Before having a child, I had no idea what to bring a new mom. We throw baby showers and bring them clothes and diapers and such for the new baby, but it seems we rarely do anything for the woman who brings that baby into the world. After I had a baby (and *especially* after I had a second baby), I realized how much I appreciated all the wonderful people in my life who brought me food. When you are in the haze of a newborn, you know you need to eat, but you don’t want to ask and you don’t want to think about where your next meal is coming from or what you even want to eat. At least, that was my experience! I’ve accumulated some of my favorite recipes that I both received as a new mom as well as gave to other new moms that meet the following criteria:
- Pretty easy to make. We all know that as moms ourselves we’re insanely busy, so we want something pretty quick
- Easy to double. After all, if we’re going through the effort to make it for someone else, may as well double the recipe and make it for our family as well!
- Makes enough that it can be used for more than one meal.
- Has good protein. Whether the new mom is breastfeeding or not, she’s sure to need lots of good protein to sustain her own energy to care for a newborn.
- Can easily be placed in a container that doesn’t need to be washed and returned!
So, without further ado, here are my favorite meals to prepare for my new mom friends.
I love lentils. They are a great source of protein, vegetarian, easy to cook, and inexpensive. They also taste delicious and can be prepared in so many ways. A few of my favorite recipes include Lentils with carrots and beets (see the first recipe on this link), a really delicious Lebanese flavored lentil dish with bulgar wheat (see the second recipe on this link), a very flavorful lentil dish with Greek yogurt, lemon and butternut squash (and hint: buy the pre-cut butternut squash to save your time and sanity!). All of these dishes are super easy to make as long as you’ve got some time for the lentils to cook in the water/broth!
My mother is Italian and I grew up eating lots of yummy Italian food (I was the only kid I knew who loved spinach, but everything is better with oil and red wine vinegar!). This is my mom’s lasagna recipe (which I’m sure isn’t a family secret and very well could have come from the side of a box of lasagna noodles). If I have time, I make the sauce from scratch. But if I’m in a hurry, I just buy a jar of sauce and use that instead. The recipe can be mixed up however you’d like with ground meat (make sure to completely cook it first), veggies, etc. Have fun mixing it up! I make sure to buy a disposable lasagna pan for this so the new mom doesn’t feel like she needs to scrub baked-on cheese off of anything. Another potential time-saving tip is to buy no-cook lasagna noodles. Trader Joe’s sells them and they work great, but you do need to make sure you use plenty of sauce.
Chicken/Turkey Salad and a Big Green Salad
As a new mom, it’s very hard to get a well-balanced meal. Having a huge green salad is such a delicious thing to have. We received a wonderful post-partum meal from our neighbor one time that included chicken salad with wild rice, a yummy side salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing. It was so delicious and easy for a picnic (which in our case included attempting to eat in the backyard for a whopping 5 minutes before our 3 year old and newborn had a meltdown). I don’t have the recipe she brought, but here is a great recipe that I used trying to recreate Whole Foods’ version of a curried turkey salad. Incredibly flavorful and easy to combine with a green salad.
Let’s be honest. We don’t all have time (or sometimes the skills) to follow a recipe or cook. So a very tasty and very easy option is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store and a couple of pre-made side items to bring along as well. No muss, no fuss! And while you’re at it, grab a couple of chocolate bars for dessert!
The best part about this recipe is that anyone can eat them. They are only lactation cookies because they can help you produce more milk (at least, they have for me!).