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Need ideas for food gifts for new mom that can be mailed...

Two of my friends are about to become moms to twins. They've asked that in lieu of fancy baby gifts, friends offer babysitting and meals instead! Since I live far away, I'd like to send them a beautiful care package of healthy, practical items, preferably that can be used as or easily completed as meals. I can't think of much beyond homemade granola...and I'm not a big canner or preserves-maker. Ideas?

asked by the professor over 3 years ago
23 answers 3776 views
Wine
added over 3 years ago

I should add--I'd like to be able to *make* much of what I send them.

400584_2795982053875_1473082837_n_(1)
added over 3 years ago

Quick breads are very easy to make and travel well - most are better after a day (or few) anyway! Check out some of these on this slideshow for ideas http://www.food52.com/blog...

Port2
added over 3 years ago

Its a lovely idea! Raisin oatmeal cookies and biscotti (several excellent recipes on this site) are fairly long lasting, healthy and travel well. Also, AntoniaJames's excellent spicy pecans: http://www.food52.com/recipes..., loose teas and bars of chocolate are usually welcome.

Default-small
added over 3 years ago

Granola bars, cookies and cake bars that are sliced up after baking usually travel well- just make sure that they're packed well and they should travel fine- you could even leave them unsliced, or left in large slabs and stacked snugly in a box... Breads and cakes baked in cylindrical food tins mean they can be put back in the tin for the post, and you haven't lost your bakeware, but they should et to the recipient in good shape!

Dsc_0122.nef-1
added over 3 years ago

and some of those yummy spiced nuts, they are easy to send over mail!

5.15.11_coconut_macaroons_best_sm
added over 3 years ago

Oatcakes are great too. If you fill them with flax and amaranth, they'll even promote lactation (to an extent). My basic recipe is here: http://www.food52.com/recipes...

You can use any type of ground nut for the nut meal. Pecans and almonds are my favorite. Note that when sending these through the mail, you want to pack them well, so they won't move much. Given enough shaking, they'll break. You can also roll them thicker (bake a bit longer) to help with this.

Buddhacat
SKK
added over 3 years ago

Syronai's oatcakes are great, we love them. Also, you could send crakcers. Here is a recipe of and at the bottom are more recipes. These crackers are healthy and wonderful http://www.anjasfood4thought...

Buddhacat
SKK
added over 3 years ago

You said you don't want to preserve, but here is a simple beautiful recipe that may change your mind. http://blogs.denverpost... You bake the strawberries in sugar, and then put them in little 1/2 pint jars and stick them in boiling water. You are making a small amount so don't need special tools, except for your little canning jars and lids which you can get at the grocery store.

Sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Not homemade. But some good olive oil. A package of smoked trout in a vac pack bag.
Some good pasta. Easy to make a meal out that (with a horseradish, caper, mayo/sour cream dressing). Maybe some sun dried tomatoes.

Img_1965
added over 3 years ago

This is such a sweet idea! I think the spiced nuts idea is great. With twins they won't have much time, so I'd also think about things that can kind of be a ready-to-eat-meal. Have you tried making homemade pasta? So easy to boil and throw on a sauce. Breads, granola, etc. are all great too. If you're okay shipping overnight, and can find the services to do it, though, what about a giant frozen lasagna or casserole?

Cakes
added over 3 years ago

How about some soup mixes that you put together yourself? Maybe a bean mixture with dried herbs? Check out websites that sell dry soup mixes for inspiration.

Sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

How about a jar of homemade terriyaki sauce? It keeps well and withstand the heat we're having. Some wooden skewers. And a printout of a simple chicken yakatori. Super easy to make. Cut up chicken breast in strips. lay them out like this. ]]]]]]. Put in green onions between the strips like this. ]|]|]|]|. Double skewer them like this =]|]|]|]|=
Coat with the terriyaki sauce and grill or broil.

And I almost hate to say it here, but the Uncle Bens 90 second vac pack rice is very good for a quick side dish. Especially when camping and throwing together something very quick for a mid week meal.

