I was reflecting on the best mom presents and remembered when Bella was born in Fort Lauderdale. A very dear friend of mine, Paige, brought over a huge lasagna, bread, salad, home made granola and more. To say that it was a great gift is a complete UNDERSTATEMENT. It was fabulous.
You would think when Beau was born 23 months later in Minneapolis, that coming home to a hot meal dropped off by another friend, Rachel, would not be as surprisingly awesome as the first time. Wrong! I was so overcome with emotions because I felt like it was a warm hug waiting for me. My friends had lined up dates to drop off meals for a month and I felt like I won the lottery. Not having to make grocery trips with lists to make a meal while taking care of two under two was a gift that kept on giving because I don't think I will EVER forget it.
If you are in doubt of what to get a new mom when she comes home with her new baby, a thoughtful pinch is definitely a meal dropped off. It doesn't have to be a five course meal. It doesn't have to be dinner. It doesn't even have to be homemade for goodness sake! I have brought over my favorite Greek yogurt, fruit, snacks for am/pm feedings. I've brought over Chinese take out and a bottle of wine. I've brought over a gift card so they could get whatever they want, when they want it. From Minneapolis I have sent Omaha Steaks to my sister-in-laws who are in CA. Nowadays there are companies like Bite Squad that make it really easy to pick out tastier options. They deliver the food and the recipient does not have to cook - what a time saver for all involved! You get the gist - the thought is to make this new mom as comfortable and less burdened as possible. Fresh squeezed juice, a big bag of M&M's, a rotisserie chicken from Costco, bagels, bags of chips and a dip, veggies from the farmer's market, Trader Joe's Orange Chicken, a bag of Oreo cookies, a bag of salad. There are so many choices out there. Pick what you think they would like. I'm sure they will receive this pinch with open arms. If you are worried that they are gluten-free or vegetarian, doesn't eat sugar or only eats organic, then give them a gift card to Whole Foods where they can pick something up from the hot/salad bar. There should be no stress in this gesture, only pure thoughtfulness.
This thoughtful pinch can also be for anyone who is sick or is supporting someone sick in their family. Or for someone who has lost a loved one. After a loss, people are immediately surrounded by family, friends and food. Things can get really lonely and sad when everyone has gone back home and back to their lives. That's when a meal can be really thoughtful. Begin by interviewing the person you are thinking of - if it's a new mom it's best to do this before she has the baby. Ask them about their family allergies, dislikes and favorites. Ask them what is more helpful - dinners? Snacks? Breakfast? Or maybe they'd rather have take out because they know exactly what they are going to get. Gather a list of their favorite restaurants. I have also offered Costco runs before - diapers and a pizza - done! Be mindful that not all moms or those who are mourning or sick, want to see people so set up a delivery time and a drop off site at their house. This way they can receive the pinches on their own time. Be mindful not to send over your meal in a fancy dish that you need back - disposable containers are perfect for these times - it gives them one less thing to wash or keep track of so they can return it to you. If your meal needs to be put together or baked in the oven - include some easy directions with your meal. One website that I use when setting up a "meal train" is Food Tidings. There are so many websites and/or apps out there so use your favorite one and invite others to be as thoughtful as you.
Food feeds more than your body. It feeds your mind, soul and most importantly your heart.