Ask Erika: Meals as a Baby Gift


Dear Erika,

I’m 35 weeks pregnant, and I have an amazing support system of friends and family. Many of them have asked if they can prepare me a meal after the baby arrives, so I don’t have to cook, but most of my friends are omnivores and don’t know what to make me. It’s really sweet that they want to help, but I don’t know what to tell them.
–Sherrie, Portsmouth, Maine

Dear Sherrie,

Congratulations! I get baby giddy just hearing that someone is pregnant! You’re lucky to be surrounded by so many people who are willing to help—you are already one step ahead of the game! I’m also thoroughly impressed that these same people have volunteered to make food. Do they know you’re vegan? That is usually a challenge that most meat-eating friends don’t accept!

If you’re not too sure about their vegan culinary skills, you might consider asking them come over and cuddle with your newborn baby while you cook dinner. For those who really want to cook for you, start by providing them with a few recipes that you have made successfully and know you enjoy. Make sure to keep the recipes simple and based on ingredients that are easy to find. I’m always looking for ways to win my friends over with vegan foods, so it’s even better if you can pick a dish that they will like, too. Why not make it a win-win?

If you want to keep it extra easy, ask them for a gift card. You can never go wrong with gift cards! Give your loved ones a short list of your favorite restaurants, and explain that you’d be happy to save them the trouble of having to cook. Or, you can buy the restaurant meals and they can help by handling pick-up and drop-off.

Here’s an Enchilada Casserole recipe from Straight Up Food that my family enjoys that should be easy enough for you omni friends to make. I hope this helps!

Congratulations again!

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Disclaimer: Erika Krebs is not a nutritionist, registered dietitian, nor medical doctor. The information on is based on each columnist’s own training, research through reading and talking with other like-minded individuals, and personal experiences eating plant-based, vegan, and raw foods. The material appearing on is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any or all changes to your diet and lifestyle should always first be discussed with your professional healthcare providers. assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences resulting directly or indirectly from any action or inaction you take based on the information found on or material linked to on this website.

Posted in Advice Columns, Ask Erika

Erika is a best-selling cookbook author, food writer, lifestyle columnist, and a mom of three. She is the author of “Fresh Start: Farm to Table Plant Based Baby Recipes.” Erika is working on a new cookbook that focuses on fun, healthy, plant-based, toddler meals. Find out more about her work at Send Erika your questions at