Ask a first time parent what they think are the most important gifts you receive at a baby shower and it is often onesies, baby toys, and books. However, if you ask a repeat parent what they really needed, they will always say MEALS!
With that in mind, the best gift you can give new parents is the gift of not having to think about meals for the first few weeks after the baby is born. There is no better time to start planning for this than at a baby shower as it is often a good mix of friends and family who will want to provide support in the near future.
Not everyone at the baby shower will know what a Meal Train page is so feel free to print this flyer to hand out.
Also, for those who are interested, now is the best time to gather emails and phone numbers, and let attendees know that once the baby arrives you’ll send out the link to the Meal Train page.
A baby shower is also a great time to chat with the recipient about their food preferences or special requests, like whether or not they want visitors. Figuring that out now, when they’re not otherwise distracted and exhausted after the baby comes, gives the recipient some control in what might otherwise feel like a chaotic time. If the recipient has a favorite restaurant or market, be sure to offer those as options for any out of towners who cannot make and deliver a meal.
Tip: When setting up your Meal Train page, activate the donation fund – or “diaper fund” – for other non-cooks near and far.
Of course, not all babies come on time. However, you can still get everything ready on the Meal Train page. Go ahead and set up the page now but don’t add any dates to the calendar. Also, you can invite all the people from the baby shower list and let them know that once the baby arrives, you will add more dates and let them know it’s time to sign up.
One last tip – pick a co-organizer to help manage the meal train. It’s helpful to have multiple organizers to field questions, manage gift cards, and help with other elements of the page.
There is so much going on in the first few months and it’s easy for new parents to overlook their own needs and nourishment. Prepping the meal train in a fun, relaxed atmosphere before the baby comes will free up the new parents to devote their energy to the little one and not worry about cooking.