Spring has sprung- here come the babies!
New children introduce the opportunity to use your cooking skills in new ways, or to acquire new skills. What fun a new little person can inspire in your kitchen!
To my pregnant buddies out there- sorry to ruin your surprise. I am going to share my favorite cooking and food-related gifts for new parents and parents-to-be!
I love to host baby showers… as long as we don’t have to play any games. Instead, treat the new mom with her favorite friends and food… since she’ll be knee-deep in baby food before too long. Volunteer to host a grown-up meal over brunch with a four course menu of spring and summer delights!
My current favorite make-ahead brunch menu:
- Fresh Squeezed orange juice with Minnesota raspberry “sunrise” drink (with sparkling wine)
- Apple-oat muffins
- Sliced Mangoes with crystallized ginger
- Spinach and Bacon breakfast burritos
I have also treated my new-parent friends with a homemade, delivered dinner. Whether I drop a casserole at the door (in a tinfoil container that does not need to be returned, and with a note including the reheating instructions), or cook and serve a dinner to them while I hold, rock, and cajole the baby… new parents need sustenance but often are too busy or tired to treat themselves.
Gift the new mom with a cooking class: Baby Food from Scratch (for baby) or Cooking on the Run (for mom and dad). A little confidence booster to share tips and tricks to ensure health and safety for baby’s food, or survival skills for parents, are always welcomed. (By the way, Catalyst Cooks would be happy to be a part of your gift… unique, beautiful gift certificates available!)
My favorite cookbook for new parents is Feed me I’m Yours by Vicky Lansky. I remember my mom’s edition, which was worn and falling off the binder by the time my youngest sister was playing with the homemade, edible play dough. This book contains everything from making your own babyfood from scratch; to holiday crafts for kids. Fun!
I also love to give an Immersion blender (priced anywhere from $10 +). I don’t know how I lived without mine- it’s great for puree-ing hot soups or vegetables which makes it great for making baby foods too. If you want to make this a baby food making “kit,” include a couple of ice cube trays (maybe silicone in fun, baby shapes!) and plastic freezer baggies.