Taking in a Meal to a neighbor or family
What food to make and tips to make it easier on you and the person you are helping

  Have you been asked to, or offered, to take in a meal?

    Here are some tips for taking in a meal when there is a new baby,  surgery, illness or just because.

   These ideas will make your meal one that is appreciated even more.

What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal they Will want to eat

A meal is always welcome, or at least a thoughtful gesture.

However, it’s also very appreciated when the meal is one they ‘like’, can eat due to health restrictions, and even the small details don’t weigh them down.

Such as: whose bowl does this belong to? Which unmarked pan does the young boy at the door want returned while his mother waits outside, not wanting to ‘be a bother’ while you’re trying to find lids, which pan is her’s etc. 

 In fact, a well-meaning neighbor calling to see if they can stop by to collect their dishes – when you’re not feeling well can be a bit awkward also.  

After many babies and surgeries myself, as well as delivering more meals than I can even begin to count, I’ve learned a tips about how to make it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Here are a few of my tricks, and we would love to hear yours too!

  • Use disposable pans, bags and dishes to deliver the food in.  Grocery stores and the Dollar Store are GREAT resources for these. 
  • Prepare the dish in  disposable cookware.
  • If possible ask the family if they have any allergies to foods. Though you do need to stay in your budget and fix a meal that you are comfortable making; if you can, ask the family if there is anything they dislike. For example, some people really cannot force themselves to eat rice or spaghetti sauce. Despite your best effort in making a meal, and their gratitude in your gift, it would go to waste.  (For example, I will not, cannot – not in a boat, not with a goat, not in the rain, not on a train….you get the point, I will NOT eat eggs as the major ingredient.  So a beautiful quiche would be devoured by my husband and family, while I would have to open a can of something or tuther.  I would still send a thank you note though of course, but you get the idea here.)
  • If you know your neighborhood well and that other”s are also taking in a meal(s), it would be a good idea to ask the family if they have had a particular food brought in. You don’t want to be the third well intended friend in a row to take in chili. 
  • Label food with what it is, the date to use by and any special cooking or reheating instructions.
  • Ask if there is a certain night they would like a meal brought in. Or let them pick from two or three nights that are convenient for you. 
  • If you don’t cook, no problem. There are businesses that sell pre-made ‘homemade’ dinners. Or a gift card for a drive-through type eating establishment is awesome. Or the kind that will deliver (such as pizza) are ALWAYS welcome.
  • If you have the means, taking in a freezer meal, along with a meal for that night, to have on hand for ‘one-of-those-days’ would be so appreciated.

Both of my  recipes listed here can be made and baked the same day or frozen for later use, including baking instructions to include with the gifted food.  I hope they help and are enjoyed by all. 

Click HERE for the Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

Best Chicken Pot Pie

Click HERE for Magnificent Manicotti

Easy Homemade Manicotti

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2017

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.