Things to cook for a new Mum/someone doing it tough

One of the most common emails I get from people is asking what I think would be good to cook for someone who either had a baby or who was going through a tough time with a family illness or death. They both provide the same purpose: fuel someone with not only food but some love that you have poured into cooking it. New babies or deaths kind of leave you feeling the same way: disorientated, exhausted and with no desire to cook something for yourself.


I know when we had Maggie last year, a hot meal or caked delivered from someone was like a warm hug. To just have to reheat something, or just whack something in the oven without having to THINK, well that’s gold. Pure gold.


Even better if you don’t have to wash up anything or keep a plate or tupperware container to give back to someone – if you can give it in a ziplock bag or disposable container…all the better! How about one of those enamel dishes you can get in the supermarket? Whack a lasagne in that and gift the container. Every time they use it they will think of you!


Here’s my go to list of things to make for new mum’s or if you had to make a meal for someone doing it tough. Put some extra love in it when you make it, they could use it.

Chicken pot pies
Chicken cacciatore
Date loaf
Lemonade Scones
Mini quiches
Lemon syrup cake
Beef stew
Pumpkin & ginger soup

All these Meal idea posts would be perfect too:

Sunshine rice
Hot cinnamon Donut Cake

And here are some amazing tips from other bloggers too!

The Organised Housewife’s 50 meal ideas for new Mums
She Sows Seeds Feezer meals to prepare for baby
Retro Mummy’s freezable meals to make for a new Mum

What’s your go-to if you have to make a meal for someone?


  1. Great ideas Beth. Not sure about comparing a birth to a death though. When my parents died I had no appetite AT ALL just an awful sick feeling. With the birth of the kids however, I was exhausted but HUNGRY.
    In both cases, people showing up with food with no strings attached was great. And even though you’re in a daze, you remember these acts of kindness and, in the case of a death, the courage it takes to show up. X

  2. Absolute godsend isn’t it? Definitely the best thing for new parents/anyone struggling. Also great ideas there to stock my freezer now I am (slightly) out of the newborn 3rd child fog ?

  3. An uncle died, we visited a cousin and his wife. And his brother and his wife were there too. All hurting so much. No they weren’t thinking about eating. But their 5 or 6 children (combined) were! We hauled off to a bakery and bought pies and pasties, buns. Went back and prepared lunch for them all.
    And the adults are too. Their bodies were needing fuel and just went on auto-pilot.
    This happened many years ago but I haven’t forgotten how food is both needed and a comfort in a family’s distress.
    Also – these people were not capable of shopping at the time. Their distress was too great.

  4. Food is the best gift. Hands down.
    My easy lunch i make for newbie mums is a BBQ chook cut up, packet of coleslaw, crunchy Asian noodles, toasted slithered almonds and Asian noodle sauce. Super easy and can’t get better than that crunch.

  5. I found half portions or snack sized meals to be the biggest gift. Muffins, bit of soup or bolognese etc. In those early days I was starving but too tired to stomach a full meal (if that makes sense) – plus I could only grab a few minutes between feeding and settling to actually eat.

    Having little portions in the freezer meant I could heat them up fast, eat quickly and keep pushing on!

  6. There is a great new service available in Sydney that lets you send a home cooked meals direct to someone’s home. Great for people like me who are super keen to help out but super low on basic cooking skills! It’s the though that counts, right? It’s called Happetite Food.

  7. I always put together my fried rice. It is so easy to do a big batch and always is yum! It gets the compliments anyway.

  8. Carohutchison says

    Annabel Crabb’s recipe book Special Delivery is fantastic for these times, and the food is delicious.

  9. It’s like you read my mind!
    Thanks xx

  10. This is such a helpful post. We cook freezer dinners for my husbands Mum who is too frail to cook for herself. She loves home cooking and the act of service seems even more precious to her. I truly believe that this is helping her keep her independence – she was such a force when she was younger and wants desperately to stay in her own home. Thank you Beth!

  11. I know when my mum passed away four years ago everything tasted like sawdust. But with a houseful of kids and adults waiting for the funeral we obviously had to feed everyone. Mum and dad’s friends dropped in a never ending supply of casseroles etc. what we didn’t eat I packed up for my dad into single portions (?) for him to eat in the following weeks.
    Food does nourish the soul, it shows people you care enough to make them something of yourself.

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