Shutterstock / Goran Bogicevic
Back in 2010, my friend Sadie was the first person in our group to have a baby. When it was my turn to visit, I knew I couldn’t go empty-handed—bringing gifts for new parents is a given. So I brought her a plant. Not a lasagna. Not fresh-baked cookies. I brought Sadie a living plant that she had to take care of. (It’s OK. I’m shaking my head, too.)
I’ve learned a lot since that friend fail, especially because I became a mom myself. I also discovered I wasn’t alone in this gift-giving conundrum. Deciding on the perfect gift for new parents is a common stumbling block for well-wishers. Here’s how you can skip over that faux pas and get straight to being an awesome loved one to a proud new mom and dad.
13x9s are not required.
Casseroles, hot dishes, bakes—whatever you call them, these one-dish dinners are easy to put together, convenient to transport, and often freeze like a charm (find scads of freezer meals here). But these big dishes take up a lot of room in the fridge. Consider cutting the recipe in half and bringing it in a smaller pan. Or skip casseroles altogether and pack up a hearty grain salad, muffin tin meat loaves, soup (like this incredible General Tso’s-inspired recipe) or one of these make-and-take meals for new parents in need.