Inspired by one of my favorite blogs, GirlTalk, I’ve been thinking about hospitality in a form not yet discussed in their current series: meals for new moms.
I know how completely out-of-it a new mom feels. Her body needs rest after the major act of giving birth, but the new baby prevents long stretches of sleep. Not having to worry about meals is a HUGE service to her and her family.
As a wife, mom of two little ones, and part-time employee of a marketing group, it’s sometimes hard enough to get my own family to the dinner table, nevermind another couple or family! But I’ve found that even in this busy season, it’s easy enough for me to make a double batch of dinner. It’s fun to pack it all up. Plus, I don’t have to get my house together to bless them. I just have to drive it over, which usually allows me to knock out a couple of errands while I’m at it. It’s something I’ve come to really enjoy.
Here are some of the ways I try to make my meal a blessing to the family:
- Pay special attention to any food allergies/requests so that all members of the family can benefit from your labors.
- Include a big salad full of good veggies, if they like salads. Not only will it help the new mom’s recovering body, it can also be used for lunch the next day.
- Include fresh fruit. This can double as snack or dessert, especially if there are other kids in the house.
- Use containers that don’t have to be returned. I save the large plastic tub that my organic salad greens come in, containers from strawberries, tomatoes, salsa jars, spaghetti sauce jars, etc. These can be filled with parts of the meal. It’s a great way to recycle and releases the new family from having to wash and return all those dishes back to you.
- Clearly label everything with envelope labels or sticky notes. That way the poor sleep deprived mom/dad won’t have to try to remember that the jar of cheese can be sprinkled on the main dish if they’d like right before eating or that the main dish needs to be reheated at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. And they won’t have to guess about what exactly is in the bruschetta mixture you packed for them.
I also try to get Madeline involved in the process by coloring a picture for the family and helping me to pack things up. It’s a way I can help her to learn how to “Show hospitality to one another…” 1 Peter 4:9
Also, for those of you in charge of coordinating meals, here’s a GREAT resource: FoodTidings.com. Though I haven’t had the pleasure yet of using this resource, I’ve checked it out and REALLY like it. Plus, I have heard great things about it from several women from church who have used it, so I can recommend it confidently. 🙂