Happy New Year everyone!
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about FOOD. Maybe it’s the single digit and sub-zero temperatures we’ve been having or maybe it’s the slew of holidays we are emerging from. Maybe it’s the many Food Calendars we have been making! Food Calendars have been a part of what we do at The Hilltown Village since our beginnings in 2009. Our founders knew that when there is a new baby in the house it can be hard to find a minute to shower let alone prepare a meal. At the same time food is such an incredible ingredient in healing after birth and such a comfort to the whole family in these tender weeks when a household can feel like it has been turned upsidedown.
Participating families who wish to have a Food Calendar fill out a short questionnaire. Katy or I set it up online and invite friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to participate in welcoming this new life with the simple gift of a meal. Some of our Volunteers who may or may not know the family have offered to make meals as Village Food Makers. If the family is comfortable with it the Food Makers are invited to sign up in addition to the family’s existing circle.
The Food Calendar/Food Maker component of The Hilltown Village was somewhat sleepy in 2013. Many families already had someone setting one up which is great! The word seems to be out that when there is a new baby in the house, you bring by a meal. Yay! For whatever reason we have been suddenly very busy in the Food Calendar department with three new calendars made in the past few weeks. At our last Volunteer Training almost every new Volunteer was interested in being a Food Maker. This is great news! What serendipity!
So the question is, what are you going to make? I had a very fun time brainstorming meals with a Food Maker this week and we came up with quite a list. I thought I would share this list with you all in the hopes that it will inspire you. Here goes:
Soups and Stews – Many, many postpartum care traditions include warm, liquidy foods to aid hydration and ease digestion. Soups can include beans, meat, grains and vegetables to make them a complete meal.
Stirfries or Fried Rice – Chicken, tofu, beef and so on can be combined with rice (or another grain) and vegetables.
Quiche or Fritatta – Eggs are another great source of protein and this dish can be good heated or at room temperature which makes for an easy meal for parents with their hands full.
Lasagna or Mac’n’Cheese – Obviously not for folks who want to avoid cheese and wheat but for others this can be another easy to reheat, easy to freeze meal.
Salad as a meal – Some traditions recommend mostly cooked foods in the weeks after giving birth but for families who love salad this can be another excellent, easy thing to throw together. You can include beans, meat, nuts, cheese, tofu, tempeh or eggs as well as lots of veggies and a delicious dressing to pull it all together.
Curry – Another great one pot meal that can include protein, grains and vegetables with endless possibilities for most diets.
Burritos, Quesadillas, Tacos or Enchiladas – So many possibilities here. I knew a family who made tons of burritos prenatally and froze them to reheat during their babymoon. Tacos can be a nice option if you have young siblings who want to keep it simple.
Tuna or Egg Salad – Not a complete meal on its own but if you send along bread and some cut veggies this can make a simple, easy meal.
Peanut/Sesame Noodles or Pasta Salad with protein and vegetables
Take-out! Admit it Hilltowners, we all crave take-out from our favorite spots most of which are down in the Valley far, far away. My husband and I lived in New York City when we welcomed our baby and all our friends just brought us take-out! We were so disappointed! What we really wanted was some home-cooked food as it was incredibly easy to order in. Out here in the hills it’s a different story and I know plenty of families who would LOVE to be brought something special from their favorite restaurant.
What else? We would love to hear your ideas for what foods you loved when you welcomed your new baby and what you love to make for others. And if you would like to bring food to a new family please be touch!
Anna for the Hilltown Village