A Baby Shower Alternative – The Food-Prep Party!

If you’ve ever had a baby, you know what it’s like. Soon after the magical arrival of your little one, you find yourself coming down from the “OMG the baby’s coming!” high to the practicalities of everyday life…and now you have a newborn.

For both mom and dad, this is an exhausting yet precious time during which they’re both consumed with the needs of a new baby. The last thing on their mind is the mundane act of cooking for themselves, as a fellow mom can attest:

Arriving home with baby, 200% of our energy went into deciphering baby’s needs, snatching sleep, and the dozens of other trials and errors involved in this bewildering newborn crash course. If people hadn’t brought food, we probably would have subsisted on pizza or peanut-butter cups every night. We were SO grateful to have healthy, delicious meals from our friends. I am certain I’m not the only one.

Mom needs nutritious foods to recover and both parents need nourishment to keep up their energy, especially in the early days. These things are just as important (if not moreso!) than gifts of baby clothes and blankets and towels. To support them through this exhausting and amazing time, instead of gifts for baby throw them a food-prep party!  Here’s how:

1. Find simple meals that freeze well.

Look at nourishingmeals.com or mamaandbabylove.com for recipes that support recovery and breastfeeding, think about your favorite easy recipes, or search for “freezer recipe.” Ask your friend to choose five or six recipes from a list. That’s potentially 10 or 12 meals…some ideas:
  • Lasagna with spinach (for iron)
  • Sweet potato & chicken chili
  • Curried lentil and rice casserole
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Chicken soup with wild rice (not noodles)

2. Divvy up the work.

If possible, divvy up the task of figuring out the division of labor for each recipe. What can be handled by guests? What needs to be cooked ahead of time? How will the finished product be stored: Ziploc bags? Disposable lasagna trays? Which kitchen tools do you need to have at the party?
Divvy up the costs, too.
Have very clear instructions laid out for all the party guests, for example “chop half an onion and put into Bag #1.” Then take the food, put into separate bags, and include cooking instructions for the new parents. Something simple like “Heat Bag 1, then stir in Bag 2.”
You can make the food-prep party part of the baby shower, a separate event than the baby shower, or in lieu of the baby shower for those parents wanting something “non-traditional.” Most of all, pick nutritious foods and have fun!


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