9 Delicious Dishes to Bring to a New Mom
Having a child can be one of the most rewarding—and demanding—experiences to go through. If you have a friend who just took the plunge and seemingly turned into a grown-up overnight, there’s one way you two can still connect: food.
For a new mom, the first couple weeks of a newborn’s life involve little rest and lots of nursing, which means she’s probably too busy to think about feeding herself. If you’re planning a trip to meet the baby and catch up with its mother, instead of showing up with flowers, come equipped with fully prepared meals that can be eaten cold, at room temperature, or only require a quick zap in the microwave. A new mom is sleeping in patches around the clock, which means any help in stocking her fridge and pantry with easy snacks and fast meals would be received gratefully.
Wondering what to make? We polled a bunch of new moms and found nine delicious dishes that met their stamp of approval. If you don’t cook, head to your local prepared foods market and pick up storebought versions of these mindful and filling meals. You’ll rise quickly on her BFF list with these tips.
One new mom we spoke with said she craved easy foods that would fill her up in the morning, such as energy bars. “There is often no time to heat up food, let alone actually eat it when it’s warm,” she said. “That’s why I love when people bring me homemade power bars.” If you don’t have time to make energy bars from scratch, check the nutrition label on the side of the package. Select the bars that have the most natural ingredients and the least amount of processed elements.
A healthful mixture of oats, dried fruits, and nuts, granola is something that a new mom can snack on at any hour of the day. Plus, it’s super easy to make. Simply put all the ingredients onto a sheet pan and bake. We recommend whipping up a large batch, then dumping it in a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon. Pair it with almond milk and organic berries for her week’s worth of breakfasts.
“After giving birth, I was the hungriest I've ever been. I was truly ravenous!” One mom told us. “It was a much deeper hunger than I had ever experienced. Between trying to replace all of the calories I hadn't eaten during labor, all of the physical exertion during labor, and my body trying to replace nutrients I needed, it was a crazy hunger.” She especially enjoyed an over-the-top mushroom, shallot, and comté quiche. With dairy and vegetables, eating a quiche is like consuming all the food groups in one easy dish.
A three-bean salad is an excellent dish to bring a new mom who is a vegetarian. It’s protein-packed and can be consumed cold, directly out of the fridge. Make it a care package: Bring the salad with a bag of mixed greens, pita bread, feta cheese, and coconut water. While you’re at her house, make her a pita filled with the salad, greens, and feta. Don’t forget chips, and insist on holding the baby while she eats her pita sandwich first. Who knows when she last ate using both hands?
All of the moms we spoke to said they couldn’t get enough snacks, so try your hand at making homemade crackers. Be sure to bring ingredients to enjoy with the crackers, such as her favorite cheese, charcuterie, olives, and a spread—think fig tapenade or edamame hummus.
“Basically anything you can open up and pick at cold” is what one new mom wanted. “Cold pasta salads with lots of veggies are a great idea,” she explained. Make a big pasta salad and add in roasted vegetables, salty olives, or sweet sun-dried tomatoes. Whatever sort of food you bring to the mom, be sure to pack it in disposable containers instead of your good Tupperware. Stop by the prepared section of your grocer and pick up cartons for hot dishes and plastic containers for salads like this pasta dish.
“Cooking is impossible when you just come home,” one mom said. “It’s important to eat dishes that are healthy, but super filling. So don’t bring her lasagna, because that is fatty and heavy, but instead make meatballs in red sauce with vegetables.” To keep things on the healthy side, use ground chicken (as this recipe does) or turkey in place of pork and beef in the meatballs. Toss roasted carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms with greens and serve alongside the homemade meatballs. Don’t forget crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.
Vegetarian chili is a great option because you can make a large batch and then the mom can easily reheat it at any time of day. Bring Tex-Mex fixings—salsa and chips, guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream—for her to enjoy with the dish.
Every single mom we talked to said they loved roast chicken and vegetables. “For dinner, the best was a whole roasted chicken with roasted vegetables. We could eat the chicken as leftovers, so that was easy and versatile,” one said. “Someone brought me roast chicken and a HUGE salad—that was my favorite meal,” another mom said. Since a roast chicken is a cinch to make, we recommend that you make this roast chicken with potatoes and carrots for the new mama.
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