The Gift of a Good Meal


There are two time periods in my life when I have felt the most loved by my friends. Both of those times were in the first few weeks we were home with our sweet, newborn babies. There is something so holy about the first few weeks at home with a new baby. The outpouring of meals from our friends made my family feel so loved, cared for, and straight up ministered to as they stopped in to feed us and meet the new addition to our family. It is truly a ministry to show hospitality to a family with something major going on in their lives, whether that is a new life, a death, an illness, or just a major stressor.

It’s no small thing to take the time to gather the ingredients and cook a meal for another family, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.


My friends and I use one of two free websites to schedule meal delivery, no matter the event: Take Them a Meal or MealTrain. Both have automated e-mail reminders, which I LOVE, and a place to specify what meal you’re taking, so you don’t duplicate. You can even send the link to the recipient, so she has all the info of who’s bringing what when. It’s awesome.

Here are some great things to keep in mind when you’re taking a meal over:

Remember that it doesn’t have to be fancy. You’re making someone feel loved and cared for. Take out is fine. A pre-made meal from Central Market or Feastivities is great! Ingredients for tacos are easy and delicious, and the only prep required is browning some ground beef. If you’re not a James Beard Award-winning chef, it’s totally fine. Know your limitations.

Deliver the meal as early as possible. This is always my biggest hurdle because I don’t start my meal prep early enough. If the family has small kids, usually mealtime is fairly early, which means I am usually speeding to get it there in time. When I was working outside the home, this usually looked like a slow-cooked meal such as a pot roast, veggies, and a salad I had prepped the night before or take out. Now, unless I’m taking a slow-cooked meal, I start once I put my kids down for their afternoon nap and try not to be sidetracked. If you take it by very early in the day, include reheat instructions.

If at all possible, keep everything in disposable containers. If not, and you want your container back, suggest that she leave the empty container on the front porch and text you when you can come get it. Once, a friend brought soup by in her crockpot as this was best way for her to transport it. That’s what she had me do, and I appreciated that I didn’t have to do any footwork other than wash it.

If you’re making a 9×13 pan of something, break it into two 8×8 pans so mom has one for tonight and another to put into the freezer for a later date. For my family of four (two adults, two kids under four), an 8×8 pan is plenty for one supper, especially if there is a side dish along with it, and usually we had leftovers from other meals we’d been given. Having an extra to pull out once the meals stopped was fabulous.

Consider throwing in something for breakfast or lunch. I usually try to package up something like banana bread, bagels with cream cheese, or powdered donuts if they have kiddos for a treat the next morning. A bowl of pre-washed, pre-cut fruit that mom can eat straight out of the fridge after a sleepless night with a new baby can go a long way in making her feel like she’s done something healthy for herself. (I, personally, would reach for those powdered donuts.) A container of chicken salad from Central Market or some other delicious place (yum, Zoe’s) makes an awesome lunch the next day and the day after.

If you’re looking for meal ideas, here is a Pinterest board with some of our tried and true faves.

What your go-to, give-a-friend-a-meal recipe?


  1. Such great advice! I would love to add: 1. Don’t be afraid to bring take-out. Being a working mom, I don’t have much time to cook a meal after work AND deliver it, so I call people and give them a name of a restaurant that serves just about everything, tell them to check the menu, and then I pick up the order and deliver it to them. I’ve even been known to send pizza to someone’s house if life is really crazy. And 2. Bring snacks. Nursing mamas are HUNGRY and having a bag full of fun snacks really helps those 3:00 a.m. cravings.
    I wrote more on my blog:


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