Two weeks ago on a stormy Friday afternoon, Roen made her grand entrance. One of the first things I said when I laid eyes on her was, “Darren, she looks just like your dad!” D’s dad is Japanese and I’m thinking she could’ve passed as a full Japanese baby at the time? Here she is minutes after birth…
We were lucky to have a great birth experience that allowed us to go home the same day. That night, we didn’t want to sleep. We were on a high. We couldn’t stop staring at her. Of course, as she fed through the night I found myself (well, Darren did) diving into my freezer stash of nursing snacks! They were essential.
Being ‘nourished’ played a hugely important role during the first days caring for Roen, and thanks to friends and family, we were well stocked. However, before baby, I had no idea what was an appropriate offering to bring new parents. These past two weeks (thanks to the kindness of others) have given me some insight into what is truly appreciated during this sacred time.
Here are 10 food items to bring to parents of a newborn:
- Healthy Meals: ready-to-eat meals have got to be one of the very best gifts for new parents, who will want to focus on baby (instead of cooking). Try macro bowls from The Juice Truck (available via DoorDash delivery), a variety of healthy entrees from meal delivery service Vital Supply Co. or some of my favourite salads (pictured) in the city from Nourish.
- Cold-pressed Juice: Hydration is so important in the early days of breastfeeding. A six-pack of organic, cold-pressed juice was my definition of heaven during these thirsty times. It felt great picturing all those nutrients being passed on to Roen through my milk. The Juicery Co., The Juice Truck, The Juice Box, Glory Juice, Revel Juice and Krokodile Pear all deliver, so if you’re ordering for someone that you’re not sure is taking visitors you can just call your order in.
- Groceries: A stocked fridge is so comforting and necessary during the hungry first couple of weeks with a newborn. Ready-to-eat items like power cookies, deli items, frozen pizzas and fruit are ideal. Ask your friends if they have any dietary preferences and then do the rest yourself — save them from the decision-making!
- Good Almond Milk: The first couple of weeks with baby is the perfect time to splurge on extra-special (perhaps expensive) food items — the new parents deserve a treat! ‘Good almond milk’ falls into this category for me. Pre-order a 2L jug of The Juice Box Almond Milk from Be Fresh Local Market or make a batch yourself. This stuff is worth its weight in gold.
- Easy-to-build Meals: Fun food, like nachos, is a great gift for new parents, who are probably craving rich, delicious meals. But, since many dishes that fall into this category have a short shelf life, you should gather all the ingredients so your friends can easily assemble themselves. For nachos, make a batch of this vegan nacho cheese sauce to go with the care package.
- Home Cooking: Nothing says I love you like a home-cooked meal. Browse the entree section of one of my favourite recipe blogs, minimalistbaker.com, for inspiration.
- Soup Jars: Easily one of the most nutritious, easiest-to-eat, comforting meals in existence. Stock your friends up with a few jars of organic, locally-made kitskitchen soup, which can last in the fridge (unopened) for a few weeks. Their new Butternut Squash + Ginger Soup is delicious!
- Superfoods: You can’t possibly pack too many superfoods into your diet during the early days with baby. Make a Spirulina Gomasio ‘bump’ (a blend of several superfoods) for your friends using this recipe from builtforthisbaby.com — they can sprinkle it on almost anything for a boost of nutrition.
- Breast-feeding Snacks: Nursing will cause a serious appetite — it’s key for new moms to be stocked with healthy snacks that can be eaten with one hand. Here are a few recipes I’ve enjoyed.
- New Mom Care Package: How could a basket full of baby essentials and treats not be appreciated? A SPUD gift basket filled with things like Seventh Generation Diapers and Wipes, Dimpleskins Naturals Salve, ZIMT Chocolates, Jules Fuel etc. is a perfect gift to help stock the new parents up. Plus, you might introduce your friends to a product they end up loving. See SPUD gift packs here.
Hope this list gives you lots of ideas! I’ll leave you with a shot of an 11-day-old Roen…