Suggestions for meals for new parents needed!!

I've offered to bring a meal each week to my brother and sister-in-law, who have just had a new baby, and already have a 2-year-old.
I'm looking for ideas for relatively healthy meals that can hopefully be prepared ahead of time, and also have good potential for leftovers. Luckily I can take advantage of fruits and veggies that are in season, but soups and stews are definitely out until the fall!
Thanks for any suggestions!

  • Posted by: Joanne
  • June 23, 2020


MMH June 29, 2020
I would just ask her what she likes. I breast fed my daughter for a year exclusively and ate spiciest ethnic food from every cousine. She’s 19 years old today, not a picky eater and eats all of those same foods!
gandalf June 24, 2020
Depending on your definition of healthy, perhaps a vegetarian version of baked spaghetti, using Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce, with 8 oz. spaghetti cooked and added to the tomato sauce, with or without vegetables added to the sauce, and (optional) lightly sprinkled grated cheese on top. I routinely make this and freeze it; cook at 350F (unthawed) for 30 minutes, and then serve. It can fill 2 aluminum storage pans that are approximately 9" x 5" x 2".

Here is a link to Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce: (I use 4 Tbsp. butter for 28 oz. of crushed tomatoes, instead of the 5 Tbsp. per 2 cups in her recipe.)
creamtea June 24, 2020
Agree with Wendy. Breastfeeding mothers often avoid a number of foods to relieve baby's colic. Can't recall exactly, but among the foods to be avoided are caffeine, gassy foods like cabbage or beans, dairy foods, heavily spiced foods. I know, boring. Sometimes you can break it down, though, and separate out the offending ingredients as mix-ins so the rest of the family can add them individually. I did this often when my kids were younger and one had to avoid certain ingredients. Half-Pint's noodle bowls are a good option.
Nancy June 24, 2020
Nice thing you are doing, Joanne. Not a menu suggestion but an easy presentation idea. Make some of the dishes easily edible with one hand in case one parent is alone (I know, unlikely in lock-down, but possible), tending the baby and also hungry.
Wendy June 23, 2020
Hi Joanne,
I am blessed to be a grandmother and my first thought is whether the new mom is breastfeeding. Many things that mom eats can affect a newborn’s digestion and sleep. Also if meals are for a toddler, make sure not to use too much spice.
HalfPint June 23, 2020
Some ideas:

- Carnitas or pulled pork. It freezes well. The family can make tacos, burritos, BBQ sandwiches, etc.

- Chicken or turkey chili.

- Sesame noodles. I love this one from Nigella Lawson:
This is wonderful to have in the fridge at all times.

- Noodle bowls/salad. You can prep all the components (like noodles, grilled meats or tofu, vegetables, herbs) and pack them like meal kits. All the family has to do is assemble their own bowls. I like this recipe from smitten kitchen:

Also good to have the components in the fridge to toss together for a really quick and healthy meal.

-This is my go-to summer pasta dish:

-This one looks too simple to be that good but trust me:

Joanne June 23, 2020
Thank-you so much - This gets me off to a good start!
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