Looking for healthy meal train recipes to make for your friend who just had a baby? I’ve got you covered with a variety of ideas along with meal train etiquette and tips for hosting.
Over the years I’ve participated in countless meal trains for friends and family. I know how appreciated they are, but I also know that it can feel kind of overwhelming as the volunteer. What do you make? Should you go full-on cheesy, comfort food or make something healthy because you know they’re going to get a bunch of indulgent casseroles from others? And what about drop-off? Should you plan to simply drop off the meal and dash or hang around and meet the new baby?
With this post I’m sharing all the details — lots of healthy recipes for meals you can make for new parents, as well as, tips for bringing the meal over. Plus, I have some additional advice on how to host a meal train for a friend or family member in need. This post is geared towards new parents, but there are a variety of situations when a meal train can be helpful… like when someone you love is recovering from surgery, suffering with an illness, moving or grieving a death.
Here’s a list of healthy (and easy) recipes to make as part of a meal train. All the recipes included are family friendly and sure to be a hit with the recipients.
If you’re new to the meal train scene and not sure how it all works, I have a couple meal train “etiquette” tips that are super helpful.
Maybe it’s my love for being efficient in the kitchen or the meal prep maven in me, but one thing that I love to do when I’m making a meal for new parents, is to double the recipe and make the same meal for Isaac and I as well. With this approach you’re able to maximize your time in the kitchen and feed two families with one round of cooking.
While home-cooked meals are great, sometimes you simply don’t have time to whip something up! That’s okay. Simply text the new parents and offer to bring a meal from their favorite take-out spot. Pizza with a side salad is always a hit and bowl meals from fast casual places like Cava, Chopt, Zoe’s or Chipotle are great options too. If you can’t get to the house in time for delivery yourself, you can always use a service like UberEats.
Step up your meal train game with some fun extra recipes! Snacks, desserts and drinks are all fun ways to take your meal train delivery to the next level and impress the recipients.
New parents are exhausted and they definitely need some extra fuel throughout the day so sending along a snack is a pro move.
Which meal train organizational website to use? Through my research I have found two free websites that you can use to organize a meal train – Meal Train and Take Them a Meal. I’ve personally only used Meal Train, but both seem like great websites and they’re both free. These sites have the ability for you to customize the dates and times that meals are needed and add important information like allergies, dietary preferences, drop-off instructions and more. Through either of these sites, you can set up reminder emails that go out to volunteers before their scheduled date.
Decide how often the recipients want meals. When I polled the EBF Community on Facebook, people suggested getting 2-3 meals a week. If you have a larger family, you might want meals more often as the leftovers won’t last that long. If you have a smaller family and/or prepped your own meals ahead of time, you could get away with less meals.
Ask about meal train preferences or dietary restrictions. If you’re the one setting up the meal train, don’t forget to ask the recipients about their meal preferences! Some people hate a certain ingredient, have food allergies or even have specific delivery/drop-off instructions that need to be included.
Make sure there’s an option for people to write what they’ll bring! This was a tip I got from the EBF Community as well. Make sure people write what they’re bringing so that the recipients will know what to expect in advance and so that they don’t end up with duplicate meals.
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