Bringing meals to families after the birth of a baby, during times of sickness or loss is such a simple way to really bless a family and make them feel loved and cared for.
After the birth of our third baby, we were blessed with many meals from friends in our small group and other friends from church. Every meal that was delivered made me feel loved and cared for. And, I’m so thankful for the sweet friends who took time out of their busy days of caring for their own little ones to prepare a meal for our family.
Since I know what a blessing meals are to families, I prefer to celebrate babies by bringing a meal or two instead of giving them more stuff for baby (babies don’t need much)!
In the past, I’ve made excuses for not bringing meals to families, telling myself I was too busy taking care of my kids, preparing our own meals and that I didn’t know what to bring.
While, it does take some time out of my day, I’ve found that bringing meals can be pretty simple and involve a minimal amount of time, thanks to planning and keeping meals simple.
I have two meals that I typically bring to families:
- Roasted Chicken, Baked Carrots, Potatoes and Onions, Green Beans, Rolls and Dessert
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole with Green Beans, Rolls and Dessert
Dessert is usually cookies or brownies.
Sometimes, I’ll bring fresh fruit (like bananas or cut up melon) or muffins so the family can have something extra to snack on and pack kid friendly foods (cheese sticks, carrot sticks) for kiddos.
These two meals are simple to prepare and are family favorites. I typically keep the ingredients to make both of these meals on hand. This makes bringing a family a meal on short notice possible without a trip to the grocery store.
I’ve found that knowing what I’m bringing allows me to volunteer to bring meals without any stress over what I’ll prepare. And, preparing the same two meals makes getting the meal packed up and ready to deliver simple since I know exactly what containers I need.
Once everything is cooked, I package it up in disposable containers and bags. Disposable pans work best for my main dish, green beans can be transported in disposable pans or plastic containers (like Gladware) and rolls/brownies/cookies are easy to package in a plastic bag. (I hate the waste element of this but it’s easier for the family to not have to worry about returning dishes.)
I have learned the hard way that transporting food in disposable containers can result in some leaks. I’ve had several green bean juice leaks – once all over the back of the van.
To avoid leaks in my vehicle, I line my clothes basket with a clean towel and load everything into the basket. This not only keeps any leaks contained, it’s also an easy way to deliver the meal. I am able to bring everything into the home in just one trip.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a good cook or truly don’t have the time to prepare meals for families, you can still bless families with food.
- Pick up a Rotisserie Chicken at your local grocery store, add a salad mix, fresh bread and fruit.
- Pick up all the fixings for homemade sub sandwiches and add chips and fruit.
- Bring takeout from any restaurant. (Calling ahead to see what the families favorite foods are would be a nice gesture.)
- Bring a basket of snacks. (John David’s grandparents brought a bunch snacks and fresh fruit after Cecilia’s birth – it was much appreciated and the boys were thrilled with all the yummy snack foods!)
- Invite the family over to join your family for a meal – you won’t have to worry about transporting food at a certain time and they won’t have to worry about any clean up.
- If you live in a different town, you can still bless friends with meals via gift cards to restaurants in their area.
For more meal ideas, here are some of the meals we were given (and everything was delicious):
- Baked Spaghetti, Salad and Bread
- Quiche, Baked Oatmeal, Fruit (breakfast for dinner – yum!)
- Pot Roast, Green Beans and Rolls
- Chicken and Rice Soup, Salad, Bread
- Chicken Enchiladas, Beans and Fruit
- Stromboli, Salad, Fruit
- Chicken Casserole, Salad and Bread
- Hamburgers, Chips and Pineapple Casserole
- Potato and Corn Chowder and Corn Muffins
- Smoked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Our boys really loved the nights that pizza and hamburgers were brought. In fact, they’ve asked me several times over the past year when we were going to have another baby because they liked having people bring us food! (Our entire family was truly blessed by the gift of meals!)
Do you have specific meals you bring? I’d love to know your easy to transport meal ideas!