from nursing around the clock that you just might set the house on fire.  

However, my problem with the free meals is that you usually spend the first 6 months of your kids life with 2 pans and 6 tupperware containers rattling around the trunk of your car, waiting to run into the people who made you meals so you can return their lasagna pan to them. So my Works For Me Wednesday tip this week is how to best serve the new mommies  you make meals for.

  1. Bring them their food in throwaway containers: I completely realize this isn’t the best for the environment, but these containers can be washed and re-used if desired. This just helps out the new mom who has enough on her plate without worrying about returning your stuff. An added benefit is the next time you go to make brownies during a PMS induced chocolate craving you know exactly where your pan is.  
  2. Keep the meal simple, but not too simple: This is not the time to try out your new recipe for Ethiopian food. However it is also not the time to drop of a box of Mac n’ cheese and a can of baked beans. Put some effort into it. If you truly can’t cook, see if they have a favorite restaurant you can get take out from.
  3. Throw in a few sides: It is great to get a good casserole, but when the new mom is forced to make a store run because their fridge is bare and their freezer just contains breast milk your meal will have been in vain. Throw in a veggie or a bagged salad (although I did have one friend that got so many bagged salads, they were taking over her kitchen).
  4. Make sure to call first: A lot of moms get meals scheduled for them so make sure you are providing one on a night they are not already getting a meal, unless yours is freezer ready. Also you should make sure there are no allergies or strong dislikes in the family. I always try and drop the meal off right at dinner time so that they don’t have to even attempt anything that resembles food preparation. This isn’t always possible, but check and see what works best.
  5. Lastly, don’t forget the chocolate: Yes, new mommy probably wants to fit back in her pre-pregnancy jeans, but I always loved it when I got meals that had something “desserty” with them. Plus I am sure I read somewhere that chocolate heals c-section scars, improves breast milk production and helps reduces under eye circles (I am 10% sure I read that somewhere).

For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas check out Rocks in My Dryer.

 

21 Responses to “Works for Me Wednesday- Providing Meals”

  1. canearl Says:

    These are great tips!! I can attest to the fact that it is sooooo nice to receive meals when you’ve just had a baby – or after surgery. I especially like the “use throwaway containers” tip. It was so nice not having to keep up with who brought what.

  2. Briggie Says:

    I have learned over the years that you MUST always keep disposable aluminum pans and gladware bowls on hand for those times when you want to bless someone with a munchie, or they come over and want to take home some leftovers. I don’t even have tupperware anymore because there have been times when leftovers in my fridge seem to become science projects and I just toss out the whole container. When I use the gladware, I don’t feel guilty about it!
    Great WFMW entry, you’ve given me an idea for mine – hope you don’t mind if I use your idea but add a little something extra to mine!

    God Bless,
    briggie ^i^

  3. Ellen Says:

    Jill,
    You’re a genius :)
    Glad to meet a meals soul mate!
    Blessings.

  4. Jodi Says:

    I had just moved to a new state after the birth of my first and then was so overwhelmed with my second I didn’t know many folks, so when the 3rd happened…yes, she happened…14 months ago…i’ll be 40 this year..yikes, I loved the meals…felt so loved…enjoyed the circle of women who helped to take care of me and the family! such a fabulous idea!!! Shepherds pie,, chicken tetrazzini, tacos, and pizza were all wonderful favorites!

  5. TracyMichele Says:

    Great tips! We aren’t having more children but all my friends are still busy at work (lol) so I find myself bringing meals often. one dessert I have done is a giant cookie.. like the ones you can get at the foodcourt? I use the tube of premade dough, smooth it into a pan (sometimes heart shaped) and when baked, I place it on tinfoil-wrapped cardboard for transportation. I often let the kids decorate it with frosting. It seems to be a hit.

  6. Love these tips—especially since I kept some of that baby-dinner Tupperware for over six months. When the father of that family came to my house monthly. And I saw them weekly. And I kept it on the table by the front door to remember.

    I only had two people bring me meals when I had Hayden, but those meals lasted through nearly a week because of all the side dishes. And they were fabulous! It’s funny that we only had those two, because every time someone at church had a baby the entire first year of our marriage I always signed up to bring meals in. I guess I’ll get that all back for a future baby.

