Meals for new parents?

A dear friend of mine is having her first baby, and they are inducing this week, about two weeks before her due date. Because the timeline has been moved up, she isn’t going to be able to stock her fridge and freezer as she was hoping to do before the baby arrives. I offered to prepare some things for their larder, but not having kids myself, I really don’t know what’s ideal for a new mom! Help, please!

Mom mostly eats anything, although she isn’t one to eat big hunks of red meat. Dad is MUCH pickier, definitely a meat and bread type of guy, but I’m less worried about him, since he won’t be the one breastfeeding! I’ll probably make a lasagna or something for the freezer, but I’d also like some ideas for things that can quickly be grabbed from the fridge and eaten out of hand, so she can eat and hold the baby simultaneously. Things that will keep well in the fridge for at least a few days are ideal. Thanks, HOs!

A big batch of stuffed shells can be stored in the freezer and baked in @ 45 mins with jarred sauce (I’ve found this better than lasagna for a household of 2 as I can grab 3, 4 or 6 as needed).

Pre-cut fruit can last 3 or 4 days. Add it to yogurt or cottage cheese for a calcium boost. Hummus and pita chips can be handled with one arm. My grocery store offers prosciutto slices wrapped around asparagus spears near the deli. Chunks of cheese, slices of salami, quick drinks of V8 or tomato juice.


Make sandwiches or wraps. Arrange the ingredients to minimize “soggage” - e.g., cheese or mayo between the bread and any wet ingredients. Put portioned amounts of washed lettuce into a baggie, with a damp paper towel, so she can just lift the top slice of bread and insert the greens just before eating. Wrap sandwiches/wraps well, in aluminum foil. They’ll be good for at least 3-4 days.

Freeze soups by pint or quart, depending on the parents’ appetites.

  • frittata muffins or frittata squares (can freeze too)
  • homemade granola bars (wrap and freeze)
  • muffins, sweet or savory
  • small size burritos (rice, beans, veggies, etc- also wrap individually and can freeze)
  • smoothies! Can make them with added oats, nut butter, etc to be nutritionally dense, freeze in individual portions
  • random ready to eat snackables kit: cheeses, nuts, hearty crackers, cut crudite, etc

Volunteering to just come over and babysit while she showers or starts laundry or naps sounds trivial and yet will be greatly appreciated


If the mom is nursing, food with fish and soupy food works well, even though they may not be one-hand-food.

make the lasagne in mini-muffin-tins, or cake pans, instead of in a giant casserole pan.

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I’ve done a lot of one dish meals for my mom’s freezer that have worked well and, in most cases, can be microwaved in a couple of minutes:

Chicken tetrazzini with peas and red peppers
Oatmeal squares with blueberries baked in
Stuffed baked potatoes
Spinach lasagna roll-ups with bechamel
Sliders (not one dish but a tasty snack)
Egg rounds (scrambled but baked with broccoli and red peppers) on English muffins with a slice of cheese.

All of the other suggestions for quick out of the fridge snacks.


Thanks everyone for the ideas! Knowing Mom’s tastes, I think I’m going to do the following:

Ricotta stuffed shells (she likes cheese more than meat), maybe some with sausage added
Chicken salad
Homemade sandwich bread or rolls
Muffins of some sort (carrot cake inspired, maybe)

And then I might also pick up a crudite platter, pita chips and a tub of her favorite spinach artichoke dip from Costco, just so there’s something snackable. Sound like a good plan? Dad will eat the bread and probably the shells with sausage, maybe the muffins as well.


I remember when I was breastfeeding being thirsty all the time. One of my friends brought over a bunch of flavored non caffeine ice cubes (green tea, herbal peach, ect.). It was great to add some flavor to water.


Sounds great.

If she likes cheeses a lot, maybe a small cheese and cracker assortment? Easy and quick to eat.

Update: I ended up making chicken salad, shells, deviled eggs, bread and a rhubarb streusel coffee cake. Mom and Dad were thrilled! I’ll probably try to visit again with more goodies in a couple of weeks and I’ll use some of your other suggestions next time. Thanks everyone for your advice!


Happy to hear it! You’re a good friend.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo