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“Food: The Best Gift You Can Give to Any New Parent”

How exciting! Your friend or a family member has just welcomed a new baby into the world. The anticipation builds as you await that first initial invitation to meet their new bundle. Nothing beats the smell of a new sleepy-eyed baby, and holding one just melts your heart. While you’re getting all mushy waiting to meet their new addition, your mind starts wandering as to just what gift to bring this new family. Baby shower gifts and cute little clothes have already been given. Swaddles, bottles and all. There is just something about wanting to bring extra comfort after the baby is born, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out just what that is. Although anything in tiny forms never gets old, something that is a sure shot comfort gift is something for the whole family to enjoy. And that something is the gift of food. After a child is born, you are consumed with love for them, but also exhausted. A mom’s body is in full recovery mode, no matter how much love it’s filled with. And even though the father didn’t give birth, he is just as much a part of this wonderful experience. Obviously! He has a whole world of adjustments and loves to soak in. And even though he might be eager to take care of all the meals and snacks, he wants some very well deserved baby snuggles too! So it’s safe to imagine that if anyone is to show up with a fresh and thoughtful meal or snack- not just their hearts will be full, but their bellies as well. Plus, someone has to hold the baby while they’re eating. So what a perfect chance to get your snuggles in while these new parents get to relax and enjoy their food. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving. So while you are in Babyland bliss, ready to celebrate this new little doll you get to meet, I have some suggestions to lay out for you and have veered away from the heavy pasta and casseroles. Although they are wonderful and delicious, they can also tend to weigh you down. And we want those parents napping because their baby is, not because of an uncomfortable food coma. So for you, I have a little bit of comfort, a little bit indulgence, and all full of purpose and nutrition.

Vegetable Barley Soup

This soup is wonderful for nursing mothers. Barley is known for increasing the milk supply, while vegetables fill the body with much-needed nourishment. Make a large pot of this and it makes for several meals throughout the week. I was thrilled to come across this recipe because it sounds very similar to a soup I was gifted with after my firstborn. I was intrigued by the purpose behind it. Bring a warm loaf of bread alongside. Magic.

For ingredients and directions, click here.

 

Vegan, Gluten Free Lactation Cookies-

These cookies are loaded with oats, brewer’s yeast, and flax seeds, which increase energy and boost milk supply. They have loads of good stuff and none of the bad stuff. Do you friends a favor and show up with a batch of these for a not-so-guilty treat. For full ingredient list and directions for this well thought out recipe, click here.

Chia Seed Pudding

So simple, so delicious, and packed with so many nutrients. Chia seeds alone are considered a powerhouse superfood. Which is quite impressive for their tiny size. They are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, calcium, fat, manganese, phosphorus. And also contain a collection of B vitamins, zinc and potassium. Woah mama, these guys are almost as impressive as that new baby. But who are we kidding, we wouldn’t literally eat up “those cute little cheeks” on a baby. But these little guys, we can. And you will be happy knowing your friends will be snacking on this at any time of the day.

Basic recipe

6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened almond, coconut or chew milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup, honey, or sweetener of choice. (Optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar. Then stir or shake (if using a lid) until everything is combined. Let it sit for 5 minutes, stir or shake again. Then put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.

A fun idea for this is to store the pudding in a cute container or mason jar- or multiple. Then gather several different toppings in their own containers and deliver them in a little basket or tote bag. That way it’s like a portable toppings bar and the new mom and dad can add whatever variety they like. I would suggest different fruits, nuts, chocolates, and coconut flakes. But you can add whatever flavors you’d like!

California Avocado Grain Bowl

Such an awesome thing to have around. It’s like the meal that never ends, and thankfully so. There’s something about a grain bowl that you just never want to let it go. By the look and taste of if you just know that it’s loaded with good-for-you ingredients. The texture, flavor, and presentation are of its own kind. And while you can go on many directions with them, this one, in particular, stood out.

1. In terms of simplicity
2. The without a doubt health aspect
3. Taste department.

It’s made with a base of red quinoa, a middle of zucchini, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, and radishes. And oh, the dressing… a creamy lime, turmeric, avocado. The best part.

For full ingredients and directions click here

 

Now, jump on your favorite listed recipes, or find some inspiration from them. Most importantly, know that you are delivering more than food. With this, you’ll hand off good health, less stress, and a lot of love. These are the moments any new parent will remember forever. Make it delicious, and enjoy those baby snuggles.

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