Meals to Deliver to a New Mom

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This post is written by reader Rebecca who delivers some fanastic advice about how to bless your friends who are welcoming a new baby.

When our sweet baby boy was born five months ago we were thrilled that he was finally here, but also incredibly exhausted. One of the things that really helped us out during that time was having a great network of friends who brought us meals. Not having to think about what to make for dinner was wonderful! Who doesn’t love a free meal delivered to their door?!

I did learn some things throughout the process though, and decided to compile a list of tips that I wish I had known about when I’ve taken meals to friends, and which I definitely plan on implementing in the future. See below for my top five!

Leave the kids at home

This is not always convenient, I know! But, remember back to your crazy first few weeks home from the hospital? You didn’t want someone else’s kids running around your house. And even if you’re convinced that your kid isn’t sick, there is still a possibility that something could be spread, and who wants to take any chances around a newborn? I don’t! See if your husband will watch the kids while you take a little time to deliver the meal.

Chicken and Wild Rice Bake

Take food in disposable containers

You know, like Ziplocs or foil pans. Love those! They come in all shapes and sizes and are inexpensive enough that no one minds giving them away. Best of all, the new parents won’t have to worry about returning dishes!

Bring lots of food

Since you’re making dinner anyway, why not add a few more chicken breasts or some extra spaghetti and meatballs? I remember being so grateful that we had enough food not only for dinner, but for lunch the next day as well. It was one less thing to worry about, and as a nursing mom I was starving those first couple of weeks. Having extras was appreciated!

Arrive on time

As in, don’t bring dinner by at 8pm. I don’t know about you, but I like to eat a little earlier than that. If you find that your weeknights are just too busy to make an extra dinner, try taking a meal over on the weekend. Or, do your prep the night before and just assemble and deliver the next day.

Leave on time

There’s a lot to chat about, I know. After all, your friends just had a new baby, and you’re eager to hear all the details. But, keep in mind that they might be slightly exhausted (and hungry!). Now is not the time for a two hour visit. Ooh and aah over the baby, chat a little, and then politely excuse yourself and leave the family to enjoy the delicious meal you’ve just prepared!

— Rebecca is a new mom to the most amazing little baby boy on the face of the planet. She blogs about family life and frugal living at Raleigh Mommy, and is eternally grateful to the amazing friends that brought her all those wonderful meals!

Great advice, now bring on the food!

What are your favorite meals to take to a new mom?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. I totally agree with all of your points! Having had 9 children and plenty of people bring food over, I think it’s important to be on time. Little ones are sitting at the table, hungry and wiggly.

    Also, about bringing enough food, I’m sure the size of our family must intimidate others, but when we brought the Ethiopians home, some ladies went in together as pairs to offset the ‘trauma’ of feeding us. I thought that was a great idea, because enough food is important. There were a couple of times that I’ve had to grab the peanut butter and heat up some soup to supplement a meal and that shouldn’t ever happen.

    Good stuff, Jess!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Kelly Morris, well, I give Rebecca the credit for taking the initiative and sending me such great ideas.

    • Lucky says

      @Kelly Morris, On the other hand, I would also say don’t make enought food to feed 9 people if it’s a couple with their first baby. I was extremely grateful for everything everyone did for us after our first baby, but there were a few huge pans of chicken noodle casserole that we just couldn’t get through!

      • Rebecca W says

        I’d also like to add alongside of making the appropriate amount of food, also make sure to ask about potential food allergies, dietary restrictions or if there are certain foods that they really just don’t like.

  2. Wonderful points! I stocked my sister-in-law’s freezer when she had her first baby in July. I just made two of each meal for one week, and was able to tuck 7 meals in her freezer for days she feels overwhelmed.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Kristin, my sister did that for me before and it was wonderful! Somehow, even when I make the same recipes, it doesn’t taste the same.

  3. Great post! Awesome things to remember, thanks!

  4. Very good ideas, how about a large pan of scalloped potatoes and tender pork chops? That’s what I am sharing today. Thanks for hosting.

  5. Dana says

    We use to organize our post-baby meals. It is a free site that keeps a calendar that people can sign up to bring the meals. It is a secure and user-friendly way to organize it.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Dana, that sounds like a great program!

  6. Thank you! So glad you like the article. 🙂 Check out this post on my site for Part II (more tips!)

  7. Amy says

    Don’t forget these are great meals to bring when someone is laid up. My recipe today, Shoyu Chicken, was brought by my friend after I had surgery. Even though I had able bodies in my house, none can prepare a very good meal. Love my family though. 🙂

  8. Me... says

    One thing I like to take into account is the age of little ones. When I took a dinner to a friend whose older boy was not really eating much table food yet, I didn’t worry as much about this, but when I’ve taken food to friends who have 2 and 3 year-olds, I try to pick a meal where at least some of it is kid-friendly.

