I love a good Meal Train! What a great tradition to bless the family with a new baby or just a family in need of some help. However, I find myself at a loss in times when there are several meal trains floating around. I don’t want to just do a spaghetti and meat sauce or a frozen lasagna. I want to be a blessing without stretching myself too thin. I sat down recently and came up with my favorite go-to meal train ideas.
My bestie (and former DMB contributor), Hallie, brought me a basket while I was on maternity leave that was FULL of lunch stuff. Bread, deli meats and cheeses, chicken salad, crackers, fruit, chips, sweets, etc. It was the BEST idea in my opinion. I loved having lunch stuff which lasted me for the week, and it was all such yummy stuff! I don’t hate leftovers, but sometimes a nice fresh sandwich and some fruit just hits the spot! I recently got to return the favor for her when her sweet baby came several weeks early. It was my way of filling her fridge with stuff for her older girls so she didn’t have to spend any time at all worrying about going to the store for lunch items for them. Here was my basic shopping list:
- Peanut Butter
- Chicken Salad
- Swiss Cheese
- Variety pack of chips
- Pita Chips
- Fruit bars
- String Cheese
DOUBLE YOUR DINNERS FOR A WEEK
And just like that, you have several freezer meals to share with your friend(s). My family consists of my toddler, my husband, and me. We do not eat a full 9×13 casserole when I make it at home, so I will make one 9×13 recipe and just split it into two 8x8s. I have one for dinner at home with my family, and I freeze the other to take to a friend when it is my turn to fill a freezer. An 8×8 may not be enough for a larger family, but the mom can maybe split into lunches or at least have something good for mom and dad while the kids eat something different that night. It is at least an option for them later on. Side note – I try to bring something to put in the freezer IN ADDITION to what I am bringing them for that evening’s dinner which is ready to serve. It is just an extra touch. You can always thaw out your freezer meal before you drop it off and just include heating instructions.
GRAB AND GO MEALS FOR THE WIN
I love going to Central Market and Whole Foods for the on-the-go meals for my own family, and these are great to pick up for a meal train rotation. They have quality foods, a variety of options, and you can usually choose what size to buy based on the number of people you are feeding. I live in Richardson, so the Festive Kitchen is a GREAT place to go for these types of grab and go dishes.
ORDER A MEAL DELIVERY SERVICE FOR THEM FOR A WEEK
I received a gift card for Blue Apron from a male co-worker who really didn’t want to jump all into the meal train while I was out on maternity leave. This was AWESOME for when the meal train ended and I still needed help with quick and easy dinners. If you are in a stage of life where physically providing meals is just not in the cards, then send a gift card for a meal delivery kit and you’re done. They can use it whenever they want, and they can pick what meals they’ll like the most!
WHEN IN DOUBT… GOOGLE IT OUT
I come up with lots of ideas for easy and quick meal train ideas by just searching. I love using Pinterest for lots of things, so searching “Meal Train Ideas” there led me to one of my favorite food blog posts for great tasty ideas! Here are 10 meals that are sure to please, so save this one for the next time you have signed up to make someone a meal and don’t know exactly what to make.