10 Meals You Should Make for Your Friends with New Babies

10 Meals You Should Make For Your Friends With New Babies collage of images.

Babies, Babies, Everywhere!

I’m seeing babies in my newsfeed and on blogs and in real life like it’s crazy baby town right now, because it IS crazy baby town. And I LOVE IT. ♥

Now here comes the part where I talk about how much I like kids and you go, awww/gag. But true confessions, I really like those little ones. Infants and toddlers and preschoolers and kids and let’s not forget the baby animals, too, right? This is one of the many reasons why I spent many summers as a nanny and eventually became a real-person-official elementary school teacher. In fact, as you read this, I’m probably hanging out with my friendly little gang of nine-year-olds, teaching them how to read and multiply and think. Also hopefully imparting my two cents on how to be supernice peeps and make the world awesome. As it stands, the outlook is good. They’re naturals.

Speaking of supernice peeps in the awesome world, how nice is it when you are at the end of your rope and someone brings you a lovingly prepared meal? and just like that, home cooking is on your table? I mean, you can’t think about food prep and recipes and coordinated meals in these times. Your thoughts turn to survival mode: Hungry. Find food. This is one of the things I love about food – it serves in the most universal and intimate way.

Woman holding a newborn.

{my new nephew Charlie}

I haven’t been a new mom myself, but many of my friends and family members are currently in that precious and all-consuming phase of life known as Parent of Infant. Someone please give these people some kind of badge of heroic honor, or better yet, A WARM MEAL. The constant feeding (so demandingly hungry, those little things), the midnight rocking and singing, the non existent sleep, and the need to stay calm stay calm stay calm when the crying is like whoa and the energy level is like zero. Not like you’re also trying to recover from the most extremely physically and emotionally exhausting event of your life, or running around chasing a two year old with an infant attached to your body. Parents of small children, I’m bowing down to you as I type this.

This week I’ve been hitting up the blog archives and cooking up a storm for my friends with new babies. My sister just received a mass delivery of food that I’ve been slowly accumulating in the freezer over the course of the last few months, and last night Bjork and I brought a laundry basket (keepin it classy) full of some favorite meals and treats over to the NICU where our good friends are camped out for a while with their premie twins. TWINS. I can’t even.

So since it’s been on my mind more than the actual recipe that I had to share today, here are ten meal ideas that make perfect food deliveries for your friends with new babies!

1. Chicken Tamale Pie

Chicken Tamale Pie in a clear baking dish.
An oldie but a goodie – you just can’t not love it. It’s so extremely simple to make and everyone loves it. Add a side salad, maybe some tortilla chips, and you’ve got a guaranteed winner.

2. Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole in a white baking dish.
Casseroles DO have a time and place, and this is one of them. It’s healthy and completely made from scratch – no cans of soup + lots of fresh veggies + good protein. Bake, cover, and deliver.

3. Crockpot Carnitas

Carnitas on a plate.
I love making this one for friends because you can just pack all the meat up in containers and then deliver it with all the fixings: tortillas, limes, avocados, cilantro, salsa, chips, Mexican cheese, sour cream, cabbage and carrot shreds for topping, and this could go on for a long time. Fiesta mama.

4. Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup with bread.

It’s mellow, creamy, and wild ricey. It’s the ultimate comfort food. PLUS it cooks in the crockpot while you’re busy during the day. Come home and it’s ready to pack up and deliver. I usually send a loaf of nice crusty bread and a crisp green salad along with this one. Awwyeah.

5. Red Thai Curry Sauce

Thai Curry Sauce in a bowl over noodles and broccoli.

Not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind for new parent meal deliveries, but the reason this works great for sharing is because you can double or triple the sauce, cook some rice, veggies, and protein, and deliver them all in their own containers so that your recipients can make their own curry rice bowls. And this sauce is SERIOUSLY SO GOOD.

6. Skinny Spinach Lasagna

Skinny Spinach Lasagna.

