One of the kindest acts we can do for others, whether they are in a season of celebration or grief is to take time to nourish them with the gift of food. This post gives tips and recipe ideas to help you cook for others.
Tips and Recipes: Meals for Grieving or Celebrating Families
We have been blessed with the gift of food from friends multiple times in our lives…when we lost my brother, 20+ years ago, I was amazed at the amount of food that arrived each day at our home. Casseroles, sandwich fixings, desserts, fresh fruits…I had no idea how wonderful it was to be given the gift of sustenance.
The best way you can support a family that is celebrating the birth or adoption of a child, encourage foster families with a new placement, or nourish a grieving family after a loss is to feed them. Plain and simple.
These tips are suggestions from someone who has been on the receiving end…so, I can share things that help and some that might not help as much…
- Make their lives easier…pick up cheap, disposable cooking containers so that they do not have dishes to clean up and return to you. These containers are some ideas of what I am talking about and you can find them at most grocery stores.
- Bring along some paper products that may be needed: paper plates, napkins, a roll of paper towels, plastic cups and ziplock bags. These make clean up easier for the family and often may be something that they have run out of if they are unable to easily run to the store.
- Pick meals that are easy to heat up and easy to freeze in case they have more than they can currently eat.
- Always include instructions for freezing, heating, and or what is needed to finish the meal. If it requires extra items (taco shells, sour cream, etc.) bring those too.
- If a large group wants to help out (church, work, mommy’s group) make a list of who is bringing what and when so that the family does not wind up with 5 meals on one night when they could have had a whole week’s worth!
If you feel like cooking is not your thing…stay tuned for ideas at the end!
White Chicken Enchiladas
This is a family favorite at my house…whenever I make these, I double the recipe because everyone eats seconds and thirds…plus they always want leftovers! Make double when sharing with a friend and you can feed your family while taking a good meal to them!
PS…I substitute Green chili enchilada sauce instead of whole chilis like the recipe says…
This is my go-to meal! I have several recipes I use, but they ALWAYS include no-boil noodles! Make one for your family and one to take easily by doubling the recipe…or triple it and have one for the freezer too!
Who doesn’t love tacos…and who doesn’t love soup?!?! This is comfort food to the max! Easily double the recipe for your family or freezer on this one too! She even includes 3 different sets of directions to make this one convenient for you!
But, I can’t cook!
It is ok if cooking is not your thing! Here are ways you can help!
Run by the grocery to pick up:
- milk, OJ, bagels, cream cheese and cereals for an easy breakfast option
- rotisserie chicken, salad mix, toppings, dressing and a pack of rolls
- fresh fruit and snacks (especially if they have children)
- sandwich options: bread/rolls, 2-3 meats, cheeses, and veggies with chips and drink
- paper products, trash bags, toilet paper, kleenex, etc.
- take-out or pizza (ask the family if they have a favorite)
And when all else fails, be sure to ask the family what they need. I had a friend that worked and could not cook for us but she really wanted to help. I told her I needed sliced cheese and ice cream and she came with 2 of each…I was grateful because I could make sandwiches for the kids and indulge with the ice cream when they were in bed! 🙂
So, as you can see, it is not at all hard to love a family well during their time of transition. Whether that is a happy transition that includes a new member of the family or a sad one that means someone has been lost. Take these tips and grab the one that best fits! Go Love Well!
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