“I found myself unable to eat.
How do you eat when you have a broken heart?
Your body practically forgets.”
Lindsay, Pinch of Yum
The most basic of needs can feel impossible when you are grieving. Even food, something created to nourish and heal our bodies, something that is good for our souls, can feel undesirable, unappealing, nauseating even. With no desire to eat and no brain capacity to plan for food or cook food or even think about heading to the grocery store, one of the greatest, tangible needs a friend can meet for someone grieving is the gift of food.
Another grieving mama puts it so well: “This food was a lifeline. These acts of love put warm, sustaining food in front of me, and that food tethered me to real life. It was through soup, cookies, salads, and little cheesy homemade pizza rolls that I was able to find my way again, both physically and emotionally.” Lindsay, Pinch of Yum
3 SIMPLE WAYS TO BRING FOOD TO A GRIEVING FRIEND
Keep in mind when bringing food to a friend that certain foods may exacerbate feelings of sadness and mood swings. When in doubt peruse this list of foods to avoid when planning to bring food to a grieving friend.
1. TAKE THEM A MEAL.
Most people will bring dinner options (which is great) but when I was grieving, I personally loved having something to grab in the morning; something I didn’t have to think about, something that someone else had already thought about and provided. I specifically remember a daily supply of bagels from Panera that someone dropped off each day for a week and it made the mornings just a tiny bit more bearable.
- BREAKFAST IDEAS
- Fruit Assortments
- Bagels & Cream Cheese
- Frozen Waffles (+ Almond Butter + Slivered Almonds) or (+ Ricotta + Berries) I like Vans or Kashi brand
- Oatmeal cups (Homemade or Store Bought)
- Yogurt + Granola + Berries = Yogurt Parfaits
Again, most people will bring food for dinner but thinking about lunch time would be incredibly helpful.
- LUNCH IDEAS
- Deli Meat + Cheese + Fresh Bread for sandwiches
- Salad Kits (–> like these.)
- Hummus + Veggie Assortment
Having something to munch on throughout the day is helpful as well.
- Granola Bars
- Tortilla Chips + Salsa + Guacamole
This is the most obvious and equally valuable as the previously mentioned ideas.
- Homemade Meal will forever warm the heart and it’s a precious moment to quiet your own soul and pray for your friend. As you prepare and cook and wait for the meal to be ready, pray for that God would continue to mend your friend’s broken heart. Lindsay from Pinch of Yum created a series of recipes called “Feeding a Broken Heart” that take the typical lasagna or chicken casserole up a notch. I’ve listed and linked them below.
- Freezer Meals Ready for the Crockpot: Frozen Crockpot Meals are super helpful as the ready-to-eat food will likely stop coming well before your friend’s heart stops hurting and her appetite has returned. It will be awhile before those things happen and desire to meal plan and grocery shop and cook has returned. Find a list of simple and easy freezer crockpot meals here.
2. RESTAURANT GIFT CARDS OR TAKE OUT.
Planning, prepping and cooking a meal isn’t the only way you can love your friend through food. If you aren’t one who loves hanging out in the kitchen, don’t underestimate the value of good takeout or a gift card to her favorite restaurant. I promise this is equally helpful and meaningful.
3. MEAL DELIVERY SUBSCRIPTION.
Again, if you aren’t a fan of meal prepping and cooking yourself and are feeling extra generous, a meal subscription for a few months could be really helpful, especially after the homemade meals have stopped coming. This article researched the different meal subscription services currently available and rated them so you can quickly know which is the best. Their vote is for Plated, read the article to find out the pros and cons of each and why they chose that specific option.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Your gift of food is appreciated, even if you never receive a thank you note. Remember, her mind just isn’t working the way it normally would, so she may completely forget to say thank you. Don’t be offended, just know that she is grateful (probably more than you will ever know) and you really did serve her well.
- Dropping food off quietly can be very helpful. Sometimes she will turn down food simply because the thought of entertaining visitors will feel too daunting. Remind her you will leave it quietly on the doorstep if that’s helpful to her.
- Use a a service like Take Them A Meal to organize meals for an extended amount of time.
- And remember, a cooked meal to a grieving mother is invaluable.
Thank you for desiring to love your friend well.