MealBaby and Food Tidings

Posted by  | Thursday, September 9, 2010  at 9:54 PM  
Both MealBaby and Food Tidings were mentioned in the comments on Christina's post, and I wanted to direct your attention to these wonderful websites that help YOU as you help new moms :-) Both of these are online meal calendars/registries that allow people to view a calendar and sign up to provide a meal for a family in need.

The advantages to using a system like this are many:
*It keeps the calendar streamlined and organized, instead of having to use multiple emails to plan out a meal calendar
*With both MealBaby and Food Tidings, people can put what meals they plan to provide, and that is visible to all. This prevents a family from receiving seven lasagnas in a row! --as an aside, I thought everyone made lasagna for families with new babies until I had my first baby...and I received about seven chicken meals and not a single lasagna! That's when I decided that everyone either doesn't like lasagna, or they assume everyone is making it. Now I often make lasagna as my go-to meal:-)
*Information about the family's food preferences, portions (# of adults, # of kids), and other special instructions are posted with the calendar, as well as contact information and address for the family
*You have to create an account use both systems, but you do not have enter personal information on the meal schedule itself beyond your name and meal provided.
*Both Food Tidings and MealBaby give you a special link to the meal calendar that you can then forward to an email list, share on a church website, or publish in a newsletter.

I have only used Food Tidings once, but since my church uses MealBaby for its members and attendees, I am very familiar with it. If you have used Food Tidings, I would love your thoughts about it in the comments. There are a few special things that I like about MealBaby. First, once a calendar is set up, the lady (usually) who is the recipient can go in and change it. She can add more dates to the calendar, she can write a special message to the people preparing meals, and she can specify exactly what they like to eat. It is nice that the family does not have to go through the coordinator to make any minor changes like that. Second, MealBaby allows you to purchase gift cards to chain restaurants instead of providing a meal. The gift cards are for most major restaurants, and come in standard denominations. They will mail the gift cards directly to the family. This is especially nice for out of town family/friends who want to help, but cannot cook an actual meal. And third, MealBaby allows you to contribute to Food for the Children when you sign up for a meal. It is a wonderful way to help others around the world while you are helping people 'right next door' as well.

Please let us know in the comments if you have used either of these systems, or another one I have not discussed. And keep the meal ideas and suggestions coming as well!


Kari said...

I too was surprised we never received lasagna. My husband and I both really like it, but it is something I rarely make. I was kinda looking forward to it.

Jen said...

we use in our sunday school class. sounds similar to the others you mentioned. it works great!

Leah F said...

Kari--I know, what is up with the no-lasagna love? With my first child, I found myself secretly hoping that someone would even just buy me a Stouffer's Lasagna :-) Now I know what I can take almost anywhere...and what I need to have in my freezer in case I am craving it after the baby arrives!

Jen--Someone else mentioned that website on Christina's post as well. I have not used it, but I assume it will be similar. Thank the Lord for modern technology! It really does make many things easier.

Paige said...

Funny about the lasagna! When my mom visited we made 2 huge pans of lasagna and divided into 4 8 x 8 pans for us after new baby arrives in a few weeks. It is really for us just whenever throughout the winter. I guess it's good since I shouldn't expect my Church group to bring any. : ) I am stocked up! We also made chicken spaghetti for the freezer which is always great to have on hand for nights you don't want to "cook". I usually bring chicken spaghetti to the girls I know who just had a baby. Yum!

Courtney said...

I have only used foodtidings. The feature I like best is that it sends a reminder email for your meal. This is great for when you sign up months out. When I had my boys we had food every other day for 3 months, so I am sure that was helpful for those that signed up early.
I do like the idea of the giftcards being mailed direcly. I might have to try that site out just for that purpose.

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