Sharing Love through Food: Four Tips for Gifting Meals to Others

Sharing Love Through Food: Four Tips for Gifting Meals to Others

Photo Courtesy of Southern Fryed Bliss

When I was growing, up my sweet grandma would let me take over her kitchen and make a mess with my meal creations. The food may not have always tasted perfect but I sure poured love into those family dishes. Fast forward twenty-plus years and you can still find me loving on people in this same way. Although my knowledge and experience in the kitchen may have improved over time, my heart for it has always been the same. And that’s just it. Serving meals for others in this way is not just about the food you are making; it’s also the why behind it. People who are cooked for feel cared for.

When friends go through transitional or challenging seasons like welcoming a new baby, an unexpected loss, or a friend who just needs a pick-me-up—it can be hard to know how to help. These seasons are so personal and vulnerable. But there’s one thing I’ve found speaks straight to the heart, no matter what the recipient may be experiencing. That’s a thoughtfully prepared meal dropped off at their doorstep when they need it most.

Now I know all of us might not be wired in this way. Maybe you …

Don’t enjoy cooking? Side note: you have permission to purchase a meal instead of making one.

Don’t have the time?

The thought of making dinner for anyone other than your family makes you nervous?

I totally get it.  Read on for my top four tips for making this process simple and thoughtful so both you and the recipient feel blessed by the exchange.

Four Tips for Gifting Meals to Others

Tip One: Have a Go-To Meal

The thing we all get stuck on: what in the world do I make? I am guilty of overthinking this too. And although it is important to put some thought into what you prepare, don’t stress about it. Find a recipe—maybe one that is relatively easy and is a merge between nutritious and comforting— that you feel confident in making.
Remember to consider allergy and/or dietary restrictions of recipients.

Sharing Love through Food: Four Tips for Gifting Meals to Others - Southern Fryed Bliss, Raleigh Moms Blog

Photo Courtesy of Southern Fryed Bliss

My go-to is tacos. They are a total crowd-pleaser and so versatile for even the pickiest of eaters. Decide on a protein like these simple chicken tacos or slow-cooked pork carnitas. Steam some rice or quinoa, prepare an assortment of toppings (think sautéed veggies, avocado, tomato, lettuce, cheese, etc.), and grab some fresh salsa, chips, and tortillas.

I mentioned above, it is also 100% okay to purchase a meal. I suggest some fresh ready-to-eat items from the market like a roasted chicken, seasonal fruit, salad, bread, etc. Local meal delivery businesses are a great option too—some even owned by local Raleigh moms! You can also add a simple but thoughtful touch to anything you decide to take by dropping a hand-written note or favorite dessert inside the bag, then tying it up with a pretty ribbon.

Tip Two: Minimize Work on Their End

Think disposable pans and trays with lids (or foil), and possibly some paper plates, silverware, napkins, etc. so everything can just be tossed into the trash. Stock up on these items from the dollar store so you’ll always have a stash on hand for a last minute meal. If you have time, also add in some breakfast items so they’ll have their next morning taken care of too. These small acts we can do on the front end will be a big blessing on the backend for those we are serving.

Sharing Love through Food: Four Tips for Gifting Meals to Others - Southern Fryed Bliss, Raleigh Moms Blog

Photo Courtesy of Southern Fryed Bliss

Tip Three: Communicate Expectations

If the meal has been organized through an online site you can usually find most of the information you need regarding drop-off times, how many people, etc. However, do communicate with the recipient about your plans. Double-check that your meal selection works for them and if they’d prefer it ready to eat or have the option to cook it later on. If you feel the family shouldn’t be disturbed try and talk with a close relative or friend.

This next part depends on the relationship you have with the recipient. My usual rule of thumb is to call or send a text that food is on the way and then a quick hello and drop-off at the door. Some people may not want visitors to come inside, while others may feel encouraged by the company—be sensitive to this and gage what you think might be best.

Tip Four: Seek Out Opportunities

Don’t always wait for food requests to be presented to you (i.e. a meal sign-up email)—seek opportunities that may not be on someone else’s radar yet. Maybe it is even someone you barely know. People are in need all around us and a small gesture like giving a meal or dropping off a basket of homemade goodies can truly be a huge blessing to someone. I guarantee you too will find it a blessing to gift someone in this way when they least expect it.

What memories do you have about being fed or feeding others?

Did someone close to you, or perhaps someone you barely knew, show you love in this way?

Southern Fryed Bliss

Kayte from Southern Fryed Bliss

Kayte moved to the Triangle in 2006 to attend graduate school at NC State, along with her then college sweetheart (now husband of 10 years). She worked in higher education/student affairs for several years—having the opportunity to serve at Duke, UNC-CH and Miami University—and also as a curriculum design consultant for an international women’s organization. In 2016 Kayte decided to shift {work} gears to stay at home with her two young children, while also pursuing some of her creative interests related to cooking, celebrating and styling. Follow along with her story @southernfryedbliss.




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One Response to Sharing Love through Food: Four Tips for Gifting Meals to Others

  1. Avatar
    Heather February 27, 2018 at 7:58 am #

    Tacos are a great idea! My go to is chicken tortilla soup. Thanks for the tips!

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