When mom and baby get settled in at home, the gift of a meal is the gift of time. Precious time. Time to heal, time to bond, and most precious of all, time to rest! When choosing your recipes take into consideration that a breast-feeding baby’s tummy is still developing and some foods that mom eats may affect the baby’s sensitive system. Mom’s breast is a good filter, but it’s not like being filtered through the placenta. So, your dad’s five-alarm chili or your grandma’s super garlic pesto might not be the best things to gift. Here are a few nutrition-packed recipes mom is sure to appreciate. Just be sure to include an index card with the instruction on how to best heat and serve.
Mason Jar Meals & One-Dish Meals
Fresh fruits and vegetables will keep for up to five days in the fridge, offering a nursing mom the nutrition-packed meals she needs. Mom needs a little fiber in her life and I think she’s had enough pelvic floor pressure for now, mason jar meals are great for this. You can put these jars in the oven and they fit in the microwave too (minus the lids). Sometimes moms just don’t have the one-hour from freezer to oven kind-of time, and waiting that long will turn hungry into hangry. Mason Jars are also single serving, so mom, dad or sibling can help themselves while keeping the mess minimal.
One-dish meals are great for family time and for when helpers are in charge of dinner. Just remember to gift these meals in foil pans or tossable microwave plasticware so there’s no added stress of whose casserole dish belongs to whom. The last question new mom wants to answer is, “Have you had a chance eat that casserole I gave you?” Her answer would no-doubt be, “Which one was yours?”
- Salad in a Jar
There are so many varieties of salads in a jar that you can easily make. Who doesn’t love a fresh salad? But who also doesn’t hate standing in the kitchen cutting vegetables and washing lettuce? The trick for mason jar salads is to start with a clean dry jar. Put the wet ingredients in first and the lettuce in last with the hearty vegetables and grains in between. This degree of separation keeps the lettuce from wilting.
- Comfort food in a jar
Make a batch of your favorite soup and portion it out across mason jars for single-serving simplicity. Just take it easy on the chili and French onion soup, that might upset baby’s tummy.
Hummus and chopped vegetables work well in mason jars also. Use a shorter wider jar and pack the hummus in first. Again this saves new mom the chopping and washing time, while offering her great nutrition.
- Classic Vegetable Lasagna
- Baked Ziti
- Creamy Burrito Casserole
- Make ahead Quiche
Maybe you’re not the superb cook that others are, but you still would like to offer something to help. Remember the gift of time is what you’re giving. Prepare a few easy-to-grab fresh fruit and veggie snacks. Wash and bag grapes, carrot sticks, cucumbers, and any other fresh snacks you know this new mom and her family enjoys. These are perfect for munching while nursing or for when the baby’s older sibling would like a snack.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two.