Recipes from The Kitchn

The 10 Best Meal Train Recipes to Bring to New Parents

Image Credit: Anna Spaller

So your friend/neighbor/coworker just had a baby, and you signed up for their meal train with no idea what to cook for them. As a woman of a certain age (and a mom of two myself), I've been bringing "new baby meals" for almost 10 years! These are my favorite recipes to make and bring to new parents.

Image Credit: Lauren Volo

1. Oatmeal Cups

Two reasons to bring oat cups to new parents: They make a one-handed breakfast or quick midnight snack, and oats are reportedly good for producing milk. Plus these can be made in a big batch, frozen, and reheated to last up to a month.

Image Credit: Maria Siriano

2. Mini Frittatas

This mini frittatas also double as breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner while being high in protein and can be eaten hot or cold. Check with mama to make sure she's not avoiding dairy if she's breastfeeding.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

3. Carnitas-Style Tacos

Make a big batch of carnitas and portion it into several servings (so new parents can freeze some for future dinners). Pack with tortillas and all the fixings for these to be an anytime meal, too.

Image Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani | Kitchn

4. Granola + Yogurt and Fruit

A lot of people forget that new parents need other meals besides dinner, which is why there are so many "could be breakfast or lunch" recipes on this list. Granola also makes a great snack anytime of day or night and can easily be portioned and eaten with one hand and a spoon. It does help to have fruit cut and ready to pile on, too.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Chickpea and Vegetable Stew

New moms will appreciate the, umm, added fiber in this dairy-free recipe. If you can, portion this out into single servings that can be frozen and reheated as needed.

Image Credit: Christine Han

6. Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos

These might actually be my most favorite meal to take new parents, again, because they can be eaten one-handed and are flavorful without being heavy. You can easily double the vegetables here and lose the cheese, if needed.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

7. Greek Chicken Grain Bowls

Having a few days of pre-portioned lunches and dinners that I could eat cold or at room temperature was basically my idea of heaven while home with new babies. You can pack up all the components individually or make single-serve bowls that are easy to grab and eat.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

8. Easy Pasta Salad

I am all for casseroles when making food for new parents — they are totally comforting in a time of change and sleeplessness — but pasta salad is easier to portion one-handed than baked ziti and doesn't need to be reheated (key when you're trying not to wake the baby with the ding of the microwave).

Image Credit: Leela Cyd

9. Classic Meatballs with Uncooked Pasta, Bread, and Salad

Bake these meatballs and then bring them ready to reheat or freeze. Almost any new parent can boil pasta and throw together a salad kit whenever time — or naps — permit. (Or the meatballs can be eaten cold from the fridge at 3 a.m. Just saying.)

Image Credit: Christine Han

10. Oatmeal Cookies

New parents deserve cookies! You can make lactation-specific cookies for new breastfeeding mamas, or just make these chewy oatmeal cookies for everyone. They feel like a treat while being filling and boasting more fiber than traditional cookies.