Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bring Them A Meal

Last week one of my best friends had twin girls. They're in a very similar situation that we were in when our little guys came along; they have a two year old and now two little babies. They were born at 37.5 weeks, and everyone is healthy, so they all came home from the hospital within three days. Such a different experience than what we had, but I'm so thankful that everyone is doing well.

We all know how hard it can be to get dinner on the table when a new baby joins a family, but with three kids under three years old, it can be darn near impossible. I wanted to bring a few meals out to them because I know with our nap schedules (I'm trapped!) it might be hard to get out there once a week for several weeks in a row. Enter bulk freezer cooking. 

When one of my friends has a baby, I also like to send some breakfast along with a dinner. When we had Jake it seemed like getting meals together was so tough in the beginning, especially breakfast. Ove of my mother's friends brought a gift basket to the hospital and tucked inside was a yummy artisan breakfast bread, along with jam and creamed honey. Just thinking about that easy meal, a slice of bread smothered in the spreads is making my mouth water. It was such a lifesaver when I was trapped under a nursing baby. 

The breakfast I send is quick and easy for mom and is especially wonderful for those moms who are nursing. Oatmeal is a go-to breakfast around these parts, and it reheats beautifully. My recipe is simple for even the busiest mornings, because you get it started and then literally walk away from it until you're ready to eat. 

Stove Top Oatmeal

- 4 cups of water
- 2 heaping cups of rolled oats 

Bring the water to a boil in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Pour oats into boiling water, stir, and put the lid on. Turn off the burner. Let the oats sit for 16-17 minutes. Voila! Oatmeal!

I package up some berries and honey and boom, instant breakfast for the new parents. 

The other meals I sent are meant to be for dinner, but hopefully there were enough leftovers to provide a lunch too. I used these recipes:

I started by chopping up all of the veggies needed for each of the recipes. I try to prep everything ahead of time when cooking. This prevents me from running into issues where I'm all out of an ingredient mid-cooking. 

It was a lot of chopping, so I listened to/watched Zoolander. Thank you Netflix!

One of the ways I try to make it easier for the new mom is to put all of the meals into containers she can recycle/throw away. While this isn't exactly the most earth-friendly method, it makes it easier to clean up and she can use the meals as she sees fit. This way she can dole out these meals all in one week or save them until she needs them. 

The dollar store is great for aluminum trays. Two for a dollar? Yes, please!

The soup and the slow cooker meal both went into freezer bags. For the Slow Cooker Proven├žal Beef Stew, I put the meat in one bag with the beef broth and then all of the other ingredients (except the tomato products) in another bag. I sent the other tomato ingredients along in the cans. 

Notice the sticker on top of the bag? I put that on each of the meals. They are simple directions to follow to get the meals on the table. 

The last piece of the meals was bread. I bought several loaves of French bread, cut slices into it and buttered it. Then I wrapped them up in foil and wrote directions for heating it up. Bread can be easily frozen until you're ready to eat it. 

Food is a great way to help out a family with a new baby. Not having to worry about what's for dinner can give mom and dad time to nap, do some laundry or spend time with an older child. I hope I helped lighten the load for my friends and that they're enjoying their sweet babies (and maybe getting a little sleep too!)


  1. What a blessing for your friend! We've had some friends bless us with meals with both boys, and it was wonderful. Dollar store disposables are a life saver!

  2. Not having to worry about a meal when you've just had a baby is such a great thing. People were so good to us when we had our twins, I love to pay it forward.

  3. You are like the bestest friend ever! Maybe I should have another baby just so you can bring me meals. Wait where do you live? I'm in California, will you ship? Thanks for linking up to the Be. YOU. Tiful link party. I am admiring your awesomeness!

    1. Aw, thanks! I've really enjoyed linking up each with with the Be. YOU. Tiful party. I've gotten some great ideas too.