I’ve learned there are a couple of rules to follow when visiting friends who just had a baby. 1: Offer to clean something. 2: Always bring food. Oh, and that food needs to be easy to heat, reheat and preferably, hold up well in the freezer. Here are a few of my favorite go-to meals to bring parents of newborns.
No one has time for a complicated breakfast during those first few hazy newborn weeks. Give the new parents in your life the gift of a hearty meal that can be eaten one-handed if need be. Breakfast burritos are easy to make and customize to different dietary needs (dairy-free, gluten-free, etc.). After you cook them up, wrap the burritos with foil and stuff as many as possible in freezer bags. Make sure to include reheating instructions to make prep fast and easy for parents.
Get the recipe at Damn Delicious.
Bringing new parents a lasagna is a tradition as old as time (well, as old as ovens at least), but this zesty southwestern version takes a different spin on the classic dish. Layers of beef, beans, cheese and tortillas will keep everyone full for hours and can be adjusted to be less spicy or vegetarian. Want to score even more friend points? Send some guacamole and sour cream along to complete the meal.
Get the recipe at What’s Gaby Cooking.
It doesn’t get much simpler than dumping ingredients into a slow cooker. This healthy and filling meal features tons of veggies and can be left in the fridge for two days or frozen for up to six months. Prepare the recipe for the family, then throw it all in a freezer bag with cooking instructions listed (jotting down the date is a good idea, too!). The recipe requires a box of chicken broth when heating it up, so you may want to include that as well.
Get the recipe at Slow Cooker Gourmet.
When my daughter was a baby, I often found myself grabbing a handful of nuts or a cheese stick throughout the day when I didn’t have time to sit down for a full meal. Kick that idea up a notch by gifting parents with an assortment of cheeses, meats, veggies, hummus and crackers (or whatever else they’re into). Precut vegetables and fruits, then store them in plastic containers when you deliver the food. Parents can graze, then easily throw snacks back into the fridge for later on. If the family drinks alcohol, include a bottle of wine or champagne to go with the “charcuterie.”
Get ideas at Weelicious.
If you plan on bringing dinner to a nursing mama, throw in a batch of these tasty treats to keep her milk supply up and her nutrition on point (studies say breastfeeding women should consume between 1800-2200 calories per day at a minimum). The milk boosting ingredients include oatmeal, flax seed and brewer’s yeast, but don’t worry, they still pack plenty of ooey gooey cookie flavor, thanks to the butter and chocolate. Note: The author of this particular recipe says the cookies tend to dry out quickly, so you may want to freeze them (or the dough) before delivering.
Get the recipe at How Sweet Eats.
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.