Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Don't Be Intimidated to Make Meals for Others

We have had several things come up this year that have involved me taking meals to people.  New babies, deaths in the family or friends recovering from surgery.  The new baby meals are always exciting.  The deaths in the family are always sad.  The recovery meals always feel helpful.  No matter the circumstances, people are always grateful for a meal.

We have had two families in our neighborhood lose children this month.

It's heart breaking.  I can't imagine what the parents are going through.  One was a high school student and the other was a four week old baby.  Olive's classmate lost the baby brother and we have had lots of sad conversations to process it all.  There are a lot of unanswered questions, but we find comfort in knowing that we can love on our friends and neighbors by taking them dinner.  I'm sure all the details of meal prep, grocery shopping and planning is at the bottom of their lists these days.  I realize that delivering dinner isn't going to change their life, but it will let them know that others care about them in a very difficult time.

I wanted to show you how I take people dinner to give you some inspiration.

I also hope that it makes meal deliveries seem less intimidating for you.

I used to feel shy about offering to bring people food, but not any more.  I do it regularly and it is always well received.  Even with I bring something as simple as rotisserie chicken and sides.  No one expects me to bring them a gourmet meal.  Any meal that is delivered to your door is a welcomed sight.  I always ask about food allergies or food preferences when I am making dinner for another family. 

I try to bring an entree, simple sides of fruits and veggies and a little dessert.
If I have time I'll throw in some muffins or something they can warm up for breakfast.

I have a rotation of meals that travel really well:

Tacos with all the sides + chips and salsa
Baked pasta + salad + bread
Spaghetti & Meatballs + veggie and bread
Chicken & rice casserole
Rotisserie chicken & sides
I stock up on throw away baking dishes and disposable containers when I find a good deal on them.  The square dishes are my favorite.  They are 2 for $1 at Dollar Tree - they are not super sturdy, but they work great for dropping off a meal.  There's a section of my pantry that holds all of my meal delivery supplies.  It makes it really easy to put together a meal to give away.  I don't want the families to have to return anything to me.  I also try to fix the same meal for my family.  That way I just have to double my dinner prep and end up with meals for two families.

Taco Night is one of my favorite meals to put together:

I prepped all the soft shell tacos with meat and cheese.  And left other toppings (salsa, beans, lettuce and sour cream) for the family to add as they wanted.

Sides of black beans and corn.  I put the black beans in a foil pouch to separate them.  This will make them really easy to reheat.

Who doesn't love some chocolate chip cookies??

Easy side of chips and salsa.  I always give them a brand new bag of chips and salsa that way they can eat with the meal or eat as leftovers later.

Oranges or bananas are an easy side.  I chopped the lettuce ahead of time.

Cover everything in foil and write directions on top.

What are your favorite meals to make for friends and family when they need a little extra help??


  1. What a great idea. I always feel shy to take people food but you made it look so easy!

  2. Those are my go-to delivery meals too. I like how you put it all in oven-safe pans, and also pre-assembled the tacos. That is so sad about losing the children in your neighborhood. Just tragic!

  3. Such great tips! I will definitely reference this post the next time I'm looking for a meal to take somewhere. BBQ Pulled Pork is one of my favorites to take to people - it's inexpensive and reheats well if they don't want to eat it right away. I love your taco idea, and adding some fresh fruit like oranges or bananas. Love it!

  4. this is AWESOME! Thanks for this post!

  5. That's a great meal idea to take to friends/family! If I am making something that makes quite a bit, I always split it into two and drop it off at a friends with the sides. :) A unexpected delight!

  6. Love this post Whitney! You have such a heart for encouraging others to serve in simple ways and it is just BEAUTIFUL. I LOVE bringing meals to people. As with lots of things...I do exactly what you do- always include a yummy dessert and make things SIMPLE- but yummy. One thing I always do- is tell the person I am bringing them a meal- and then give then 2-3 nights that work for them. I make sure to not ask a question, like, "Can I bring you a meal?" Because most people will say they are "just fine!" So I don't give them the option :) Also- whatever I drop off- I try to make sure it's freezer friendly in the event they choose not to eat the dinner that evening! Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks- they are SO helpful!!

  7. I know it was a blessing to those grieving families. That is so heartbreaking. Beautiful meals, I like how you packages the beans and corn in the foil and used all disposable items to carry your meal. An added blessing to not have to remember where dishes come from for sure.


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