It’s the classic new baby meal: a big old pan of homemade, ooey-gooey, saucy lasagna. This one is great for any friends who can appreciate the meatless things in life. Or even not – add some chicken, sausage, or whatever suits your fancy to make it fit. Pack up a little green salad with it and BAM. Giftable meal of the year.

7. Quick and Easy Pizza Breads

Quick and Easy Pizza Bread on a plate with greens.

The beauty of these is that they freeze (and then reheat) individually, so you can toss them all in a big freezer bag and send them on their merry way for ultra homemade convenience.

8. Crockpot Red Lentil Curry

Crockpot Red Lentil Curry on a wooden spoon.

Recipe highlights: easy for you, delicious for them, healthy and good-smelling and kind of addictive. Also, a personal tip from personal experience: keep a little for yourself since it makes  a huge batch.

9. Healthy Mexican Casserole with Roasted Corn and Peppers

Healthy Mexican Casserole in a white baking dish.

Mexican meets vegetarian meets one-pan easy transport wonderfulness. Add some homemade jalapeno corn bread and a handful of limes, avocados, and cilantro if you’re feeling extra awesome.

10. Sticky Bourbon Chicken

Sticky Bourbon Chicken with Rice in a grey bowl.

You could deliver this sticky chicken already baked, with sauce; unbaked, with sauce separate; or marinated in pan and ready for your friends to just pop in oven. There are so many ways to make it work. There’s a reason they call these things one-pan wonders.

How To Be a Bestest Ever Friend: Add a Treat Or Snack Or Muff To Your Meal Delivery To Sweeten The Deal.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies on white plates.

I’ve made an obscene amount of these in the last two weeks. For “other people.” Not even complaining.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

Cookie brownies.

One pan = easy packing and transport. Also, one easy serving size. Just pack a spoon and go.

Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins on a piece of parchment paper.

These are my best muffins ever ever everrr. I love them, other people love them, and they’re sort healthified with olive oil and whole wheat flour. Perfect for a one-handed breakfast on the go. Er, on the baby feed. Or whatever.

Lemon Chia Muffins

Lemon Muffins with Chia Seeds and Honey Glaze.

Eating this bright, lemony freshness is basically the same as showering. If I were a new mom, I would need that at least 10x day.

Homemade Crunchy Pecan Granola

Granola in a bowl.

Snack attack-able. The major clusters in this one make for easy walk-by handfuls.

Bakery Style Blueberry Scones

Bakery Style Blueberry Scones.

Why go to a bakery? Bring it to their house so they can wear sweats and you can stay for coffee and scones and baby snuggles. And double the recipe because it’s sad to give all of these away.

Raisin Bran Muffins

raisin bran muffins with honey and butter.

This is the best muffin batter for keeping in the fridge and baking individually each morning – so don’t even worry about baking these! Just deliver the batter. A person could bake them into individual muffins each morning, but why would you when you could also bake it in a mug until slightly underbaked and then add honey and butter and enjoy a warm, buttery Raisin Bran mug muffin? My point exactly.

Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread with glaze.

If you can find the time to make this for a friend in need, you are a saintly foodie. This is a labor of love, but your friend just went through real labor. So there. Guilted.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

dark chocolate coconut bites.

Sometimes all you need to stop the fussing and crying is one bite of something sweet. For the adults, I mean.

Golden Grahams S’mores Bars

Golden-Grahams-Smores-Bar on a white plate.

These are super easy to make and surprisingly so very retro-liciously good. The crunch on these babies is some serious food therapy.

Your Ideas

Ohhhh how I would love to hear from you! What are your favorite meals that you make for friends who have babies or are going through hard times? Links welcome!

I would also love to hear from you if you are a new mom or dad. First, upload a photo and tell me the name and weight and sleeping patterns of your sweet baby child. Just kidding a little bit. More like tell me what is helpful. What do you like? What works or doesn’t work? Frozen or unfrozen, baked or unbaked, healthy or not even anything veggie-like? I need all the ideas I can get because the baby train is coming through town and there are more friends’ chilluns on the way. CHOO CHOO.

The post 10 Meals You Should Make for Your Friends with New Babies appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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