Bless Them Best

MARCH 13, 2013  /  JANELLE PARIS  / 

Bless Them Best
We are thrilled that Janelle Nehrenz, author of Comfy in the Kitchen, is a monthly contributor to our blog. Janelle loves taking meals and encouraging others to take meals as well. Last month, she shared a special meal that she made for a friend, and now Janelle shares some of her best meal taking tips with us.
      -Adina Bailey, Co-founder of

There is no doubt that meal ministry is a blessing. I've seen the look of gratitude from the eyes of many new moms, the mourning, and healing. Making someone a meal is just so endearing, thoughtful and helpful. Even so, my heart's deepest desire is to always find ways to serve these special individuals in the best way possible... so that the blessing of a meal is truly a blessing. Let me explain....

Here are some tips to help "bless them best"....

  1. Ask Questions! If you are heading up a "Take Them a Meal" schedule, be very specific in your instructions at the top of the invite. Make sure to ask the family if they have allergies, are on a certain diet, their likes, and dislikes. You certainly don't want to make a peanut butter pie for a family with a child who has a peanut allergy. Now, this would be with very good intentions, but in the end not the blessing you wanted them to have.
  2. Schedule Meals Every Other Day: After years of planning meals, I've noticed a common thread..."Janelle, I appreciate these meals so much, but can you change delivery to every other day instead of every day? My refrigerator is overflowing with leftovers that we have not had enough time to eat".
  3. Use Throw-Away Containers: Your recipient will be so relieved he/she doesn't have to clean-up and find you later to return your dish {I recommend Chinet Bakeware!}. Not long ago one of my friends mentioned she had a huge "lost and found" pile of dishes. She was going through way too much in life to remember who they belonged to and felt bad she couldn't return them. If you do, by chance, have to make and take in a dish you need back, put your name on it and let your recipient know he/she can leave it on his/her porch the next day and you will pick it up.
  4. Offer Your Recipient "Cooler Service": Families in mourning might prefer to set a cooler outside their front door for meals to be placed in rather than to answer the door. There are times in our lives when we are struggling so badly, we have no conversation to offer...or when we just don't have the energy to clean our home and opening it up to a stranger {or even someone we know} is embarrassing.
  5. Ask Your Recipient If They Would Rather Have "Take-Out": Some people are stand-offish about eating food made by someone they don't know. That's okay! I would much rather know that so I can bless them in a way they want to be blessed! It's not about me! Gift cards are also very much appreciated.
  6. Ask Your Recipient If They Would Prefer Freezer Meals: Good stress is still stress.. .when a new mom is nursing and the door bell is ringing, it can be pretty stressful! Delivering a freezer meal ahead of time {a week before the due date!} gives a new mom comfort in knowing a meal is available, but she doesn't have to open her home to guests if she's trying to get acclimated with her baby's routine.
  7. Order a Pizza on a Friday Night! Friday nights are our family's fun nights! I remember coming home with our 3rd baby and a sweet neighbor ordered us a pizza and made us dessert. What a treat we all loved!
  8. Add a Tidbit Tray For the Week: When you deliver a meal, add cut up fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses in a separate container. This will be a convenient treat for the family to snack on throughout the week {Thanks to my friend Melissa for this tip!}.
  9. Add a Breakfast Casserole: This Fall, when my husband had surgery, a dear friend of mine Jennifer, brought me delicious soup for dinner and made me a breakfast casserole to have the next morning. That meant 2 meals were covered for my family! Wohoo! Such a great idea.
  10. Make a "Grown-Up Meal and a Kid's Meal": It happens in a lot of families... the kids don't have the same taste buds as the adults do. I do this especially when a child is the focus of the meal ministry...what child doesn't smile when he sees dirt pudding?

Thank you to all of you who pour your hearts, time and energy into making meals for those who need them. When I wrote this post I kept thinking of the familiar quote "Good, Better, Best... never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best". All meal ministries are a "good thing", but being sensitive to our recipients needs will take our ministry from better to best. Thanks again and keep serving, my Friends!

Read other recent articles by Janelle Paris:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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