Wine
added over 3 years ago

Have i mentioned how much i love food pickle? THANK YOU for these great ideas. (SKK, you just might have me persuaded that now's the time to try preserves.) Also love the teriyaki sauce idea--and quickbreads and all the rest. My friends have some big treats in store (in addition to their soon-to-be daughters!). thanks a million.

Phone_176
added over 3 years ago

I think a small blender like the Magic Bullet seen on TV would be a great gift. One of my friends recently had a baby, and she uses it to make homemade baby food.

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Love the dried soup blend idea, as well as the Magic Bullet. So smart, both! A couple of years ago, for Christmas I gave my nephew and his girlfriend (both in college, so shy of both money and time) a plastic tub full of cookie mixes and recipes with the dry ingredients already sifted, everything labeled and ribboned together so that all they had to do was mix and bake (I think I also tossed in a couple of good baking sheets). I also included bags of dried beans and legumes along with a vegetarian cookbook (his girlfriend is vegetarian) called Love Soup. What a beautiful idea this is for all of you! And my hat is off to both those mothers to be of twins - how fortunate they are to have such a kind group of friends!

Sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

I second the 'magic bullet' thing. tho there are other brands better built.

It's not a replacement for a blender, but it's very very handy for quick drinks, and I'd suppose baby food. It's also much easier to clean up than a full sized blender.

In the same idea. The ZipLock "Vac sealer" is about 5 bucks. And great for sealing cheeses and quick meals. (just freeze the stuff first then vac with the hand pump).

Default-small
added over 3 years ago

I know you said "practical," but I remember nursing my first girl in the middle of the night, kept awake with a dish of Hot Tamale candy by my side (hmmm, she eleven and doesn't like spicy foods--maybe a connection?). Everyone else will send her healthy sustenance--send her some treats. Chocolate truffles, fudge, peppermint patties and peanut butter cups are all easy to make at home--just be sure you temper the chocolate carefully so it holds up if it gets warm during shipping.

Debbykalk-photo
added over 3 years ago

If they will be nursing, each baby consumes 500 calories each day! So, load up the dense foods for these new families. Someone above mentioned spiced nuts, which are a great idea. I also found this source here in the shop for delicious cashews (I know, all cashews are delicious but these even more so): http://www.food52.com/products....

Wine
added over 3 years ago

Once again, thanks to everyone for these insights, especially into what a breast-feeding mother will need/want. i'm very excited to put this together at some point in the next few weeks. And, for clarification: this is one family, with two mothers, and twins on the way...! Extra special in my book.

Scan0004
added over 3 years ago

Before the babies are ready for baby food, the moms can use a Magic Bullet (or an immersion blender with attachments for drinks and small batches) to make smoothies. They would make great quick meals -- you could provide some recipes and ingredients like protein powder, chia powder. I have twin granddaughters, and when they were born the demands were challenging! Rescue, no-brainer food might get them over the rough early days.
So many good ideas here!

Bike2
added over 3 years ago

Great ideas already! You could gift them a set of dried beans, nuts, and seeds in great jars that would lend themselves to quick soups, salads and toppings all with nutrition and their preference in mind. The jars would be a more lasting part of the gift. Another idea might be to create your own blend of herbal teas for them with tea bags you make yourself-there are a few neat systems on the market for this from cotton bags to Tea Pockets. You can even make your own labels!

Bike2
added over 3 years ago

More on the make your own tea idea, you can really customize. If soothing and calming is the direction, then chamomile spruced up with ginger could be great. Or for the idea of twins, double mints? A friend just brought me back some gorgeous "love" tea from Istanbul in which there are rose, citrus, and spices, delightfully fragrant. You can get really interesting tea canisters, easy to mail, at Asian markets.

Wholefoods_user_icon
added over 3 years ago

Not to toot my own horn (toot toot) an I know you want to make the majority of stuff you send BUT a gift certificate to their local personal chef is an excellent idea. We come, we cook , we clean up the kitchen, we leave. All the new mommy (or daddy) has to do is reheat! Congrats and you're a great friend!