Many of us at Once a Month Meals are parents. We understand the desire to just snuggle and feed your newborn, stare at their face, and rock them to sleep. We also know that along with the sweetness, there are sleepless nights and there are days where no one has energy or time to cook. Mom might have a few meals given to her, but after family helpers go home, and spouses return back to work, it can be even harder to find time to make a good meal. So how can you make sure she stays sane and fed during this transition time? Throw a freezer meal baby shower!
5 Easy Steps to Throw a Freezer Meal Baby Shower!
Step 1: Find out what the family needs.
Use our Printable New Parent Meal Request Sheet to find out which meals will best serve your guest of honor. You can have them fill it out, or just chat through it and find out what their needs are. Find out who else may be providing meals for them (i.e. family, church, etc.) and make sure to coordinate the meal schedule or combine your efforts!
Services like Meal Train or Take Them a Meal are helpful for coordinating a meal schedule between different groups. Finally, check to see if there is a registry or if there are specific needs (i.e. gear, clothing, diapers and wipes.) Then you can pass this on to guests who may want to bring a meal plus a traditional gift.
Step 2: Invite and inform guests.
Use our Printable Invitation to set the stage for a freezer stocking party. Invite a group of close friends, church family, family members, or a combination. There are basic details on the invite, but be ready to answer questions for those who have never freezer cooked before.
Let them know that you will be providing them with resources including step-by-step freezer instructions and labels using your Once a Month Meals Membership.
Step 3: Choose a menu.
Use the info you gathered using the Printable New Parent Meal Request Sheet to plan a menu that meets the family’s needs. Your Once a Month Meals Membership gives you access to a wide variety of menu types and allows you to create custom menus to meet specific needs. The options really are unlimited, but we do have a few tips and menu suggestions that cater perfectly to a baby shower.
Consider your RSVPs.
How many guests are coming and how many meals will each guest will provide (or how much they are willing to contribute financially)? Larger groups can cook a full menu (15 recipes) and smaller groups can cook mini menus (5-6 recipes). Or create a custom menu size!
Remember that ALL recipes on Once a Month Meals menus are doubled.
If your guest of honor requested only one meal of each recipe, then cut your servings in half when you prepare your menu documents. For example, if you enter 2, your documents will yield 4 servings of each recipe. If they don’t mind repeats, then each guest can prepare one recipe that yield two meals.
Be respectful of dietary needs.
For example, if your new parents need to have a gluten free dairy free menu or if they are vegetarian, then look for a menu that suits them. In the case of allergies or restrictions, create a custom menu!
Plan more than just dinner.
Fill out the menu with side dish recipes, simple breakfast items (breads, muffins, etc.), or snack items.
Get Multicourse Mini Menus
These menus are designed for sharing! They provide a main dishes and accompanying side dishes. Some will also include recipes that can serve as a breakfast, snack, or dessert. There is one designed for a babysitter who may be keeping older children and one for “meals that heal” for healthy recovery. We also created one especially for new moms. (Yields 4-8 meals.)
Get Dump and Go Mini Menus
Dump and Go is the height of simplicity when it comes to freezer cooking. Each menu is made up of 5 throw and go recipes that require little to no cooking on your cooking day, just prep work. (Yields 10 meals.)
All Slow Cooker Menus
Slow cooker favorites are hearty and comforting, but super simple to prepare. Each menu is made up of 5 of our favorite slow cooker recipes. (Yields 10 meals.)
Step 4: Assign recipes to guests.
As RSVP’s start to come in, assign guests a recipe to cook. Provide them with the appropriate recipe card(s) adjusted to the number of servings desired. Your OAMM membership lets you do this with one click! You will also want to send them the appropriate labels so they can affix them to the freezer bags and containers before they go into the freezer. This will provide your new parents with easy and accurate thawing/reheating instructions right on the bag!
If your guests are going to be traveling longer distances, consider having them contribute money for ingredients. Then have someone nearby prepare the meals or assemble them at the shower. This way there is no chance of food spoiling during transport.
If you have seasoned freezer cooks on the guest list, they could simply add the recipe on to their regular cooking day, or they can just offer a meal or two from their stash!
A few reminders to give them:
- Arrive with their meal prepared and frozen (which means they will need a cooler to transport it.)
- Lay freezer bags flat to freeze, as this is the most efficient way to store them.
Step 5: Honor the new parents!
Now comes the fun part! Since the meals are all prepared, you can spend your time celebrating with games, food, fellowship, and other gifts.
Hosting at the new parents’ house is ideal so that you can put their meals right into the freezer. If you are hosting at another location, have them bring a large cooler or provide them with one in which to transport their meals home. Have a nice spread of tasty bites prepared for guests and plan typical shower activities and decor. You may even want to encourage guests to bring another small baby gift (diapers, wipes, onesies, small toy or children’s book, etc.) since opening gifts can be half the fun.
If you want to prepare a practical and sentimental gift for the new mom, make them a recipe book! Print a copy of all of the recipe cards you prepared so they can make them again later if they like them. You can also have guests record practical “sanity saving recipes” for parenthood or notes of encouragement and place them in the binder as well.
Be sure to provide the family with this Printable Freezer Meal Inventory, which will tell them what meals they have, who made it, the eat by date, and any special notes or serving suggestions.
Best wishes to all our expectant readers!
Additional Resources for Throwing a Freeze Meal Baby Shower:
- How to Build a Group Cooking Community
- Marinate It – 5 Steps to a Freezer Cooking Party
- Spring Party Mini Menu Vol. 1 (Food to eat AT the party!)
- Easy to Gift Freezer Meals
- 25 Fast Freezer Meals
- How to Cook and Package Single Serving Freezer Meals
- How to Gift Freezer Meals