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Food for new moms


pistolabella
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My best friend is having a baby this week and I want to periodically drop some food for she and her husband. I want to keep it easy, low-fuss/muss for them, but I need some help with ideas. She's not nursing so that isn't an issue, and I know her tastes pretty well. I want to avoid noodley cream-of-something soup things. I'm doing a lasagna, but what else would you suggest, along with reheating instructions I can include? I do not have children so I have no idea what those first days are like, but I know she will have a few family members in the house to be fed as well. I'll also include some cut up fresh fruit and ready to eat salad. Casseroles? Soups? What do new moms need and want?

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Since you know her tastes well, you are probably the best judge as I think it's very dependent on the individual mom.  Unless someone is organizing a Mealtrain for her, I'd say come up with 3 ideas that you know she would love, tell her you'd like to bring 1 or 2 over on X day and ask her if that sounds good or if there's something different that she's craving.

My cousin recently had a baby.  She loves chicken salads - in her case, that's a salad with sliced chicken breast on top so that's what I gave her.  I cooked sous vide chicken breasts, froze some and left a couple ready to eat.  I put together  labeled ingredients and instructions for 2 salads, rolls and fresh fruit for each drop off.   Mixed greens, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, feta and balsamic vinaigrette.  Spinach, caramelized apple slices, sweet spicy walnuts, gorgonzola and a honey mustard vinaigrette.  Spinach, roasted squash cubes, pear slices, pecans,  apple cider vinaigrette.  Spicy spinach mix, red bell pepper, red and yellow tomato, pickled red onion with a smoked corn buttermilk dressing.

 

That would NOT be my idea of comfort food, but it's what she wanted. She asked me to bring the same sort of thing about 3 times after the first round and said she appreciated having something that was quick to put together  - sometimes just a bowl for herself, sometimes a big bowl to put out if people were over visiting.
 

 

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Well, I know my daughter only wanted all the things she had been denied during her pregnancy - the stuff medics were denouncing that year.

 

As I recall, a cigarette and a stiff gin were top of the list followed by a liver paté sandwich with home made mayonnaise made with proper raw eggs ("none of your pasteurised shit"). Not that she would usually eat liver paté with mayo (who would under normal circumstances? And I certainly didn't bring her up to be uncouth!) but she wanted to rope in all she had been missing in case it was taken away again.

I don't think there is any special post-partum need for special foods if you aren't breast feeding and are otherwise healthy. Ask her what she wants; you may be surprised!

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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I worked in an office that had lots of child-bearing mommies at one point, and we'd organize to take a dinner a week for six weeks. Mine was generally  pot roast, as it serves for several meals, can be cooked and then refrigerated and reheated with no loss of quality. I'd cook potatoes and carrots with the roast, and add a side of some green thing -- Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans or a salad.

 

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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For new moms or in fact for anyone who might need help with food and cooking-- those recovering from surgery or grieving or just not up to cooking--most friends and neighbors bring casseroles that are heavy and cheesy. Bring something different, like soups with lots of vegetables. Home made chicken soup; does anyone not like that? (Well, anyone who isn't a vegetarian). A loaf of really good bakery bread is always welcome for obvious reasons.

 

 I made a lentil and tomato soup once for a friend who was so thankful; she said she was overwhelmed with casseroles and had to stuff them in the freezer. The above pot roast is a good idea, as it can be versatile. Green beans dressed with lemon and oil that can be eaten room temp. Keep in mind that many people have partners who also don't have time to cook but who probably DO have time to run out to get a sandwich or take-away. The support system needs a home-cooked meal too.

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Things that keep well and are easy to reheat. I did a ton of them that I froze before I had my daughter, suspecting correctly that I wouldn't have much time to cook or even less grocery shop in the first few weeks after she was born. I also did that for a friend who was recovering from surgery a few years ago.

 

Soups, stews, risottos. A nice quiche. I also love @blue_dolphin's idea of salad kits. Maybe some homemade cookies too, it's the season!

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I would also suggest things that can be eaten with one hand, but NOT soup. Even if you're not nursing, you spend a lot of time holding a baby and eating soup over them is nerve wracking. :)  I too was denied coldcuts and craved a chef salad. And carbs bc I was on a low carb diet. If she likes sushi, she probably was denied it. Healthy bc I ate a lot of takeout those first few months because we were EXHAUSTED.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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I would agree with Allura that food that can be safely eaten over a fussing baby one handed wins. The salads and cut fruit actually sound awesome, refreshing foods that would be a faff to prepare with a babe in arms. For number one I stashed the freezer full of homemade cook from frozen dishes even my OH could deal with. With number two I filled it with more baking, cakes and fruity-nutty flapjacks already divided into single portions because I found I really wanted fresh food (or stinky cheese and cured meats) or indulgent carbs post partum.

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