Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone in need is take them a meal! Whether you’re feeding friends who just welcomed a baby, your new neighbors, or someone who’s sick, I’ve got several easy meal ideas that are sure to bring them comfort and deliciousness.
Delivering a delicious meal to someone in a time of need is one of my favorite ways to serve others and show them how much I love and care about them. A simple gesture that truly means so much. I’ve been on the receiving end of many of meals and I know that wonderful feeling of relief and enjoyment a delivered meal provides.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or all-consuming as it truly is the thought that counts. It’s likely that you’ll already be making a meal for your own family, so why not just double the ingredients and make two batches at once so you can feed both your family and your friends in need.
Simple, family-friendly meals are the name of the game. Think of meals that everyone loves and that provide a healthy balance of comfort and nutrition.
I’ve got so many great recipes here on the blog that are so perfect for making to take to friends. We’ve rounded up my favorites along with what to take with each one to truly make it a memorable meal.
A few suggestions and reminders before we get to the menus and recipes:
- Keep in mind that you’re bringing them a meal so make sure you take a full meal. You don’t want them wishing they had veggies or sides or sauces to accompany it. For example, if you’re taking a carb heavy casserole, they’ll probably want a salad or some veggies to balance it out. Or if you’re taking them tacos, they’ll for sure want some fixings to top them with and some guacamole on the side.
- Also, keep in mind the number of people that will be enjoying the meal and how many adults vs. children there are. For example, if someone’s just had a baby, there are likely to be grandparents or babysitters there that you’ll want to make sure you provide enough food for too. And for children, be sure to offer a few easy-to-eat, less spiced options that are kid-friendly.
- Whether you’re taking the meal cooked or uncooked, be sure to include instructions for reheating or heating completely. You can write the instructions on a sticky note, in a card, or just with a sharpie on the foil that you have the meal covered in.
- I like to keep a variety of disposable aluminum foil containers on hand to put the meal in so they don’t have to worry about getting dishes or containers back to me. I also carry the meal to them in a large reusable grocery bag so I can just hand it to them or set it on the kitchen counter. Makes for a swift and smooth delivery especially if you’re not planning to linger a while.
Here’s an example of a meal I recently took to some friends who had just had a baby. They already have two young kids at home so I tried to give them a good variety to make everyone happy.
Below are my go-to favorite meals to make and take. With each main course, I like to take a side or some sides to accompany it depending on the dish. I also like to take a dessert and maybe even a breakfast baked goodie that they can have the next morning or snack on for a few days.
And if it’s for a friend who just had a baby, I always always include a batch of my No-Bake Lactation Bites. Whether they’re breastfeeding or not, these little bites are great for a much needed energy boost and well-deserved treat.
Menus and Recipes:
Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole – you can mix rotisserie or grilled chicken into the casserole before baking it or you can pick up a rotisserie chicken to serve along side it. Include a simple side salad and a loaf of bread.
Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese – pick up a rotisserie chicken to serve with it and then include a simple green salad or a bagged salad mix, a loaf of bread, and steamed or raw veggies (like baby carrots or broccoli) with ranch for the kids.
Breakfast Bake – breakfast for dinner is one of our favorites so it’s always a delicious surprise when I bring breakfast for dinner to friends. They love it! Bring this bake with a fresh fruit salad and some muffins. The leftovers are so great for breakfast the next morning!
BLT Quiche – quiche is so great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner which makes it such a great dish to take. Take it with a green salad or a fruit salad and it’s a perfect meal that everyone always enjoys!
Baby Pasta Salad – this is so great to take to families with really young kids who are just starting to feed themselves as it’s easy for them to eat. I would take this in addition to a main meal for the adults.
Baby Food Oatmeal Bites – another great recipe to take to a family with little ones who are just learning to eat. They’re the perfect meal or snack for babies and toddlers. I would take this in addition to a main meal for adults.
I like to always include a dessert for them to finish the meal off with or for them to enjoy over the next several days. Here are my go-to desserts to take:
- No-Bake Monster Cookie Balls – a kid favorite!
- Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- The Best Banana Pudding
- One-Bowl Fudge Brownies
- M&M Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
I also like to include a breakfast treat if I have time to make one. It’s so nice to have good food on hand when you’re in the thick of life and since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a quick and delicious breakfast option is such a treat. Here are some of my favorites to make and take:
- Healthy 5-Ingredient Flourless Banana Bread
- Blueberry Streusel Muffins
- 5-Ingredient Granola Bars
- Cinnamon Swirled Banana Bread
I hope this gives you some inspiration and confidence next time you want to take someone a meal. And just remember, it’s the thought that counts. Whether it’s a full meal or just a batch of fresh baked cookies, delivering food to someone in need is such a wonderful way to show them that you love and care about them.