A couple weeks ago my Brother-in-law and his wife had their very first child. She was born 2 weeks early but very healthy and happy! As I shared late last year I threw a shower for my sister in law in preparation for her baby. We had a wonderful time and I made a ton of my own decorations, food and favors. As more and more of my friends are having babies I have realized that a great way to help out new mothers and their families is by helping to provide simple tasks such as dinner preparations, house cleaning etc. Before I left I asked if any of the ladies at the shower would be interested in doing a meal or two for the new family. Everyone was willing and wanted to donate a meal or some cleaning. Over the past three weeks we have had meals every couple days dropped off to the new family. It was an easy task to contact the people and coordinate dates and times. A simple task that I know has been extremely appreciated by the new parents who are not getting much sleep. I was equally impressed with my husband Greg who has already gone into uncle mode and helped out by cleaning their kitchen.
Sometimes I think people feel overwhelmed by the feeling of not knowing how to help in situations (our creator for WYCD Jessica talks extensively about this). There are always simple ways that you can help family and friends in times of need. It is just a matter of taking the time to see the need and understanding what is the best way you can help. Next week I will be going back home for a few weeks. I have started my list of simple items that I can cook and put in the freezer for my sister in law. I plan on providing inexpensive and simple dishes that will be easy to thaw and heat back up. Offering meals etc. is not just a great thing for new parents. Often the elderly around you might need assistance with meals. Maybe one day a week you can offer to go to your grandparents house or to your elderly neighbor and cook them a meal or make them something for their freezer. Even just offering up some time to clean someone's house or visit with them can be much appreciated.
Simple yet inexpensive items that can be made include some of the following:
Homemade pasta sauces - Marinara Sauce, Pesto Sauce or a Vodka Sauce. Sometimes the hardest part of making a great pasta dish is making the sauce. Having a homemade sauce already made in the freezer can make dinner prep easy and tasty!
Chili (Veggie or meat) - An easy and inexpensive meal to have in the freezer. Just thaw and heat up. You could even freezer some cornbread and you have a full meal.
Soups and Stews (of course!) - Most soups are easy to make and easy to freezer and thaw. They can make a great meal especially if you just throw some crusty bread on the side.
Lasagna and Enchiladas - Fairly easy to make and easy to freeze.
Casseroles - Old school but classic way to fill your freezer.
More ideas to come when I am actually in my kitchen and making some meals up for the new family.
Until Next time, Consume more, Buy less, Try to help out...