Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meal Ideas?

Many of us have been here before - newly pregnant and feeling so yucky we can't even think about food. We still desire to care for our husbands and other children (if we have them) and this presents quite a dilemma.

Such is the case of one of my friends here - I took dinner last night and want to do it again next week. I know it is different for everyone, but I'm looking for some general themes to emerge.

I have two reasons for bringing this up - first, I'd love to hear what you COULD eat when you felt this way! I'd really like to do this even once a week for her until she is feeling better, so am just looking for more ideas.

Second, I want to make us aware (if we aren't already) that this is a great opportunity for ministry. Do you know someone who is newly pregnant and not feeling well? I'll share this as a testimony to what a difference this can make: when I delivered the meal last night, my friend said she has had the best afternoon she's had in a long time as far as feeling more herself. And, get this - she said she thinks it is because she knew she didn't have to go into the kitchen at dinner time and figure out what to make for her family to eat!

Lots of people are willing to help after a baby is born - and that is wonderful! But, let's consider offering to help early on when no one else is offering to help and let the more bountiful offers come in when the baby comes.

Here is what I took last night:

A small "bushel" basket came with a plant in it for our yard and was on clearance for fifty cents! This made the perfect way to carry the food to her.

I lined the basket with a small vintage tablecloth. In it, I included Apple Cheddar Soup (Better Homes & Gardens October 2007); fresh baked rolls; salad and chopped tomatoes and Rice Krispie squares. I also included baked waffles (left from our dinner the night before), syrup, sausage and a can of fruit for either breakfast or a second dinner.

Now, I'd love to hear from you - I'm thinking about maybe homemade macaroni and cheese with sides for next week - tell me what you think plus what worked for you!

Shortly after posting this, I started my blog reading for the morning and found this on Biblical Womanhood. So, I'm not the only one thinking about this today!


Liisa said...

What a wonderful idea! I had never thought of this before but I can see what a blessing it would be for a newly pregnant mommy. Thank you for sharing. You are always such an inspiration to me!

Amber said...

This is a great idea! I've gone through 3 pregnancies and each time I get Horrible all-day-long morning sickness. If someone would have brought dinner for my family I would have been blessed beyond words. I would much rather have food brought during this time rather than after the baby is born.

Soups and pasta are always good choices along with bread. And though it goes against what the 'books' say spicy Mexican food was settling for me too. Well, as much as a food can be settling when your stomach will never settle.

I am glad to see others taking notice of this need. For those who don't get sick it seems hard for them to imagine how sick you feel and to see that you may need help. I have already decided that if I get pregnant again then I am going to ASK for help this time.

Anonymous said...

I experienced several months of extreme nausea and found that waffles and pancakes, creamy soups (without meat), baked potatoes, mild cheese, pasta, and breads worked the best for me. Although, butter and a lot of "toppings" on food made me sick.

What a great idea this is! I can't wait for the opportunity to do this for someone now that I know how difficult it can be.

Thanks, Monica! Melissa

snarflemarfle said...

What a wonderful idea! I didn't have too much morning sickness with my first pregnancy, but with this one, it always came on strongest right around dinner time. Consequently, I cooked lots of meals that I really didn't want to eat! You are such a blessing!!

Waffles were top on my list (of course, I had to leave the room while DH was cooking the bacon...major aversion!). Chinese food was great, too. I mostly enjoyed the egg drop soup.

Thankfully I'm over that stage now (but don't get me anywhere near the bacon!).

Anonymous said...

Chicken Pasta dishes also helped me. Nothing too rich or heavy. Also sweets made me sick. Even the mere sight and smell of a well ripened banana got me. :( If you have the book "What to Expect When Your Expecting" Or "What to Cook (Eat) When Your Expecting" That author has some good suggestions.

sherri said...

You are a kind and generous friend. As others have stated, meat was a problem for me in my first trimester - especially chicken. For my first pregnancy I practically lived on twice baked potatoes (from the freezer section but you could make them frugally from home or just provide baked potatoes) and watermelon. I'd say starches and foods high in water content (cucumbers, tomatoes, melon) would be great foils for nausea and it's effects.

Sharon said...

What a beautiful idea and gift for an expectant mother, especially if she has other little ones she needs to take care of and cook for. I never thought of taking a meal before the baby came! While your on this subject, I wonder if you could have people send in ideas for meals. When I want to take a meal over I usually always take over the same meal or or feel need to have something that is kind of mild, something 90% of the people like and easy to make and something you preferably can cook in a throw away pan so the receiver does not have to worry about returning your dishes. I also have a hard time thinking of good side dishes.

Have a great day! Sharon

Timalee said...

This is a great idea, but I think a hard one to answer. It seems that every woman has different aversions, even the same woman with different pregnancies. My first pregnancy I could not even look a meat, but this time early on I wanted meat every day!

Since I was on bedrest at the beginning of this pregnancy, our church family did bring in several meals to us, and they were all good. Pot roast w/ carrots & potatoes, homemade spaghetti sauce w/ noodles & garlic bread (this was my fave), baked ziti w/ salad. They also put several Stouffer's-type casseroles in our freezer that my husband could fix easily, since I could not stand up to cook at all. My mother also came and put up 50 meals in our freezer for us. This was wonderful because all DH had to do was preheat oven and put the meal in a dish, and we didn't need to be dependent on someone everyday.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that the only thing I could drink during the first few months was VERY weak decaf sweet tea (lots of ice). My doctor recommended this to keep me from getting dehydrated, which can cause naseau. Water made me sick - go figure!!!


Carrie said...

You are such an inspiration. I have taken meals to many friends before who have recently had babies, but it never occurred to me to take meals to new moms-to-be. What a great idea!
Have a great day!
God bless :)

Amy said...

I am the coordinator for my mom's group and get the opportunity to arrange all of the meals for our new mothers. We traditionally only offer help after the baby is born, but if a mom is sick or on bedrest we extend the car during her pregnancy.

We had a mom in our mom's group who was pregnant with twins. Her pregnancy was high risk and she needed more care than our usual mothers. It was such an honor to care for her family and I know how much she appreciated it.

When I was pregnant I loved having comfort foods- soups, homemade breads, a sweet treat. I had normal bouts of morning sickness though so if someone is having a harder time, they might have more specific needs.

Thank you for your constant inspiration!

kimi said...

what about baked potatoes and some fixins, that's super easy to heat back up and makes great hash the next day.

Hannah said...

I love, love, love that you brought your friend a meal for morning sickness. I'm dealing with the worst case of it that I've ever had (5th pregnancy) and would love a free yummy meal. Some days I was so sick, I felt like such a terrible Mama and wife not being able to handle food or prepare a yummy and healthy meal for my family. My sweet husband helped out a lot. Another tip that works for me is to make an extra batch of a meal, for example sauce or soup or casserole. The prep time isn't much increased and the extra meal can go to a friend or into the freezer for a yucky feeling day. I always take special effort to do this as my due date approaches.
Thank you for the wonderful post!

carrie said...


You are just the most thoughtful person!! Since I was blessed to have very minimal nausea (at least in my 1st pregnancy), I need to be more aware and sensitive to this issue. I will start thinking now about how--and to whom--I can apply this idea!

I haven't been to your blog in awhile so I imagine I'll have a few comments!

Melissa said...

when i was in the yucky stages of pregnancy, bean and cheese burritos were one of the few appealing things to eat. they were very quick & easy (and cheap) to make and went down so well. i even discovered extra mild salsa which was awesome, since for some weird reason i was extra sensitive to spicy foods the entire time i was pregnant.

Tilly said...

Well, things with lots of "distracting" flavor have always been good for, mexican food, and especially Chinese!! Weird, huh?

Liz said...

Have a look here!

Deeapaulitan said...

What a heart of love and care!
1st pregnancy - Peppermint tea & baking powder biscuits. Chicken Ceasar Salad.
2nd preg. - Blended frozen strawberries with white grape juice. Nachos (just cheese and chips with salsa to dip them).
3rd pregnancy - Chocolate brownies!! Stew. Not a thick stew but potatos and carrots in a simple beef broth with garlic and onion. Biscuits, again. Smothered in Alfalfa Honey!
Gingerale or the green tea with ginger were always a winner too.

Anonymous said...

oI love your idea. I just took dinner recently to a new neighbor and friend that is struggling to cook for her family as she is pregant with baby #4. I made fajita's, with warmed tortia's and chips, salsa. Brownies for desert. I also sent a little cheese. Because I have 2 children who will only eat fajitas with cheese. I cut the brownies and placed on them on this really cute plate that we have with a heart on it. If it were never to be returned I would not be heart broken. Because I found it a local thrift store. I actually found 4 of them. We use them to give treats to friends. The plate often will be returned with a treat on it. I just like the idea of using a real plate instead of paper. When my pregant friends husband gave us the plate back, he said they had loved having dinner brought in. It had helped him out so much. I love seeing the other ideas. As like you. I am planning to take dinner again to her. I feel like it is a wonder time to be of service.

Christine said...

You are so sweet and this is a wonderful idea. I have had three rough pregnancies with severe morning sickness for the first few months. I always find that it is even harder to make meals when I am in the throes of early pregnancy, even more so than after my baby is born. I love your creativity.As far as food ideas go, anything homemade really tastes best. All the preservatives in processed foods always made me feel really sick during pregnancy. I love your apple cheddar soup; it sounds incredible.The way you bundled up the meal is so lovely.

Elise said...

What a lovely thought - I've often wondered if perhaps I would be better helped with food before the baby comes, when the days are so nauseating and tumultuous tummies threaten constantly...
I think macaroni and cheese to be a wonderful, mild, comforting meal! Perfect! And waffles, too...

Paige said...

Black bean soup, with a little cheese and sour cream to top it, along with corn biscuits would be really nice. A vegetarian lasagna would be good too. I agree the meat thing is such a trigger this time of a life. I wonder why God designed us that way (I have no doubt there's a perfectly good reason!).

Paige said...

a side note, peppermint tea is really good for smoothing a cranky tummy.

Dove said...

For my first pregnancy, a garden salad full of veggies, some shredded cheese, and maybe cold chicken was the best. It doesn't smell strongly and packs a lot of nutrition. That's almost all I ate in the first trimester.

For this pregnancy, the fatigue is getting me more than the nausea, but the combination of both has me unwilling to cook but willing to eat more than the first time around.

It would probably be best to ask the mama what her specific triggers are. The last time I chatted with other moms we all laughed at how the only tolerable food for one mama was the bane of another's existence during morning sickness!

OrchidLover said...

This is so sweet of you! I'm reading through everyone's comments to see if anything would taste good to me in my current 8 week nauseous state, but absolutely nothing appeals to me other than apple juice. Pathetic! It's so nice of you and I bet is so helpful to your friend in terms of taking care of her family. (If I had to do that now, I'd be such a wreck.) I know a lot of my friends that would do the same for me, but I won't tell anyone I'm pregnant, because we did that last time, and then I miscarried, and had to tell everyone, which was awful. So I'm suffering in silence! You're such a good friend!