"Be the Change" Idea #1: DELIVER A MEAL

meal-to-deliverYesterday, we delivered a meal to our friends Joy & Aaron (who just had their fourth baby).

The preparing of the meal was painless.

Lately, I've been doing this make-ahead meal system (using a phenomenal cookbook: Fix, Freeze, Feast). This system is convenient for our family, of course...but it's also good when we want to bring someone a meal because we often have "extra" meals on-hand in our freezer. In this case, I pulled out a homemade vegetable lasagna tray (mmm....it is SO good), baked up some homemade granola bars, bought a bottle of sparkling cider, and we were all set.

Other easy meal ideas:

  • Go to Costco or Sam's Club. Buy a tray of pasta or a huge family size main dish salad, a bag of rolls, and a cheesecake. Done!
  • Go to Trader Joe's. Buy dry spaghetti, pasta sauce, meatballs (TJ's meatballs are seriously good), salad fixins, and a bottle of wine. Done!
  • Cook up homemade lasagna or enchiladas in an aluminum tray. Make a simple side dish (fruit salad, biscuits, sliced watermelon, veggies & dips) and/or an easy dessert (cupcakes, cookies, or a half-gallon of ice cream). Deliver!

As you can see, meals can be delivered in various stages of "readiness," but they are sure to be appreciated regardless.

So, if you want to make somebody's day, make a meal.

  • Your friend is experiencing morning sickness? Make a meal.
  • Your friend just lost a loved one? Make a meal.
  • Your friend is pregnant and has other littles to care for? Make a meal.
  • Your friend is perfectly happy and you just want to surprise her and make her day even better? You guessed it...make a meal!

YOUR TURN: Do you ever deliver meals to friends? If so, what do you usually bring? What meal ideas can you share?

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30 comments on “"Be the Change" Idea #1: DELIVER A MEAL”

  1. this is one of my favorite ways to minister to others! i love dropping off goodies or meals or even having people over.
    my latest favorite thing to make is homemade chicken wings, rice and salad! yummmmm

  2. We do this in our Moms club everytime someone has a new baby, so the new mom gets meals every other day for 2 weeks. I know when I had my little guy, it was such a HUGE help and such a nice gift from friends. I like to make lasagna, or chicken divan. I usually take a bag of salad mix (the kind with the fixins and dressing included) and a loaf of heat and eat bread, and a dessert too ('cause you have to have dessert!)

  3. I absolutely love this idea and we put it into action whenever we can. That is one of my most favorite baby gifts for new parents. We've dropped off a pot of beef stew, enchilladas, home made spaghetti sauce, lasagne, & quiche.

  4. Its always so nice to get a meal. I loved it every time we had a baby, our friends showered us with meals. I like to make a double portion of whatever Im making that night and take one and keep one. Homemade bread is always a big hit too!

  5. Making meals is such a fun an easy way to care for people around you. I love doing it and it almost always makes the receivers day. In my neighborhood we have a "care committee" and any time something happens in someone's life we all get together and bring meals for an entire week. It was great when we had our son to not have to cook for a whole week. Another easy suggestions if you have mutual friends with the person who had a baby/life change or other need a meal situation is for each of you to bring a part of the meal. One person bring the main course, another a side, & a third the dessert. Then one person can be the delivery person. This works great for those who don't feel like they have time to do a whole meal.

  6. I just had surgery yesterday and my SIL brought us a meal - it was wonderful!

    It is something we do around here for our friends too and I agree with you - having things in the freezer already is great for when you want to share a meal with someone.

  7. My hubby likes to share meals with our senior citizen neighbors. He just cooks a little more than usual and makes a plate for them of whatever we are having for dinner. He's just so wonderful!

  8. I grew up in church so the concept of making meals for a family in a struggling situation, or having just had a baby is nothing new to me. So a friend at school just had a c-section and her husband had to return to work today (the day after coming home from the hospital). Since she did not have a shower I thought people wouldn't mind pitching in to help out with dinners. I can't believe how many people I asked and all but 2 said no. I just can't get over the responses I got! The poor girl is trying to recover from surgery, take care of a newborn and 2 year old and only 2 people could help. Yikes! I'm glad to see you still believe in making meals for people. (and thanks for giving me a place to vent!)

  9. Great ideas! My old reliable is a baked ziti of sorts. Super easy! Ziti or penne pasta layered with meat sauce and shredded italian cheeses. I always use an aluminum pan so there is no clean up and I usually put paper plates and napkins in with the meal as well so no one has to do any dishes! It's easy to reheat too. I'm actually going to be taking this meal on Thursday to a gal at church who just had her second baby.

  10. I love to deliver food to people too! For some friends who had their 3rd child recently, I brought lots of comfort food: chili, homemade bread, and some pumpkin muffins too.

  11. When we had our baby and people started showing up with dinner for us, it was such an incredible blessing. We are definitely going to pay that gift forward to every couple we know as they have babies! Even if you can't do a whole meal, but can send over a bunch of spaghetti sauce that can be frozen, that also helps!

  12. I like bringing meals to people, too. Or having them over to our house. :) We've done it many times since we've moved here, and it always feels good to know the small thing you're doing makes such a difference in a person's day. I often bring casseroles or enchiladas, because they tend to make more and can be both eaten for dinner and saved for leftovers for lunch the next day.

  13. Nothing says I LOVE YOU better than a meal delivered to a hurting person. I have been happy to do it for friends in need and now I'm the one in need and I'm feeling very loved.

  14. As a mom of six, we have been blessed to receive many meals after babies. It has also been much appreciated after surgery and deaths in the family.

    I love the make ahead idea and will have to try it out, both for our family and for delivering meals. It;s one of those things i keep saying I'm going to do...

