I’ve reached the time in my life where babies seem to be coming out of the woodwork. First babies! Brand new, lovely smelling, teeny tiny babies. Like most people I like to bring a gift when meeting the baby for the first time. But these babies are usually well-equipped. They are fortunate to be born into families that have had the time and the means to prepare for their arrival. But who could use a gift? How about the moms who just had to go through labour? How about the new parents who are going to be up in the wee-hours with a tiny dictator?
And what do these parents need? (If you answered “booze” you’re close) FOOD!
Sleep deprivation and the overwhelming nature of small babies cannot be overcome by a gift, but everything is easier to handle with a full belly. Here’s some ideas:
In the past I’ve cooked an easily frozen/reheatable meal for families I know well enough to be sure what they like to eat. Pick something that can sit in the fridge or freezer, in case you’re delayed in visiting (babies, so unpredictable!) or the new parents already have dinner plans. Some favourite meals,
Do your friends a favour and send the food over in tupperware (for the soup) or disposable foil pans (for the lasagne), so they don’t have to worry about washing/returning any pots. Add a baguette, some salad greens, and some fancy cookies and you’ve made someone else’s life a bit easier.
Meals to Make
This one is a bit less work (for you) than making a whole meal. But it can be just as useful to bring the components of a meal. There might still be some assembly required, but you’re still making someone’s life easier. And since none of these meals have to be eaten immediately, you’re making sure your gift works around their schedule.
The brunch meal: bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, berries or seasonal fruit
The lunch meal: good bread, cured meat (optional), a nice cheese, tomatoes, fancy mustard
The pasta meal: fresh pasta (can be frozen), good store-bought sauce, parmesan cheese, salad greens or a pre-made salad, fancy salad dressing, a small dessert
Also, you can offer to snuggle their baby while they eat. That’s a win for everyone.
Snacks to Give
When I haven’t had the time or energy for a full meal, or I wasn’t sure what the person liked to eat, I’ve brought a selection of snacks. I try to focus on things that are easy to eat, generally filling, and tasty.
There’s the simple: almonds, dried apricots, granola, clementines, and fancy crackers.
The sweet: chocolate covered cranberries, yogurt covered raisins, pecan pralines, trail mix.
And the comprehensive: one of every granola bar or protein bar that your grocery store/health food store sells individually.
Life as a new parent is tough, so it’s great to be able to make it just a bit easier. Enjoy those new babies!