Forget baby clothes. Give your new-parent friend the gift of raw tuna.
There are many joys to new motherhood—the first, of course, being the baby. The runner up, however, may well be all the amazing food people send you upon having recently given birth. Indeed, food gifts are great to give new parents. Baby clothes are cute, but it’s harder to guess people’s taste in infant outfits than it is to speculate whether or not they like really good cheese. In the days after I gave birth, I was exhausted, starving, and overwhelmed—but the arrival of a Russ & Daughters gift package to my doorstep was truly thrilling, not to mention sustaining.
Here, eight of the best food gifts you can give new parents:
1. Russ & Daughters’ New York Brunch, $115
Going out to eat with kids is difficult under any circumstances—but it’s basically impossible when you have a newborn. Give your new parent-friends the gift of food from one of New York’s best restaurants. Russ & Daughter’s New York Brunch package, which, along with its other gift packages, ships to locations nationwide and includes a range of parenthood essentials—from coffee (necessary in those early, sleep-deprived days) to bagels, cream cheese, and lox (protein!), to chocolate babka (okay, not strictly “essential” but delicious nonetheless).
From the owners of NYC pizza mecca Franny’s, this Brooklyn provisions shop specializes in artisanal products—meaning, the management knows how to curate a food-lovers gift basket. This one includes coffee beans and soothing tea; several types of fantastic cheese; one of their trademark olive oil cakes; some small snacky items; and a cute onesie. BKLYN Larder also offers several excellent non-baby specific gift baskets, as well as the option to custom design your own.
3. Mouth.com’s “Hey, Baby” package, $69.50
One of the problems with having a new baby is that you crave healthy food but have no time to make it for yourself. The beauty of this gift basket from Mouth.com—home to many great food gift baskets for all occasions—is that it includes items that are both snacky and at least somewhat healthy. (See: Barely Sweet Gluten-Free Granola, coconut pecan granola bars, and nori sesame gourmet popcorn.) It also includes some straight-up non-healthy treats—like the all-natural white-chocolate macadamia peanut butter—and a cute unisex swaddle.
This Michigan company has a wide variety of excellent giftable food baskets, but The Weekender—the company's most popular seller—has a little bit of everything: Nor'Easter Cabot Cheddar cheese, Zingerman’s Artisan Bread, La Quercia's Borsellino Salami, brownies and peanut brittle, and their famed sourcream coffee cake. Plus, it all comes in a cute cartoon box.
Fruit is a great thing to eat when you’ve just had a kid. Most of it you can hold with one hand while tending to the baby in the other. It’s also healthy and nourishing, which feels nice amid the sea of bagels, babka, and cheese you’re also enjoying. This California-based company sells a huge variety of amazing produce, including various types of fruit that have short seasonal windows and can thus be difficult to find elsewhere. This basket in particular features all sorts of delicacies—from Asian Pears, Cherimoyas and Feijoas to Kumquats, Sapotes, Tamarillos, Lychees and Starfruit.
Tamales are relatively time-consuming to make from scratch, but they are exceptionally easy to reheat—in addition to being both delicious and filling. This Texas-based company sells tamales frozen, making them the perfect gifts for your friend who doesn’t have the time to whip up a batch on their own. The traditional gift box includes two dozen tamales made with a combination of ancho pork, 3-cheese queso, black bean and Oaxaca cheese, and fresh corn poblano. Bonus: It’s unlikely that your friend has ever gotten a box of tamales in the mail before.
8. Sushi from your friend’s favorite local spot
After nine months of not eating raw fish, almost nothing feels as luxurious as a decadent sushi feast for dinner—even if it’s via takeout rather than at the chef’s counter. Send your friend the gift of raw tuna. She will thank you.