Last Updated on July 18, 2021 by Corinne Schmitt
Meal time is always a special time in my house. Now, I plan to making it a special time for other families too by taking them a meal!
With the holiday season becoming more and more commercialized, it can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. This year, join me in stepping away from all of that. I want to go back to the simpler times where gifts came from the heart, not from the checkbook.
After reading up on random acts of kindness, one that really stuck out to me was something that seemed so simple it was almost crazy, taking your friend/neighbor a meal. This kind gesture is something that is easily overlooked and something that not everyone gets to enjoy all the time.
When someone you know is recovering from an illness, caring for a brand new baby, elderly, etc. the last thing they want is another $5 gift to collect dust. Even if they aren’t suffering from any aliments, who needs another knick-knack anyway?!
If you were to take them a meal, just think of what it could do. It could free up some time so new mom could take a shower, it could be the first home cooked meal your elderly neighbor has eaten in a long time, it could give the family across the road enough time to play a fun game together before dinner. I mean, the possibilities are endless.
Taking a meal to someone not only gives their bellies fuel, but their soul too! Knowing someone cared enough to hand make a meal and delivery has an unbelievable power to heal anything!
How to Take a Meal to a Friend/Neighbor
When taking your neighbors/friends a meal, there are a few things to keep in mind and a few questions to ask first.
What time of the day would they prefer?
Our goal here is to have this be the easiest meal for your neighbors/friend. For some people, dropping off hot food fresh from the oven is the best option. But, if you know the family is really busy and not always ready to come right home and eat, making a meal and chilling it as well as delivering it early in the morning might also be the best option. It all depends on the family/friend/ neighbor you take a meal to.
If you are bringing a precooked meal, make sure it’s all prepped and ready to be popped back into the oven or microwave!
Remember, you are bring them a meal, not a bunch of groceries for a meal! All your friends/neighbors should have to do is throw the meal in the oven for the specified amount of time.
Stick to the tried and true!
When feeding another family, neighbor, or friend, it can get overwhelming very fast. You need to make sure you’re not over doing it and adding to your stress by trying to make a gourmet 5 course meal. Even if your friends are foodies, they will appreciated tried and true meals like casseroles, roasts, pot pies, soups and stews, meatloaf, etc.
If you need some suggestions, check out these 25 best meals to deliver to a friend from Slow Roasted Italian. Also, this Double Crusted Chicken Pot Pie is always a hit.
If you want to go above and beyond, bring a simple dessert too. You will make someone’s year if you show up with these Homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars.
Pre-made/frozen food is an option!
If you’re not a really great cook but still want to bring a meal to your friend, let them know that you would like to bring them a meal but it would probably be best if you didn’t cook it. You may have a store that sells delicious (and, yes I do mean you have already tried it and know what it tastes like) pre-made food, consider asking them if they would be willing to let you pick up your recommended food item (like pot pie, pot roast, ect).
If you are bringing pre-made/frozen food, make sure everything is ready for them to just throw it in the oven. This goes back to point number one, you are bringing them a meal not groceries.
Make sure you plan the meal for the family/friend eating it.
When planning to take a meal to friends, you need to know how many people will be eating it. You want to be sure to have enough that everyone will be able to have their fill.
You also need to know if anyone has any specific allergies like gluten or dairy. And, if you are bringing a meal to a family with kids, you need to account for that as well. Children are picky eaters.
It may be a good idea to ask for some suggestions from mom when it comes to a family friendly meal. You meal will not be able to really be enjoyed if mom or dad still has to whip something up for the kids.
Bring your meal in as many disposable items as you can.
What I mean by this, is to bring your meal in a disposable pan if possible. You can also bring your sides in disposable containers.
This may not look as pretty, but will not only reduce any dishes that have to be done, but also will eliminate the need for you to keep track of pots and pans that need to come back to you.
All in all, when you take a meal to a friend/neighbor doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Just make sure you take a little time to plan it so it turns out just right! You want your friends/family to have to do as little as possible so they truly benefit!
More Random Acts of Kindness
This post is day 6 in a 30-day Random Acts of Kindness series. See all of the posts, plus other RAOK ideas and resources by clicking the image below.