Blessing Families by Bringing Meals

Bringing Meals

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:

    1. Roasted Chicken,  Baked Carrots, Potatoes and Onions, Green Beans, Rolls and Dessert
    2. 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.

Meal to Bring

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.

Packed Up Meal

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
      • Pizza
      • 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!

responses to “Blessing Families by Bringing Meals” 16

  1. I love this idea! I've done chicken parmesan in the past like you, but what's even easier and less expensive and goes quite a long way is a big ziti casserole. Usually that is what I'll bring as a main dish with an index card taped to the front that specifically says to bake at 375 for 25ish minutes. When I had both my children I was also blessed with MANY MANY homecooked meals from church friends and family. I will say that anything that came that was frozen was almost impossible to cook and eat. By the time it unthawed in the oven (hours later) it was burnt on the top. It sounds like you deliver your food fresh, so just wanted to reiterate that point. Unfortunately quite a bit of the food we received got wasted because of this and we felt so bad. So like you probably do, we call ahead and find out what day of the week they would like dinner cooked and delivered. And I agree that this is the best gift idea ever! And I love the idea of delivering a snack basket…I'll have to use that one! Thanks again.

    1. Our friends/church uses Meal Train or Take them a Meal to schedule meals which is nice for keeping things organized and so the family knows who is bringing them a meal and when. And, I cannot imagine bringing a frozen meal that was intended to be dinner that night! 🙁

  2. Beef stew and either mini pavlova ( small meringues filled with fruits ) or tiramisu. All are was to make and taste great

    I also buy some nice tea ( earl grey, jasmine ) or coffee

  3. This article is well timed. We have been so blessed by the people we have taken meals to on occasion. I have it in my heart to do this MORE often 😉 Just yesterday my husband's brother and his wife brought us supper (my husband was just recently hospitalized and home now.) They are Old Order Amish and brought out meal in their open buggy ( 1 1/2 hr trip one way.) Now that is truly a heartfelt gesture on their part. We were blessed with a great visit and supper. Thanks for posting this, great idea 😀

  4. We were so blessed by meals after our daughter was born, too! One friend who showed up with a meal and some gluten free Clif bars for nursing Mama to munch on in "emergency starving situations" was amazing!

    When that friend had her baby, we did something a little different for them. They have over 20 food allergies in their home, so having meals brought by others brought a lot of stress for the family as cross-contamination of ingredients would have had terrible results for the family. Instead, we asked her for a grocery list and went out and bought groceries for them. This way they could do meal preparation in a way that would be safe, but we could still help to simplify the process for them and bless them during that exciting but tiring newborn season.

    1. What a great idea to go out and by them groceries! I can see this being very helpful. My sister is due with her 6th and like me does like like other people's food. They have a sever gluten allergy in their home and so nothing is allowed in that she does not approve of. I am going to do this when she has her next little one 🙂

    2. I love this idea, especially for an allergy family!! I can imagine having food prepared and delivered would be incredibly stressful and dangerous when there are multiple food allergies.

  5. I love this post! We, too, were blessed with lots of great meals – and gift cards from out-of-town friends (like you! 🙂 – after Henry was born and it really does make life with a new baby easier.

    Have you ever used MealTrain.com? It's awesome and helps the momma not accidentally double-book herself. Setting that up and managing it for a new family is another great way to contribute!

    My favorite "taking food to people" story is when I signed up to take food to some new parents in our church. I was at the end of the meal train group, and I knew they might be tired of homemade casseroles. So I asked for their favorite restaurant and ordered takeout for them. They wanted Chinese food! When I arrived, the mom immediately handed me the baby and sat down with her meal. She was so excited and ready for something different! I got a better response to that than any of my homemade meals! Haha!

    1. Meal Train and Take them a Meal are the two sites that friends use here to organize meals! It makes it so simple. And, takeout is such an easy option and usually very appreciated!

  6. I must be the odd ball but I do not like when people bring me meals… It kinda grosses me out! Like, do they wash their hands, did they rub their nose, what about that cat… On top of my crazy thoughts of cleanliness I think about what is in it – some heavy/high carb dishes make me feel sicker then I was! Not to mention all the sugar they bring into our house… that makes the kids crazy (we like honey in moderation).

    The best thing people ever did for me was a card (mailed in the mail!) that says positive things and how they are praying for me. What a great way to encourage someone after they had a baby or are going through a difficult surgery. I would always make sure the person WANTS a meal first… people bring me food after I have declined it… sadly it just goes in the trash!

    1. Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing it! All of the organized meals I've participated in have been wanted by the family thus far and very appreciated but it is a good reminder to make sure families actually do want meals.

  7. When we had our first baby, we had tons of meals brought by church friends. We loved every one of them, but one really stood out. A couple asked to bring us dinner on Valentine's Day, and then they came into our house, lit candles, sat us down, and served us the meal. I had spent the entire day (while my husband was at work) with a screaming baby and covered in spit-up. I was exhausted. This was the most loving gesture, and it just made the whole day better.

  8. While I love to cook and enjoy bringing meals to bless families…sometimes, with two littles and one on the way, I’m tired!!! Can I just say, I LOVE the idea of sub sandwiches!!?!? I would love to receive this simple meal (and not just because I’m currently pregnant and craving sandwiches all.day.long. Lol!)
    What a fantastic idea, easy and fun. Thank you! Oh…and Stromboli that sounds pretty delicious right now too!! Haha.

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