So, you know someone that just had a baby and you want to send them a gift? Instead of sending yet ANOTHER outfit or blanket that the baby may never get a chance to use, send a meal! Dinner is helpful, but people often forget that a new mom is home 24 hours and usually alone! So snacks, lunch, breakfast, and dessert are great options too. Just remember, if the mom is breastfeeding she may be staying away from things that are spicy, gassy, or foods containing dairy.
As a postpartum doula, some of my go-to staples for clients are listed below.
- Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup. Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe makes copious amounts of leftovers, is quick to throw together, and high in protein. All good things for a new mom or someone making a meal for a new family. Add a salad and/or crusty bread for a well rounded, nutritious meal.
- Chicken Pot Pie. Whether you make it or buy it, this easy to freeze and thaw meal is an quick solution for a family with little time to cook. Add a side of rice and you’re good to go!
- Fresh Fruit. Yes, you read that correctly. In a world of casseroles and stews, sometimes a new mom wants something fresh. Especially when that mom is going through hormonal hot flashes and needs to eat something with one hand. Cut up fresh fruit can really be a refreshing gem of a gift in a sea of hot food.
- No Bake Energy Bites. Easy one- handed snack! Bonus points if the recipe has oats and flax seed in it (both ingredients thought to increase breastmilk production).
- Baked Ziti/ Lasagna. Yes, I know many breastfeeding moms try to stay away from dairy, but these meals are so easy to make and freeze and tend to please the whole family. So, if the family you’re cooking for has older siblings or a mom that is not too concerned with dairy effecting their baby, go for it! These are true staples of make ahead, yummy food for all.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Lentil Soup. Two options with this one! You can make ahead and bring to the new family already cooked, or you can prep everything that needs to be thrown into a slow cooker and bring it to the family in the morning for them to put in the slow cooker themselves. Either way, this meal is loaded with protein and fiber- the two winning elements for a new mom!
- Turkey Meatloaf. Pair it with some sort of potato and it’s a winner!
- Lactation Cookies. This is the recipe I follow and I have seen it work it’s magic. One client of mine was pumping exclusively and saw a 30% increase in her milk on day one! Plus, they’re delicious for everyone. No, your husband will not start lactating if he eats them!
- A big salad pre-mixed with dressing on the side. Salads may seem daunting to a new mom who would rather be sleeping than prepping veggies. Make a big green salad like the one above and let mom have lunch for a week!
- Individual overnight oats. These babies are easy to assemble with no cooking involved, easy to eat for Mom AND pack a powerful punch of ingredients great for milk production. Add some flax seed and/or brewers yeast and you get even more!