The first time I received a meal train was a few years ago when my husband had major surgery. Some friends set it up for me so I’d l have one less thing on my plate while he was out of commission.
It was one of the best gifts I was ever given.
And right now I’m receiving another one.
For more than two weeks, I have dinner being delivered to me. Some people have thrown in breakfast for the following day, too.
So far we’ve had lasagna, chili, chicken taco rice bowls, chicken and rice, chicken fajitas, ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches, pancakes, fruit salad, every kind of green salad, chicken pot pie, apple pie, baked ziti, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken parm, mac and cheese, tons of cornbread, cookies, brownies, and Italian ice.
And we still have 5 meals coming to us.
It is THE BEST.
I think every mom needs a meal train multiple times in her life.
And I don’t think it should only be when she is going through a tough time.
I mean, I do think every mom who is going through anything major should be the recipient of a meal train.
Whether it’s an illness or an injury or a surgery or a death in the family — whatever the rough patch is, a meal train should be mandatory.
But I also think setting up a meal train for a friend for her birthday would be an amazing gift. I can’t think of something I’d enjoy much more than someone making sure I didn’t have to worry about dinner for a week or two.
Now that I’m more than halfway through this meal train, I am realizing that it’s much more than just food.
Why is a meal train so amazing?
1) It frees up brain space.
You have no idea how much time you spend every day/week thinking about what you are going to feed your family. Knowing someone else has this covered for you allows you to focus on the things that or more important. Or it takes one item off you daily mental to do list.
2) It eases a financial burden.
This obviously cuts down on your food bill for the week. And that can take another burden off someone who may not be in the best financial situation.
3) You tell people what time to deliver food and it shows up on time. Every day.
It’s like room service at your house. And you are never eating dinner at 8:30 on a school night because you didn’t have a chance to figure out what you were going to eat until everyone got home from practice. Unless you want to be.
4) Your kids are excited for meal times.
Cause sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting until it shows up at your door.
5) It can help you get out of a food rut.
I know this can be an issue for me — serving the same few dishes over and over again.
The dishes you receive in a meal train are usually family favorites of the people giving them to you. And there are usually a couple that you haven’t made recently. Or ever.
I’ve never made a chicken pot pie. Ever. But we got one last week, and more than half of us loved it, so that one is going into the rotation. Same with the chicken taco rice bowls.
And very often the person delivering the food includes the recipe with the delivery.
It’s a great way to add some variety to your menu and have your family try new dishes and find out what they like without actually making it yourself! It’s like free samples at Costco. But you get an entire meal in the sample.
6)There are always leftovers.
No one is ever sure how much your family will eat, and they want to make sure they give you enough.
So they give you a ton of food, and then you have a couple lunches covered for the rest of the week or you can freeze what’s left over to serve for dinner when the meal train is done.
If you every find yourself in the position where you want to help someone who is going through a tough time or you just want to do something nice for a friend, give her a meal train.
There’s a pretty good chance it will be the best thing she ever gets.