If you’ve got a friend who’s just had a baby, I recommend ditching the toys and baby outfits in favour of a basket full of home-made meals that can be easily frozen and re-heated.
Trust me it’s the gift that keeps on giving and your friend will love you forever for your insight and wise ‘gift giving’!
But one last tip ALWAYS supply your ‘gift’ in a foil, take away container or a dish picked up from Good Sammy’s which they can keep. This triples the value of your gift as it negates any need to wash up or remember to return your ‘good’ Tupperware or Chasseur cookware…
My Top 5 Meals That Freeze Really Well
Shepherd’s Pie Who doesn’t love this dish? Brown mince with onion, carrot and celery add a cup of instant gravy and let it simmer away for 30mins. If you need to add more liquid make a small amount of gravy or add some stock. Pour into casserole dish and top with mashed potato. Delicious. Note: you can dump a whole load of other veggies in with the mince to help the ‘new mum’ reach her 5 veg intake for the day and you can mix up the topping by adding some pumpkin or sweet potato.
Lasagna Layers of mince ragu (brown the mince, onion, carrot, celery and cover with a store bought tomato-based sauce or one of your own!) and béchamel (melt butter in a saucepan and add plain flour – mix together of the heat and add in milk little at a time until your sauce thickens – then add a dash of nutmeg) between soft pasta sheets – yum! Note: cheats version: replace the lasagne sheets with al dente pasta shells covered by the mince ragu and topped with béchamel sauce. Don’t forget the cheese on top!
Butter Chicken Think yummy creamy sauce (you can buy some really tasty pre-made sauces at the supermarket – no need to start from scratch here!) with chunks of chicken breast or thigh. Throw the lot in a slow cooker and this little baby is a guaranteed crowd pleaser! And being a mild curry it won’t upset any breastfed bubs! Note: you can add some par-boiled baby potatoes (if using larger potatoes remember to cut into the same size chunks as the chicken) to add some bulk. Deliver with some Naan bread you have a sure fire winner on your hands!
Crustless Quiche Another one pot wonder! Mix together 4-6 eggs; 1 cup milk or cream; ½ cup of pastry mix; 1 cooled, cooked onion; ¾ cup of bacon; 1 cup cheese; salt & pepper to taste. Pour into a greased casserole dish and cook in moderate oven (180 degrees) for 45-60 minutes and it’s ready to go. Note: another dish you can add veg to (corn or broccoli come to mind!) – just cut them into small pieces so they cook through!
Beef Stew Get out the slow cooker and add some browned beef chunks and a heap of sliced veg – carrots, onion, celery, potato, pumpkin etc. Flavour with a store-bought sachet or make up your own gravy – and leave the slow cooker to work its magic. Once cooked transfer to your casserole dish or foil container and deliver with a salad and crusty loaf of bread.
And finally round things out with some fresh fruit, a tub of ice cream or a block of chocolate – rest assured in your absence you will be praised for your kindness and brilliant foresight!
Now leave your meal recommendations and top tips for feeding new mums & dads below …
Kath is a mum of three boys who works part time and enjoys writing and catching up with other stressed out mums in her spare time. Usually she’s racing against the clock to make her boys (+ husband) arrive anywhere on time and feels quite the talented mother when two out of the three make it out of the house with shoes on!