    I also try to take foods that can be easily frozen or last for a while, and make enough that they can have leftovers for at least one day. I was fortunate when my daughter was born that my parents live about a mile away, so I told most of my friends that I didn’t need anything (my mom was feeding us most of the time), but I still had a few people that insisted on bringing something. It was insanely nice to have people that cared for us!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Me…, excellent advice. I found that my kids were all more likely to fill up if it was meat, starch and veg as opposed to casseroles, too.

  9. I’ve been wanting to make my own list of meals I love to take to friends having babies – I bet I take at least a dozen a year! Sometimes I just don’t feel inspired. I love to take SOUP, because it’s so easy to make a big batch and it’s so easy for the friend to heat up. I take it in spaghetti sauce jars so they don’t have to return anything and don’t have to deal with plastic.

    🙂 Katie

  10. Alea says

    What a great post! I linked up a Pasta Salad recipe that I originally discovered when a friend brought it over after my second child was born. I liked it so much I asked for the recipe and I now take it to new mothers.

  11. Lee says

    While it was nice to have people bring food over that was warm and ready to go I found that I actually preferred “freezer food” that was brought over. We eat really early around here (most nights by 5:30) and dinner showing up at 7 wasn’t really our style. 🙂 We also loved having friends come and eat with us, but I have found that we may be in the minority in that particular choice. If you have a close friend that you know will tell you the truth you may want to ask which would be more helpful, a dropped off meal and visiting later, or a meal that comes with the fellowship.:)

  12. After my oldest daughter was born, I was amazed by the amount of food the ladies at our church brought us. I think I cried when the first meal came and they set up a schedule that we received a meal every other day for 2 weeks. With the leftovers, we didn’t even have to cook on the off day.

    I now participate with the meal ministry and every single family is appreciative. One thing to consider is allergies that family members might have. Also some nursing moms try to avoid some foods. The coordinator at our church usually includes that info when asking for meals.

    The Turkey Cornbread potpie that I submitted is usually the meal that I deliver along with a side salad and some kind of dessert. V

  13. Betsy M says

    My favorite meal to drop off is pulled pork sandwiches or wraps, and some sides to go with it. One bit that I would add is be sure to ask ahead if the family has any allergies and if they do, what foods are best. We deal with Celiacs, soy and milk allergies in this house and I have such a hard time knowing what to say to someone bringing off-limits food. Most family members can eat any food but it is sad, sad, sad for the rest of the family to sit and watch the others eat something yummy that they cannot have.

  14. I have a wonderful group of girlfriends and we have a little thing we like to call “meals on wheels.” Basically, whenever one of us is really sick, has surgery, has a baby, anything BIG, we all take a night and rotate a meal delivery for that blessed friend. It all started when one of our friends had to have a really risky surgery and she was far from her mother, so we all got together and picked a night to bring her and husband and baby girl some dinner. We’ve been doing it now for about 2 years and going strong. I just delivered a meal to friend last week who had her second son. It’s such a great gift, really really really great gift to give to a new mom or a mom that has to figure out a meal after coming home from the hospital.

    Thanks for hosting, FishMama!

  15. Thanks for hosting the link up. I am linking back to you on my recipe. Have a nice day.

  16. I’m linking up Cheesy Beef Mac – my go-to meal for everyone! I take this one as gifts often, and I always include the recipe, because so many ask me how to make it. It’s quick, easy, inexpensive, and when giving away, you can make multiple batches at a time. And, it freezes well.

    Dr. Laura

  17. Great tips!

  18. Natalie says

    These are great points – especially the one about having leftovers! I would also add a couple more. First, see if the mother has any dietary requirements. My children were all very sensitive to certain things I ate – like onions, tomatoes and chocolate – so I tried to avoid those for the first few months. Also, offer to wash your hands when you arrive! That’s one easy thing you can do to prevent bringing germs into the new baby’s home!

  19. I love bringing meals to new moms! I remember getting them each time my babies were born and it was such a huge blessing!

    In addition to dinner, I love to bring a basket of muffins or scones for breakfast, some homemade granola or granola bars for snacking, and an additional entree to stick in the freezer for when those meals stop coming. Sometimes we forget that they need to eat breakfast, lunch & snacks too…and many times those are just as difficult to put together when there’s a new baby around.

  20. Melissa says

    As a mom expecting my 6th I really do value the time and effort people make to feed my family after a little one is born. As a general rule I try to never make pasta for a new family because it seems like that is something that they are often overrun with.

    My go to meal for a new baby is: , with mashed potatoes, green beans, a bagged salad, homemade rolls and

    I remember actually crying when someone showed up at my door with a Honey Baked Ham. I was blown away by their generosity and it fed my family forever. Now, if it’s a special friend who has the baby and I’m able, I’ll try to get them a ham. It’s so easy to have in the fridge and be able to pull slices off for sandwiches or with eggs or just as a quick protein fix between nursing sessions.

    Also–I’m another one who would much prefer to receive a meal earlier in the day that I just have to throw in the oven or reheat rather than wondering when dinner will arrive. I like having the flexibility. I’d also prefer at that point in the game for people to just drop it off at the door and take off so I don’t have to worry about making sure my house is completely clean before they arrive.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Melissa, that ham sounds fantastic. I would have cried, too.

