A big thank you to the oh-so delicious Tradewinds Slow-Brewed Teas in partnership with Mom It Forward Bloggers Network for sponsoring this post.
Have you ever received meals from friends, family, church members, or coworkers after you had a new baby or were dealing with sickness or a difficult time in life? Isn’t it so helpful to be cared for by loved ones with food?
When my daughter was born, my church coordinated people to make and deliver meals to my home. Every night for two weeks someone showed up with dinner for me and my husband so we could focus our attention on the new little person in our home. We appreciated this helpful gesture of support so very much!
I also remember wayyyyy back to my wedding week, approximately 6 thousand years ago. My parents house was filled with crazy activity that week! It quickly turned into a wedding favor factory, groomsmen hostel, hair salon, wedding gift storage house. Busy busy times! We were so surprised and thrilled when friends pulled up in a van filled with food they made to feed all of us as we prepared for wedding day. So incredibly helpful!
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of fixing meals to deliver to friends. Most often the meals are to help a family who has just had a new baby. I’ve also made meals for dear friends who have lost a family member.
All of this experience with receiving and giving meals as a way of caring and showing support for loved ones has taught me a few things:
1. Always prepare meals that the family will enjoy.
So obvious, right? But really, very often people do not ask the important questions when organizing meals:
- What foods do your family members not like?
- What are your favorite meals?
- Do any family members have food allergies?
2. Always bring meals in disposable pans.
The purpose of giving meals is to help the recipients. Unfortunately, some of this helpfulness is negated when meals are delivered in dishes that must then be washed and returned to the owner. Seriously dear friends, this is such a pain!
I have a stockpile of foil pans with pretty lids that I keep on hand for the purpose of giving food. Super convenient! Plastic disposable containers with lids can also be very useful.
If you do prefer to deliver food in real dishes and pans, be sure to attach a note explaining that they may keep them after use.
Look at this delicious apple crisp I brought to friends who had a new baby…
3. Plan a FULL meal.
When you take a meal, don’t just deliver a chicken pot pie and figure you’re done. Think of side dishes, bread, dessert, and drinks to go with the main dish.
I absolutely love Tradewinds Slow-Brewed Sweet Tea and it’s so perfect for delivering to friends with a meal. Tradewinds teas come in 18.5 ounce and gallon size containers and are available in a variety of delicious flavors like Raspberry, Hint of Lemon, Green Tea with Honey, Sweet Tea, and Unsweet Tea. Check out all of the flavors here.
I would recommend delivering a meal along with a gallon or two of Tradewinds Slow-Brewed Tea. Plus, a few gallons for your own home too! 🙂
4. Call/Text Ahead of Delivery.
When you schedule a day to deliver a meal, do be sure to contact your friend early in the day to set up a specific delivery time. I like to send a text early in the day to remind them that I’ll be bringing dinner and to see if there is a specific time that works best for them.
Later, when dinner is ready and I’m about to leave my house, I send a text to say “hey! I’m leaving now and will be there in 10 minutes!”
I personally always prefer text messages over phone calls, but figure out what communication method works best for your friend and do that.
5. Drop off and go!
When you deliver a meal, don’t plan to stay very long. Just bring in the food, offer any instructions (really good idea to write them down), offer your congratulations or sympathies based on the particular situation, and be on your way.
When a family has a new baby, meal delivery is not a great time to stick around for an hour and hold their delicate little newborn. I LOVE babies, but I rarely ever ask to hold anyone’s newborn. They’re such delicate little people!
Now, depending on the situation and your relationship with the person you’re bringing a meal to, they may want you to visit for a little while. It’s good to have a little time to give if appropriate.
What other important tips for taking a meal to friends can you offer? Tell us in the comments! I’ll be here sipping my Tradewinds Slow-Brewed Sweet Tea and reading your comments!