“How can I feed them?” is often the first thing you think of when learning of a friend or loved one in distress. Food is not only a necessity but brings comfort to those who are recovering. And there are simple ways to be prepared for meal deliveries when families fall on hard times.
“Because I love food gifting, it’s become kind of second nature for me to make an extra casserole and freeze it, or double my batch and send on the extras. I don’t like to wait until something tragic has happened, I send food out all year round.” – Kristina
Here are some simple ideas on how to stay prepared to feed others:
- Choose a few favorite recipes that can be made quickly
- Keep extra ingredients on hand, including disposable pans and plasticware
- If you’re already making one, then make two and freeze the extra
- Print ingredient cards with space for a handwritten note that you can attach to the meal (like these meal train recipe cards).
There are some classic, go-to casserole recipes that are known for being well-liked by picky eaters, including the kids. From feeding families with kids to providing snacks and desserts, we’ve put together a great list of food ideas ready for gifting.
“When folks are grieving or going through a time of loss, they often don’t eat as they should. The gift of food or a meal is not only a thoughtful gift but beneficial to their well being.” – David Storke, Owner of Storke Funeral Home
Here are 23 great food ideas ready for gifting:
Chicken is always a safe choice and can be used in so many ways from chicken salad and cold chicken pasta to warm rice casseroles. Fried chicken is a southern favorite and can be eaten cold as well. Many chicken dishes also avoid common allergies like nuts and can be made without wheat or dairy.
- Chicken Salad with croissants, here are 40 to choose from
- One-Pot Chicken and Rice, from Iowa Girl Eats
- Cheez-It Chicken (recipe card here)
- Chicken and Dumplings, from Taste of Home
- Chicken Pot Pie, from Betty Crocker
- Shabbat Chicken (recipe card here)
Ham biscuits are considered the official funeral sandwich and come in plenty of varieties. Pork is not as safe for people with religious considerations but is an easy choice if you know the families’ preferences.
Ground beef can always be swapped out for ground turkey or chicken and can be used in a wide variety of casseroles, soups, and salads. Consider a simple Taco Salad package that can be made anytime and customized to an individual’s preference.
- Taco salad, from Creme de la Crumb
- Taco soup (recipe card here)
- Baked spaghetti (recipe card here)
- Pot Roast, from Food Network
Bagels are considered to be symbolic of the circle of life in some religious communities and are a food gifting favorite as they are easy to deliver and last for days. Don’t forget plenty of cream cheese and napkins.
- Pineapple Casserole, from Tastes of Lizzy T
- Fire and Ice Tomatoes, from Lanas Cooking
- Veggie or Fruit Tray
- Donuts or Bagels
- Trail Mix or Granola Bars
The job of the cake is to bring everyone together – because the cake is shared together through equal portions, it symbolizes unity and the breaking of boundaries.
- Perfectly Chocolate, Chocolate Cake, from Hershey’s
- Preacher Cake, from the Chunky Chef
- Watergate Salad, from Spend with Pennies
- Sandwich in a box: including everything you need to make sandwiches, meat and cheese from the deli, breads and spreads
- Drinks and Ice like sodas, beer or wine (if appropriate), water bottles, seltzer drinks, coffee and tea with creamers
- Paper goods like plates and napkins, utensils, paper towels and even toilet paper
Free Preplanning Checklist
We’ve put together a valuable pre-planning tool for you to use as a resource. Check it out here.