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The Very Best Baby Gift? A Good Family Meal

Photo by Anthony Asael / Stocksy United / 80780
Photo by Anthony Asael / Stocksy
By Alexis Rehrmann

When I had my first child, our most welcomed gifts were the visits from friends and neighbors bringing delicious, homemade food. During those first early, blurry months with a newborn, having dinner arrive at our door a few nights a week felt like heaven in a hot dish.

All this was organized via Mealtrain.com, where my friends simply signed up to help us out. I would get email alerts telling me who was coming to visit and when—and even what delectable dish was heading my way. (Though truth be told, I would have been grateful for a loaf of bread and some peanut butter.) This is such a wonderful way to help a family with a new baby—or someone recovering from surgery, or a parent whose spouse is deployed, or a mother who is returning to work after caring for a newborn. Plus, the basic service is completely free!

Meals are a gesture of goodwill: Mealtrain.com has helped friends and neighbors serve over 2.8 million meals to 300,000 families.  On any given night, about 4,000 people are getting dinner delivered to their doors. “That’s a lot of goodwill,” says co-founder Michael Laramee.

Meals nourish more than our bodies: “Food is nourishing in many ways,” says Laramee. A meal is easy to give and to receive. Whether you prepare a favorite family recipe, or order takeout delivered to a faraway friend (and be sure to include a tip when you place the initial order), it’s a practical gesture of comfort and support.

Meals bring us together: Although meal train etiquette suggests that you spend only 10-15 minutes when dropping off dinner, those brief minutes can bring welcome moments of laughter, advice, and compassion. The meal train strengthens all of our community ties.

Most popular dish on Mealtrain.com: Lasagna

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