Visiting New Parents. And Bringing Dinner.

I love visiting new babies. I love visiting new parents. I love bringing new parents a nice, home-cooked dinner. They are so grateful for a real meal because they’re starving and too tired to cook. Plus, they’re often freaking tired of ordering pizza or Chinese and they’ve eaten all of the tuna fish, mac & cheese, and frozen dinners they had in the house. When P was born, two of our best friends made us 4 days worth of dinners. Real, delicious, healthy, homemade meals. It was one of the nicest things anyone did for us. But before you show up at a new parent’s door, food in hand, some tips…

Tips for the visit:

1. Always bring food. Even if they tell you not to, do it.

2. Eat before you go, or bring enough to cover yourself. You don’t want to show up with food but leave them with nothing because you ate it all while visiting.

3. Don’t stay too long. The first thing new parents want to do is show off their baby. The last thing is entertain guests. Stop by, tell them how gorgeous their progeny is, give them food, leave. Come back another time for a longer visit. Like when the baby is 4 months old and sleeping through the night. I always like to tell the new parents I can’t stay long before I even arrive so they don’t worry or wonder how long I’ll be hanging around. If they invite me to stay longer, yay, if not, no-one is offended by my brief visit.

Tips for the food:

1. Make sure they eat what you’re cooking. You don’t want to send beef to a vegetarian, or peanut chicken to someone allergic to nuts. Make sure you prepare foods they can and will eat.

2. Make sure they like what you’re cooking. You also don’t want to bring poached salmon with Hollandaise over steamed asparagus to people who prefer Hamburger Helper. Or vice versa. Make sure you cook to their tastes.

3. Make enough for leftovers. It’s always more helpful if there is more than one meal’s worth of food.

4. Include instructions for reheating. If your meal can’t just be nuked (eg, you brought it in a metal pan), make sure you tell them how to heat it up in the oven.

5. Come by in a week or two. If people are bringing over meals, it’s generally during that first few days. Bring your dinner by in a week or two when all of the initial food will be gone and they’ll need more.

6. Bring it in a disposable pan, or dish you don’t want back. New parents cannot be held responsible for keeping track of other people’s dishes, especially when receiving food from multiple sources. Give them a break. Bring your food in a disposable pan.


You don’t just have to do dinner, by the way. They need breakfast and lunch foods, too. So bring muffins, or sandwich stuff, or a quiche (perfect for breakfast or lunch). You can bring them snacks. Whatever. Bring something.

If you don’t cook, you can still help. You can pick up a few things for them at the store. Call and ask them what they need and bring them a bag of groceries. Get them a frozen lasagna, or order them take-out (if they’re not sick of it), or send a fruit basket. Trust me, they won’t care what food shows up. They’ll just be so thrilled to have something to eat that they didn’t have to cook.

I think that covers it. Unless, of course, you have something to add.


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