For Friends with New Babies
We have friends who have kids. We’ve had the privilege to get to meet many of these new little friends at the hospital, or soon after. We cherish the relationships with these small ones. They are so precious!
Little Clara was born is 2008. We met her 4 hours after she was born. She was so small, so sweet. I’m sure I held her for the whole visit. We became good friends over the next few years. 🙂 To be loved by a child, what a wonderful thing. She lives in the town we moved from almost two years ago… I miss her!!
I’ve heard newborns help you to sleep less. I’ve heard this results in what’s called a “newborn fog”. It’s fun to be able to help out our new parent friends with food.Ã‚ When Clara was born I made a huge pot of Mashed Potato Soup for her tired Mommy and Daddy (and big brother, Liam).
The reason I’m writing this post, if you’ve wondered, is last week when I was working on my plans and our menu for this week I was thinking about meals to bring to a friend who has a new baby and two small children. I thought that maybe you’d like some ideas for yummy foods to bring to new parents. If you don’t have close friends or family with new children, feel free to file this away for another time… have a look at the cute photos, and enjoy the Enchiladas recipe at the end. :)Ã‚ (These foods would also work for friends who have just moved, who are going through a tough time… you know, people who could use a break from cooking.)
One thing that I was told by a new mom is that people tend to bring a lot of chicken dishes. (She was not at all saying that she didn’t appreciate them, please note. Simply something she’d noticed.) So, an idea would be to substitute beef or pork or make a vegetarian dish, just to change things up (of course it’s always nice to ask first if the family likes/eats things other than chicken). A fun idea (also from this friend) is to get new parents their favorite take out.
Some things to ask before making dishes: Are there foods that make baby fussy? Is there anything the new mom is craving?Ã‚ Are there foods the family dislikes? If they have other children, are there foods they won’t eat?
Taco Salad (Sometimes a break from casserole-type dishes might be nice – just be sure they’re eating the salad that day, and send things separately so they don’t get soggy. Another salad that would be great is a Summer Veggie Quinoa SaladÃ‚ (freezes and can use leftovers as a soup by adding some veggie or chicken stock). Things that freeze and reheat well are good ideas. I’ve heard that sometimes you think you’re going to get to eat dinner, but then someone starts screaming and it gets delayed. It happens, so might as well make food that’sÃ‚ conduciveÃ‚ to a moreÃ‚ sporadicÃ‚ schedule.)
Some hearty, more wintery (but good all year round) dishes areÃ‚ Chicken ParmesanÃ‚ (reheats, freezes, can use used cold on a salad),Ã‚ Chard Wraps with Beef and TarragonÃ‚ (reheats), Shepherd’s Pie (freezes and reheats).
You could make a few different pasta sauces (they freeze and reheat well) and send a bag of uncooked pasta (you could cook it for them, pasta reheats OK, but not great) – Rouge Sauce, Alfredo Sauce (it’s the sauce on the BLT Pizza), Spaghetteroni and Cheese sauces, Pizza Pasta (you could send the ingredients to make it with their leftovers from a double recipe of Extra Creamy Mac and Cheese). Caprese Pasta would be good too, as it can double as a Caprese Pasta Salad!
You could make some Pulled Pork and Coleslaw and send them with some rolls so they can assemble Pulled Pork SandwichesÃ‚ (Pulled Pork freezes and reheats well), orÃ‚ BurgersÃ‚ (freezes and reheats well) andÃ‚ Potato Salad.
Soups can be a good option (um… maybe not in this weather). Just be sure not to add things like pasta – send them in a separate container (cooked) or a package of uncooked (be sure there’s enough liquid in the soup if they’re supposed to cook them that way). Soups like MinestroneÃ‚ andÃ‚ Bean and Green SoupÃ‚ are full of healthy and hearty ingredients.
If you enjoy co-ordinating meals for new parents, Meal Baby is a site I’d recommend. I’ve used it once when setting up meals for friends. It was quick and easy. If I’m in charge of meals for the next friend who has a baby, I’d use it again.
Since we don’t have kids, I’m sure there are ideas and tips from those who do. Feel free to share!
A few weeks after Clara was born I started working for her parents at their photography studio. One of my responsibilities was to play with her. Um, OK! She and I had so much fun together. She made me laugh a lot! She especially loved it when I roared at her (I don’t know why, kids just seem to like that). Here are a few photos of us taken using the camera on my computer, a few weeks before we moved. These bring back such great memories of my little Bugaboo.
This is one of my favorite photos, because I can tell from my expression and hers that she’s saying, “NO RA RA” (her name for me, since she couldn’t say “Auntie Rachel”).
- 6-10 tortillas (depending on size)
- 1 C cheese, grated
- 1/2 C salsa
- Filling: 1 C quinoa cooked (I used leftovers)
- 2 C black beans (or whatever beans you like), cooked, if you’re using dried beans
- 1 C tempeh, crumbled (if you’d rather use meat, cooked ground beef, turkey, or chicken could replace)
- 1-2 ears of corn, off the cob
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, diced
- 2 t olive oil, divided
- Sauce: 1 C tomato sauce (or 1 C water, 4-5 T tomato paste, whisked together)
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 T sweet paprika
- 1/2 T smoked paprika
- 1 t bacon grease (opt.)
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- Serving: salsa
- Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- avocado, chopped
- fresh corn off the cob
- tomato, chopped (opt.)
- chives, chopped (opt.)
- cilantro, chopped (opt.)
- Heat small pan over medium heat, add 1 t olive oil, cook onion 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk sauce ingredients together. Pour 2/3 C in the bottom of a greased (with 1 t olive oil) 9×13 oven safe dish. Mix remaining 1/3 C with filling ingredients and combine.
- Divide filling between tortillas. Roll up (with ends tucked in) and place seam side down on the sauce.
- Top with cheese and salsa. Bake uncovered at 350F for 40-45 minutes. (Check partway through to be sure that there’s still sauce in the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t burn. If it’s starting to dry out, add more sauce or salsa. This happened to me, but I’d used less sauce than I’ve written in here.)
- Serve topped with salsa, yogurt, and any of the chopped veggies (we had tomato, corn, and avocado on the side – it was lovely).
Gluten Free if you use corn tortillas.
This recipe is also just yummy for a regular non-newborn dinner.