    When we take meals, I often try to include something to read (even fairly new magazines that I've already read - a great way to recycle) or fresh cut flowers from our yard if I have them blooming. A card with a handwritten note is always nice, too.

    Another idea for recipients is elderly neighbors/relatives who often eat a lot of convenience foods for ease of preparation and don't get many home-cooked meals. You can often give them a portion of what you are making for dinner, which is super simple.

  15. We always take meals to friends with new babies and have had the joy of being on the receiving end of that too. I had a extremely bad delivery with #3 this winter and we were extremely blessed to receive meals every other day for 8 weeks while I recovered!
    My favorites to take in the cooler months are soups, roasts or a couple of chicken casseroles that we love. In the summer I usually do a taco salad or shredded BBQ chicken or beef sandwiches.

  16. I have been on the receiving end of this when I had my daughter and it was amazing! We did not take one bite for granted. Now when my friends have babies we reciprocate. I like to do it when I know someone has had a hard week or when I know they are struggling financially. One hearty home made meal can make a big difference and I love to cook so we all win!

  17. I love making meals for people; and have organized meals for new parents a couple of times (it is SUCH a serious help when you have a slew of meals coming for weeks after you have a baby - and then the friends can stop in to see them!)

    Chicken potpie is my new favorite to bring (its one of those hearty, childhood type meals that people dont expect); with a salad and a loaf of yummy bread.
    making one this week actually, yum!

  18. I've done a variety of things:
    -make a home made meal (pasta bake, chicken bruschetta and soup are some of my favorites)
    -take a meal that is un-prepared (packaged spaghetti and sauce, bag of salad and bottle of dressing)
    -deliver some misc groceries (my favorite are "snack" foods - granola bars, nuts, dry fruit, fresh fruit)

    As I have been on the receiving end now a couple times I appreciate all the expressions. Even the logistics have been varied. Traditionally people will drop food and run. But we had friends who invited us to stay and eat with them when we delivered food...that was a special time. And we had neighbors who invited us to their casual house for a meal after our first one was born.

    I agree with all the others who said: It's nice and always appreciated.

  19. My girlfriend recently had a little one. I went grocery shopping and took her a couple of grocery bags filled with goodies for her to eat, specially since she needed the extra nutrition for breastfeeding. I bought organic juice, fruit, veggies with hummus dip, quick put in the oven or microwave meals (fresh and easy has some great meals) and dessert for big sister!

  20. Those are great ideas. I've never taken a meal to someone. but my little neighbor girl brought us fresh (still warm) pumpkin chocolate cookies yesterday. It was so nice.

  21. I've lost track of how many friends have had babies this year...but it's at least 10 or so. The girls from our church small groups usually take care of each other and deliver meals after a baby is born. I just sent out an e-mail last night, actually, to the two groups, setting up a meal schedule for a couple who just had their second child on Saturday. I usually take lasagna, prepared in an aluminum tray so that they do not need to return dishes, as well as a salad and cookies. Yum! :)

  22. I do lots of meals too, and am the coordinator for our church's "Careline" (to provide meals for new moms, bereaved families, etc.) One thing I always try to do, especially for families that are receiving lots of meals, is make sure that all the food is in disposable containers (tinfoil, cheap tupperware that I buy just for that purpose, ziplocs, etc.), so that they don't have to worry about trying to return dishes to me.

    I do a variety of dishes, depending on what I think they'll like. But if I'm not sure, taco fixings are an easy one. Or if I'm lined up to do a meal, but my day gets crazy, I've gone with the rotisserie chicken/bag of salad/ carton of ice cream route - it doesn't have to be homemade to be appreciated.

  23. I love, love, love to make meals for people! When I had my first baby, my amazing friends set up a meal tree where I was getting meals every other day and we had meals for over three weeks! Blessed for sure!

    I love delivering meals!! I just delivered a meal last week and have a meal to deliver tonight as well! I always ask what they have been eating in hopes on not bringing them something they have eaten a lot of already. Last week I made tortilla soup and included all the fixins' like sour cream, extra cheese, avocado, chips, and cornbread (SO good...will have to post that on my Recipe Rodeo). Tonight I am making grilled chicken with lemon basil sauce. I simply marinate the chicken, make the lemon basil sauce, salad, bread and brownies, add a bottle of wine and they can grill it whenever they are ready to eat! Chicken ceasar salad is also a fun meal to bring over with some nice bread and wine.

  24. Fantastic! I think this is such a lost art. We LOVE to do this... and were blessed this week to be the recipients as we were up to our noses in boxes.

  25. i'm constantly delivering meals to friends - its one of the only ways i can help out! and its been a great help to us at different times in our lives. i deliver when someone is moving, to nauseous pregnant moms who can't stand the sight of food but need to feed their families, when mama is sick and doesn't feel like cooking...
    its a great way to help someone out!
    i always make something that makes terrific leftovers, like hearty soups or chili. and - for more adventurous families - i do indian food or something unusual.

  26. I couldn't agree with you more, this very simple act of kindness is HUGE! My church has a committee of women (probably like 20 or so) that when a family has a new baby, we make them 3-4 meals a week for about a month. So about every other day a meal is delivered. It's such a blessing - I LOVE giving (and receiving) in this way.

  27. Awww, fourth baby.

    I have delivered meals before. I think it's a fabulous way of blessing others.

    I've also had meals delivered to me and I'm always grateful.


  28. Sweet little Joy!! I'm so glad you were able to help them out. Wish I could be there too to help! Is she absolutely adorable? The pics Joy sent were so cute!!!
    I like your idea to have extra meals in the freezer just in case. Saves time on making to meal and having to run to the grocery store w/three kids!!

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