One of my friends just had a sweet new baby boy and I signed up through our church to take her a meal today. I haven't actually prepared meals to take to other people very often so I had to do a bit of thinking. I ended up taking chicken salad, banana bread, chopped veggies and dip, and some apples. I wanted something that wasn't extremely common. Other people were taking the family meals this week too and I wasn't sure what they had already eaten, but I didn't want to make anything too strange that they might not like it. Here are a few of my thoughts on taking meals to new moms (or families with illness, etc):
-Check with the family about what food allergies or preferences they may have.
-Make a well balanced meal. Add a vegetable (even a bag of frozen veggies they can heat up), bread of some sort, and maybe a dessert. Healthy foods are best for helping new moms or sick persons recover!
-Include cooking directions if the food needs to be heated. (temperature, time, and other details)
-Including the recipe written out on a card can be helpful if the family likes the meal and wants to prepare it again themselves sometime. It also lets them know what is in the meal in case of any allergies.
-Try to package the food in containers that you will not need to have returned to you.
-Let the family know what time you plan to drop by.
-Deliver the meal in time for it to be heated. If you're bringing a frozen dish, deliver it the day before the family plans to eat it or have it already thawed. Let them know if it can be frozen for later use.
- Go for it! I wasn't sure what I was doing, but we've had meals brought to us by others and it was so touching and made us feel very cared for.
And just in case you're interested, here's the Chicken Salad recipe from my mother-in-law:
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 box sea shell macaroni (cooked and drained)
1 small can crushed pineapple (with juice)
1 cup chopped celery
1/4-1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup grapes (cut in half)
Mix all together and chill.
1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
1 Tbs yellow mustard
2 Tbs pickle juice (or vinegar)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix well and toss with chicken salad. Chill 2-3 hours.
How about you? Have you prepared a meal for anyone lately? Do you have other tips to share? What's your favorite meal to bring someone?