5 Great Food Gifts for New Moms

By: Debra Ronca

Healthy treats are best, but some tasty sweets are nice, too! See more pictures of enlightened desserts.
©iStockphoto.com/GrenouilleFilms

The birth of a child is among the happiest and most wonderful times of a mother's life. It's also one of the most chaotic. Hectic days and sleepless nights with the newest member of the family can completely exhaust mom, who may not even find the time to take care of herself.

That's where you come in, friend. Most likely you've already showered the baby with burping clothes, bottles and blankets. But now it's time to give mommy something she really, really needs -- food.

Advertisement

So many new moms eat whatever they can grab during those first few crazy weeks of motherhood. It's up to you to make sure what she grabs is good for her. Not only is the gift of food thoughtful, but it'll also help mommy feel healthy and alert. Anyone can make a casserole or lasagna and stick it in the freezer. But you're more creative than that, right?

Keep reading for some unique and tasty meal ideas for new moms.

5: A Hot Meal

Many people tend to give new parents gifts of frozen home-cooked meals. But we've talked to a few new moms and they've told us that sometimes they can't even get up the energy to defrost and reheat something. That's some high-level exhaustion! We have a solution, though:

Enlist a few friends, and every night, while you're preparing your own meal for you and/or your family, make some extra portions. Take those extra portions over to the new mom's house, piping hot and ready to eat. Let her know in advance that she can expect a hot dinner every night for the next week at a certain time. It'll be much appreciated, and she won't have to do anything but enjoy it.

Advertisement

If you don't cook or live too far away from your friend, arrange for a local restaurant to deliver a meal instead. Just remember to keep it light and healthy.

4: Snacks

Most new parents are busy 24/7. When they're not occupied with the new baby (or babies), they're trying to catch a few minutes of sleep or a shower. Instead of preparing and sitting down for a formal meal, chances are the new mom is spending a lot of her time holding her baby -- either rocking him or her to sleep or breastfeeding. And it's pretty hard to eat a meal with one hand.

What mom needs is healthy, unprocessed snack food. Package her some single-serving snacks -- the kinds of things she can eat with one hand. Think little plastic containers or bags of healthy treats like almonds, yogurt-covered raisins, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, trail mix, grapes or baby carrots.

Advertisement

3: Mommy Superfoods

It's really important for a new mom to keep up her energy levels and stay healthy, especially if she's breastfeeding, and eating nutrient-rich foods will help. Why not put together some meals for the new mom, featuring these superfoods? Both mommy and baby will thank you.

  • Salmon: Fatty fish like salmon contain a compound called DHA, which is essential for nervous system development. Some studies say that DHA even helps assuage postpartum depression.
  • Low-fat dairy: Dairy products like skim milk and yogurt contain vitamins, calcium and protein. Three servings a day is optimal.
  • Lean beef: Beef is rich in iron, which helps with energy levels. It also provides a boost of protein and B-12, something breastfeeding moms need.
  • Oranges: This fruit is portable, chock-full of vitamins and is another good energy-booster.
  • Leafy greens: Think spinach, Swiss chard and broccoli. Greens are full of vitamin A, calcium, vitamin C, iron and antioxidants, which are good for the heart.

Bonus! These foods are good for anyone. So, make extra for yourself.

Advertisement

2: Sweets

Make your favorite new mom some homemade cupcakes.
Make your favorite new mom some homemade cupcakes.
Jupiterimages/Goodshot/Thinkstock

Yeah, we know we've been saying "healthy, healthy, healthy." But let's face it. Everyone needs a treat every now and then. Many of the moms we talked to told us they loved the snacks and nutritious meals, but they were also delighted when people showed up at their houses with sweets. We're not talking an entire cake or anything, but consider things like cookie bouquets (which can be personalized with blue or pink ribbons), cupcakes (a great single-serving snack) or chocolates. Many breastfeeding moms crave sugar, probably for the quick energy spike.

 

Advertisement

Some dads we spoke to also told us they enjoyed having some coffeecake around in the mornings to enjoy. A nice little sugar and caffeine rush never hurt anyone, right?

1: Drinks

No, we don't mean cocktails. We mean water and low-sugar juices. It's important for everyone to stay hydrated, but it's even more important for a new mother, especially if she's breastfeeding. Dehydration is a huge drain on energy. Doctors advise breastfeeding moms to drink at least 8 cups of liquid every day.

To keep her hydrated, buy your favorite new mom a case of beverages. Bottled water, natural juices and coconut water (which contains potassium and electrolytes) are all great ideas. Just avoid buying her caffeinated and overly sugary drinks.

Advertisement

For more about food and health, check out the links on the next page.

Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • "12 Foods for New Moms." WebMD. Mar. 7, 2010. (Aug. 29, 2010) http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/breastfeeding-9/breast-feeding-diet
  • Frost, Shelley. "Food Gifts for New Moms." Livestrong.com. Aug. 3, 2010. (Aug. 29, 2010) http://www.livestrong.com/article/193133-food-gifts-for-new-moms/
  • "More ways to use Lotsa Helping Hands." Lotsa Helping Hands. 2010. (Aug. 29, 2010) http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/who-we-help/