  7. Christa Says:

    These are great tips, all of which I’ve found to be true while making meals for friends at church! Thanks for the reminder though. Here’s my own: Try, if at all possible, to make something other than chicken. I’ve had four babies (so far) and you get a lot of chicken! ;)

  8. Wow, I need to find you people! I’m due in a month and I’m already having a hard time cooking a full meal. Great tip! It’s such a blessing to receive a food gift.

  9. lookmomlook Says:

    I whole heartedly agree with the side dish rule. And the dessert rule :) I made the “mistake” of telling the group of people bringing meals over for my 2nd kid that I just wanted healthy foods. I ended up with fruit salad for dessert every night. I shouldn’t complain though, the meals were really good and I didn’t have to cook (or my husband).

  10. Amy Says:

    Jill,
    GREAT TIP!
    I miss those baby days when friends would bring meals over. We had some of best meals that way. :)
    ~Amy

  11. Kimberly Says:

    Hey!
    I’m here by way of WFMW. Your list is awesome! I have a little thing to add, though. The first week or two after a baby is so full of post natal visits for mom and baby, that I appreciated the women who called me in the MORNING (not too early, though) to arrange what time they would be dropping my meal off. That way I didn’t have to worry that they would call or that I would miss them while I was at the doctor. I think your tip of dropping off at dinner time is a good one, but not everyone does that (and that was ok, too…that way we could eat whenever we wanted), but it made it harder to predict when I expect someone.

  12. Laane Says:

    Great tips!

    We here have the system that a nurse comes home the first week after birth. She, or someone else cooks at your house.
    After that it’s bussiness as usual for mum.

  13. What an awesome neighbor you are! Is it wrong to feign pregnancy if your neighbors are better cooks than you are? ;)

  14. April Says:

    We always loved and appreciated those meals for after you come home with a new baby. I’ve learned also to wait and take the meal AFTER relatives have left – when the new mommy has no one to help cook. Muc more appreciated and helpful!

  15. I bring the dishes over in dollar store or thrift store containers so I don’t have to worry about the mommy returning them. I also bring the family some thirst quenching adult beverages because it is typically needed for “one of those days” in the beginning of infancy!

  16. Paige Says:

    Sweet. And I love the part about the chocolate. Makes me want (almost) want to have another baby, just for the free food that I don’t have to fix. Almost, but not quite.

  17. Linda Says:

    Great tips! I am in charge of our “Great Expectations” ministry at church and we do a lot of meals for new moms. I am going to make a note and pass these tips along!

  18. Amen sister! I am 100% sure that thing you read about the chocolate and C-section is correct.

  19. Sandi Says:

    These are great tips! I have one to add…some friends organized meals for me and had people sign up for every day for two weeks…this would have been great except for everyone brought 9×13 things which would feed us for 2-3 days, so we had a fridge-full of leftovers upon leftovers. We tried freezing some of it, but it wasn’t all freezable so we ended up later with some pretty inedible stuff…SO if you are planning meals for a family, maybe plan a meal for every other day OR ask people to bring smaller portions OR freezer-friendly meals. :)

  20. Callista Says:

    Great tips! I’m hanging with the wrong crowd, I didn’t get any meals, either time I had a baby. However I do have tons of tupperware floating around from bringing leftovers home from get-togethers. My problem is I forget who they belong too.

    If you don’t want to use disposables, then use those glad or ziploc containers that are very cheap and tell them they can keep them.

  21. Lisa Says:

    I know how glorious it is to have people bring dinners over when you have a new baby (I have had three in the last four years). Between all my friends who have had babies in the last few years, and also other friends and family who were ill, on bed rest, etc. it feels like I have coordinated a hundred meal schedules. Since I was doing this so often for people, and organizing is a tedious process, my husband and a friend of his took the time to design a website that helps make the process of organizing people to bring meals so much easier. The website is http://www.foodtidings.com and it’s free for anyone to use. It gives the key information to everyone you invite to help, keeps the schedule updated, and sends reminders when it’s their turn. This has eliminated extra phone calls and emails that have always demanded more time than I had. I hope this can be a help to others as well.
    Sincerely,
    Lisa


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