  21. Sarah says

    When my mom had my littlest sister a dear older lady in our church brought the meal, paper products for us to eat off of, and a trash bag to take away the garbage. It was so sweet – we didn’t have to even wash the dishes we ate off of!!!

  22. Amy says

    I love this post! When I had my first child and people brought me meals I was pleasantly surprised! I quickly learned how beneficial and appreciated food is when you’re in that situation. I’ve been taking food to friends who have a baby ever since. Thanks for the great post!

  23. I submitted a few older posts that I like to bring to people. The skillet lasagna is so easy and just pair it with some veggies and breadsticks/rolls and your good to go. Roast is something you can prepare in the morning, let it cook it the crockpot, transfer to a disposable foil pan and make a side of rolls and gravy.
    I am very picky and when I got meals brought in a lot of it went to waste which I felt terrible about! So a good thing to keep in mind is keeping it SIMPLE or finding out what they enjoy…or at least what they don’t!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Reagan @ Recipesmademyway, absolutely on the simple. I have had dear friends prepare complex meals that my kids could not/would not eat. It was a bummer.

  24. Lisa says

    I will have to admit all these posts have me feeling a tad jealous (something I know I shouldn’t be feeling but can’t help myself). I thought dealing with kids, meals, cleaning the house was all part of the deal when you have kids, life doesn’t stop basically. I am expecting my third at the end of December (and my second will not be one until January 8th, and 1st baby will be 2 and half) and with both boys I didn’t have any visitors. Not that I didn’t want them I guess they just figured I needed to figure it all out.

    So I have come to terms with the fact that I will be recovering from a c-section, taking care of 3 under 3 and trying to fit in a small birthday celebration for my 2nd born (we will be celebrating his 1st and my 30th on the same day) I just wish I had people as nice as all of you to bring food and/or help out. You all are wonderful people and I hope you know how much your help is appreciated – and not given to every mother.

    • Jessica Fisher says

      @Lisa, ohhhhhhhhhhhh. I am so sorry to hear that that has been your experience. That is not how it should be. Where do you live?

      Will be praying that friends will come out of the woodwork to bless you guys….

      • Lisa says

        @Jessica Fisher, Thank you for your kind words. I am in Michigan (middle of the mitten to be exact) I try to make sure new moms get at least one meal from our family, but the new moms are few and far between for our family.
        I am blessed to have my boys and don’t loose sight of that fact (a few miscarriages along the way so I have that added appreciation). I didn’t want it to sound like I was having a pity party for myself over this little oversight, just wanted everyone to know how wonderful they are for helping out in the ways they have expressed.

  25. Lucky says

    I try to go for food that can be eaten using one hand. Muffins, scones, fruit, lunch meat platters, etc. I don’t think I got too many two handed meals in those first few weeks and someone told me recently that her 4 year old was able to get her own breakfast after I delivered muffins and fruit while she was in a cluster feeding induced coma.

    Actually my favorite meal that someone brought was subway! It tasted sooooo good — I think my son was about a week old at the time. Maybe because it was about 90 degrees the week my son was born?

    Two savory muffins I make a lot are:
    pizza muffins

    spinach muffins

    These are great for toddlers too.

  26. Finally got my soup post up…. test driving cars is exhausting and time consuming!

  27. We always provide families with new babies 2 weeks worth of hot meals when they come out of hospital. When our little girl came home I was so touched by the kindness and thought that went into preparing the meals. We loved anything with pasta but remember to go easy on the spice if Mum is breastfeeding. Our best one was a Bolognese and Gnocchi bake which we replicated in huge quantities for our daughter’s Christening party it was such a treasured memory.

  28. Lisa says

    Hi there! Love this article! I just wanted to let you know about our website called Food Tidings ( it’s a free way to set up a meal schedule for a friend who is going through a transitional time of life (just like having a baby). You can add food preferences, allergies, how many to cook for, when and where to bring meals, and then you can invite people to sign up to bring dinner to them! Once they sign up, they get an email from us two days before they’re scheduled as a reminder. It’s a great way to show you care!

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me- lisa{at}foodtidings{dot}com.

    Lisa Shepherd
    Co-Founder of Food Tidings

  29. tammy says

    Found your site through design finch’s special delivery labels via pinterest! We have a ministry called “manna” for new moms at our church, and this is a great resource for the women that serve there. Thanks! : )

  30. Maureen says

    Does anyone have any creative ideas for packaging/delivery? I always feel bad just dumping off a bunch of ugly disposable containers. Baskets? Notecards? Presentation? Help me out!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I remember how fun it was when folks took a little extra time with presentation. Sometimes they used restaurant take-out containers (you can buy those in some stores) or added flowers or something fun like that. Great question!

  31. ashley says

    Remember to ask about food allergies, likes and dislikes!!!

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