Taking Meals Made Easier
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Adina Bailey, Co-Founder, TakeThemAMeal.com on Aug 18, 2014
So, what do you do if you've never taken a meal to someone and you've been invited to participate in a meal schedule?
Choose what meal you would like to take
Select a meal that fits with the recipient's dietary needs and that you can transport easily. Stick with what you know and what you are comfortable cooking. Over time, you will likely establish one or two meals that you take regularly and it will become second nature. For meal ideas, check out our recipe section or our Pinterest Board, (Taking) Made Easier.
(**If you live out of town or are short on time, taking carry out or sending a meal is just as helpful to the meal recipient.)
Select your containers
After selecting your meal, think about what containers you could use to cook/transport the food. It's great to use containers that do not need to be returned to you. Some good examples are foil pans, Gladware and Chinet (oven to table pans), Ziploc bags, Mason jars, washed out yogurt/sour cream containers, or extra dishes you no longer need.
Package items carefully
After preparing your meal and packaging the items, put everything you need to deliver in a box, basket, or shopping bag. Be sure to include reheating instructions, if needed, and it's a nice touch to write out what you've included for the meal. This can be especially helpful if one of your items is a topping or if your main dish should go over rice that you have included.
Add a personal note or card
Including a personal note or card is a special touch as your words of encouragement will remain long after the meal is gone. Other possible items you could add to your meal are decorative paper products, a candle, flowers, a puzzle or a coloring book (for young children).
Deliver your meal ready for the table
If possible, bring your meal warm and ready for the table at the requested time. The recipient can always keep the meal warm for a little while, if needed. If the family is accepting meals earlier in the day, you can bring the meal with the cooking or reheating directions. If for any reason, you need to bring the meal earlier than the requested time, be sure to arrange this with the person who is coordinating the meals.
Don't stay long
Your goal when taking the meal is to deliver the food and then be on your way. This is not the time for an extended visit with the recipient. In some cases it might be helpful to stay and visit, but as a general rule, it could be exhausting instead of helpful if everyone bringing a meal stayed for a visit each day.
After taking your meal, follow up with the recipient to see how they are doing one week, one month, three months, and/or six months later. Just a quick "Thinking of you" note or phone call can mean the world to someone who has gone through a time where meals were needed.
You can find more tips and articles about taking meals to your friends and family on our blog.
Read other recent articles by Adina Bailey: