Planning your special delivery
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Adina Bailey, Co-Founder, TakeThemAMeal.com on May 10, 2012
the summer i turned 25, we had a wedding every other weekend throughout the summer. now that i'm edging 30 - it's ALL BABY! :) 4 of my girlfriends have had babies in the past month - and 1 more is due any day now! would you believe it --- all had boys!!!
one of my favorite ways to celebrate each new baby has been to bring the new parents a meal. relieving the stress of "what's for dinner?" is possibly the biggest gift you can give a couple as they transition into new parents!
make-ahead chix, ham & swiss roulades via real simple
photo courtesy: ellie miller
if you're like me, cooking for your own family can feel a bit overwhelming after a long day. so here's a little list of tips i've gathered to help you plan your "special delivery":
1 // take them a meal! everyone loves free food! it doesn't matter if you're a month after delivery or if there wasn't an established "meal plan". just do it! pick a meal that you're comfortable with and that transports easily. make sure that you double check with the family for any food allergies or dislikes. bonus: save yourself some time by making a double portion for your family!
2 // bring plenty of food. one of my sweet mommies had her parents, his parents, a brother & sister-in-law and 2 year-old twins staying with them after the baby was born. plan accordingly! besides, did you know that a nursing mommy needs to eat 2500 calories a day!?! plan a meal w/ 6-8 servings perfect for dinner and leftovers! as an added bonus, bring fresh fruit & pastries or a casserole for breakfast in the am.
3 // take your items in disposable containers. ziplock bags, foil pans, gladware ... easy to label & recycle or toss. better yet - the new parents won't have to worry about returning your dishware. they'll have enough on their minds already!
4 // arrive on time! 8pm dinners are unfortunately quite common around our house. but apparently that's not the case with everyone!?! :) deliver your meal table ready at the requested time. if you're a working woman - try signing up for a weekend shift or choose a make ahead recipe & prep the night before. i've found this enchilada recipe via real simple super helpful to deliver earlier in the day w/ heating instructions. (speaking of time - don't stay too long! they're probably exhausted and definitely hungry!)
5 // add a personal touch. come up with a theme like "date night" or pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers or fancy disposable paper products. and add a little note of encouragement + the recipe! of course, they are going to loooove what you cooked and ask anyways. ;)
maybe you don't have a new mommy & daddy in your life but rather someone grieving or in transition. a sweet friend brought me a meal the week after i moved wade to boston! i guess i was "love sick" and it meant the world to me.
thanks to takethemameal.com, we're talking not your grandma's small town baptist church meals on wheels anymore! talk about super user friendly and organized! as the coordinator, you create a password protected online sign up sheet. the profile can be shared on facebook or friends can be invited through email. both participants and recipient can reference phone numbers, driving directions, delivery times, food allergies and more. meal providers can select a date and enter their information including planned meal (perfect for eliminating duplicates), and then the site automatically sends them a reminder email a day in advance. genius!
Read other recent articles by Adina Bailey: