6 Thoughtful Meal Calendar Tips for New Parents and Beyond

meal train ideas

A few weeks ago on Instagram, we talked about meal train etiquette and gracious tips on how to deliver a meal to family or friends. We think this is important for everyone to know, especially if you’re in the season of life where friends are having babies! There is definitely an art to meal delivery, and there are few things that bless new parents or a family navigating a difficult time than a hot meal (especially one they didn’t have to worry about preparing!). 

And because our DoSayGive community is the most thoughtful, many of these tips have come straight from our readers! So read below to learn our top tips on delivering meals, and be sure to share with friends!

1. Unless otherwise requested, drop off meals on the recipient’s doorstep.

Text them your delivery time so they’ll know when to expect you, and then text them again after you’ve dropped it off. This is especially helpful if a new mom is in the middle of nursing or caring for her baby, or anyone who is concerned with outside germs. If you are the one receiving meals, know that it’s completely acceptable to leave a cooler out on your front porch!

2. If you drop off in person, follow the 10 minute rule.

What’s the 10 minute rule, you ask? If you’re invited inside the home, only stay for 10 minutes! We’ve heard so many stories of people overstaying their welcome when dropping off dinner to new parents — and the new parents ended up serving or entertaining their guests. Avoid that all together by making your visit quick!

3. Always check the meal train calendar first.

Most meal train calendars will have a space to enter in the type of food you plan to bring. Be sure to check ahead of time for any dietary restrictions and food preferences, as well as to see what others plan to bring. If their meal calendar is filled with the same type of food, bring something different! 

4. Give your meal in containers that can be thrown away or reused.

This keeps the recipient from having to worry about returning your dishes! One reader suggested bringing paper plates and utensils, and another recommended visiting Dollar Tree to shop their selection of inexpensive tupperware and we love these from Walmart. A delicious meal and no dishes to do after? Such good tips!

5. Ask ahead if the recipient will have additional family staying with them.

New parents often have parents, in-laws, or siblings helping them out, so it’s good to include them in whatever meal you bring. A quick text the day before will do the trick!

6. Bring something for the next day, too.

Little surprises like dessert or special treats for older children, breakfast for the next morning, snacky items, or even a bottle of wine would be such a thoughtful addition! 

What would you add to this list? We’d love to know! See our complete guide to meal train etiquette here and if you are looking for ideas to send long distance, this post may be a helpful resource.  

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