Actual meals, shipped to the other coast, for new parents?
July 8, 2010 4:58 AM   Subscribe

I would like to send actual _meals_ to a friend who is about to have a baby. Problem: I'm East Coast, she's West Coast, and most of the "welcome new baby gift baskets" I've found online seem to be fairly lame? (Though I'm not a parent, so am I wrong?) Help please!

I have looked in the archives concerning good gifts for new parents (thread here, refers to other similar threads) and most of you recommend the most useful gift I could send would be a healthy quick meal for the parents. My initial thought would have been to just send along this new baby gift basket from Zingerman's but reading the ingredients I wonder how useful gummy bears and caramel sauce really are when you're tired to your bones and need food? Is there someplace online that you recommend (and as someone without kids, what sorts of meals would you most have liked to receive?) that leans more chicken noodle soup and heat & eat than snacky breads and desserts? (More specifically, they're outside of San Francisco if you know of anything sort of local that I could deal with online for delivery.)
posted by librarianamy to Shopping (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
In Houston we have Smartmeals and My Fit Foods which home-deliver healthy meals for people who are too busy to diet or cook for themselves and for those who are, I guess, not good at figuring out how to eat healthy on their own. I have a few friends who have used them and raved — RAVED — about the food. Prices don't seem so expensive — $5 to $12 per meal, with various sizes per each meal, and that includes delivery for MFF at least. The meals are heat-and-eat.

Seeing as how your friends are in California maybe there is a similar health-oriented business there you can look for instead of new parent-targeted businesses?
posted by Brittanie at 5:17 AM on July 8, 2010

I just got over surgery, and my co-workers sent me a delivery from PeaPod (the delivery service for Stop & Shop). It was real food, which is something I wasn't able to go out and get while recovering. They have fresh/frozen meals that are really quite good, so maybe something like that? (I don't know if Stop & Shop is around there, but a local grocery chain probably has the same thing.)
posted by xingcat at 5:20 AM on July 8, 2010

If Schwans serves her area they have exactly what you're looking for. Pricey, but pretty good food.
posted by anastasiav at 5:27 AM on July 8, 2010

Best answer: Check out this Chowhound thread.
posted by rtha at 5:42 AM on July 8, 2010

I think PeaPod is a fantastic idea. When I've been home-bound, what I really needed was milk and cereal and peanut butter and bread and such. Throw in a couple of Lean Cuisines or Hungry Man Dinners and that's a good gift, say I.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:52 AM on July 8, 2010

Another vote for a grocery delivery service. When I was making a long recovery from a surgery, my work and friends gave me several gift certificates to Fresh Direct (the NYC version of PeaPod). Since everything was done online, it was great to be able to "shop" from the couch, and relieve my partner of some of the burden of caretaking. And I don't know about the West Coast options, but Fresh Direct has more than grocery and prepared food... they also have toiletries, cleaning supplies, pet food, and baby items. So it could fulfill any number of needs.
posted by kimdog at 6:16 AM on July 8, 2010

Home Bistro is good - the meals arrive frozen and she would just pop them into hot water for a few minutes to heat the up.
posted by cecic at 7:26 AM on July 8, 2010

After my daughter was born, my father-in-law gave us the gift of a month's worth of Dinner's Ready dinners. They were FABULOUS. they still needed a certain amount of cooking, but all the measuring, chopping, etc. was already done, so it all took the form of "saute these chicken breasts, empty this baggie of stuff over them, put them in a dish, bake them for 20 minutes, empty this OTHER baggie of stuff over them, and eat." I'm used to cooking, fair warning, but it was utterly trivial even for my husband, who. . . isn't. It meant that I knew for certain that I would have one real solid balanced meal per day, and it was not any more expensive than buying groceries -- cheaper than Hungry-Man dinners. (and I actually ended up unable to eat MSG or soy products without seriously messing up Baby Girl's digestion, since I was nursing, which put virtually all prepared processed food off the list.)
posted by KathrynT at 9:14 AM on July 8, 2010

I'm on the west coast. Once we had some friends buy us two weeks of meal deliveries from Susan's Healthy Gourmet after there was a tragedy in the family. They are very healthy, based on calorie count, and actually taste pretty good. They are on the pricey side though.
posted by teamnap at 10:30 AM on July 8, 2010

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