Food for thought: what to bring to new mums
So a person in your personal network has just had a baby and you’re not sure what you can do to help. If you fancy yourself a bit of a kitchen whiz, your culinary talents might be just what they need.
When someone in your circle has a newborn or is expecting, it can be difficult to know how you can help them without overstepping the mark. Rest assured, you don’t have to offer to be a live-in nanny: small acts of kindness will go far and make a world of difference.
If you’re gastronomically inclined, why not use your culinary skills to whip up some home-made goodness and give them one less thing to worry about for a meal or two.
Here’s some food for thought… our suggestions on what you could give to new mothers:
1. Non-perishable snacks and nibbles
Fill their pantry with comforting and healthy snacks that will keep them powering on throughout the day. Why not whip up a batch of healthy home-made muesli bars, or put together a basket of rice crackers, some dried fruit and nuts? New parents often think of themselves last when it comes to eating, so a bunch of healthy snacks, conveniently on hand, will make it easy.
Of course a delivery of your ‘famous’ choc chip cookies will probably never go unappreciated as a treat!
2. Minimal-prep wonders
When you’re busy trying to look after a new baby, preparing meals that have too many steps and ingredients can seem overwhelming. It may just be easier to call for a pizza. To help with this, why not make your own crockpot, slow cooker or soup kits? Easy to use, the idea is that new parents can simply throw it all in and walk away, returning to a healthy meal later in the day.
Simply fill a large resealable freezer container/bag with the washed, chopped and prepped ingredients (sauces and herbs included) to make a complete home cooked meal. Your options are limited only by your imagination!
3. Home-cooked frozen goodness
Take it the next level and cook bulk meals to freeze in containers or aluminium trays that they need only to reheat. This beats store-bought freezer meals as you can cater for their personal tastes (not to mention that it’s made with love).
To really make sure it’s received with as much love as you’ve prepared it, it’s worth trying to not to give them perishable foods (just in case they don’t get to it in time) or anything that needs any more preparation (other than reheating of course!).
Ingredients like lean meats, cooked vegetables, pasta, grains and legumes all freeze and re-heat well. And if you’re super keen, buying ingredients in bulk from your butcher or market can be a cost effective option.
Also – if you’re dropping off frozen meals, be sure to do it in containers you don’t want back. It seems like a small gesture, but if parents don’t need to worry about getting your favourite Tupperware back to you, then it’s one less thing on their minds. Win, win.
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A little goes a long way and don’t be surprised if you’re never asked for help. The best thing you can probably do is just turn up with the food at hand, and leave it behind for the family to enjoy. You never know what your small gesture might mean for them.