20 Meal Ideas to Take to a Neighbor in Need

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Think of a time when you were the recipient of a much needed act of service. That time when you felt so sick that all the strength you could muster was to lay in bed and pray your kids didn’t turn the house into a category 5 tornado. Or when you were so stressed about your to-do list that you wondered if it was even worth it to try and accomplish everything. In those moments of helplessness, you had a mini miracle. I’ve definitely had times when a loving friend or family member, sometimes even a stranger, rescued me through a Christlike act of service. For those who want to be that miracle, here are some food items to take to someone in need!

Whether for someone who is physically sick themselves or someone who could use a break from cooking (maybe a recent birth, family member in the hospital, recent death, etc.), these are some items that are easy on the stomach and require little prep for the family.

Main Dishes

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

close up view of chicken noodle soup in a pot with a wooden spoon
Chicken Noodle Soup from allrecipes.com

Chicken Noodle Soup is classic for sick folks. Something about the warm broth, hearty chicken, and soft noodles is just soothing to the soul. In just 40 minutes you can make a batch for your family and have plenty to share with someone in need.

2. Premade Chicken Enchiladas

close up view of Chicken Enchiladas V topped with green onions, salsa and sour cream, with rice and corn on the side
Chicken Enchiladas from allrecipes.com

Chicken Enchiladas are an item that are a little bit harder to digest, so keep that in mind for whoever you’re food prepping for. They are, however, a great option for a parent who is sick and can’t cook for their family. These keep well in the fridge and can be frozen, so they can be very useful to have on hand.

3. Chili

The Best Classic Chili - The Wholesome Dish

Similar to the enchiladas, chili makes for a great freezer meal. It is easy to make in bulk and is a good gift to a family that might be going through something a little more serious or long term than a stomach bug. (check out my recipe here)

4. Oatmeal

How to make oatmeal - banana nut variation
Homemade Oatmeal from Feel Good Foodie – click for instructions

Homemade oatmeal is super easy to make, filling, and very customizable. For those not feeling well, it is warm and easy to put down. It’s a great food to take to someone who isn’t feeling well.

5. Fried Rice

Easy Fried Rice Recipe
Fried Rice from allrecipes.com

Rice and eggs are some of the best foods for people with a weak stomach to eat. This is a fun variation of those ingredients that tastes good and is super easy to make!

6. Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes
Baked Potatoes from NYT Cooking

Baked Potatoes are great to bring to someone because of how customizable they are. They taste great with just a little butter and salt or loaded up with bacon, cheese, and sour cream.

7. Baked Sweet Potatoes

Baked Sweet Potato - Recipes by Love and Lemons
Baked Sweet Potatoes from Love and Lemons

Whether you top it with a dollop of butter, honey, or an egg and chives, sweet potatoes are a great food with lots of variations! Cooked potatoes last 3-5 days in the fridge, so it could be a nice backup for someone who has a lot on their plate.

8. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Warm soup when you’re sick is like being wrapped up in a blanket. Pair that soup with a grilled cheese, and there you have a super simple, filling meal to share.

9. Eggs and Toast

Scrambled Eggs on Toast garnished with fresh parsley.
Eggs on Toast from Cooktoria.com

No this isn’t the fanciest meal ever, but it is tasty, cheap to make, and requires very few ingredients. For someone who’s stomach is giving them trouble, this is a great food that will go down easy.

10. Lasagna/ Baked Pasta

Easy Homemade Lasagna on a plate
Lasagna from Spend with Pennies

In the case of families with a sick parent, someone in the hospital, or a big recent family event, already prepared meals can be a lifesaver! Lasagna is a favorite that you can make in bulk, store in the freezer, or bake whenever.

Sides/Treats

11. Sweet Bread (Banana, Zucchini, Pumpkin)

Easy banana bread cut into thick slices.
Banana Bread from Simply Recipes

Bread is soft and sweet and oh so good when you’re sick. Consider delivering one of these to your friend in need.

12. Instant Noodles

Best Store-Bought Instant Ramen Noodles, Ranked
Instant noodles from Insider.com

Chicken or beef? The age old question. Honestly if you didn’t eat ramen noodles as a sick kid growing up then I am shocked. Ramen noodles are a staple in the world of “sick food”. Show someone how much you care about them by dropping off a few of these.

13. Homemade Bread

Homemade Bread from Butter With a Side of Bread

Growing up my dad would make homemade bread for us to bring to our neighbors. I loved seeing their faces light up as we handed it to them at the door. Bread is a good food item for people not feeling well, and it’s even better when it’s made with love from the heart!

14. Applesauce

Sarah's Applesauce
Homemade Applesauce from Allrecipes.com

As a kid this was my lifesaver. I can’t explain why, but cold applesauce just settled my upset tummy. From personal experience, this is a great gift.

15. Jell-O

Jelly Spoon With Jelly Stock Video - Download Video Clip Now - Gelatin  Dessert, Gelatin, Fruit - iStock
Jell-O from iStock

Gelatin is one of those things that is easy to digest. Add a little sugar flavoring and it will provide a boost of energy and help with rehydration.

16. Otter Pops

Otter Pops Go Brown After Ditching Artificial Ingredients
Otter Pops from Businessinsider.com

When my mom was her sickest during pregnancy, she virtually lived off of otter pops and baked potatoes. I kid you not. Since they have pretty mild flavors and are majority water, they can be a refreshing option for anyone who is under the weather.

17. Crackers

Crackers
Crackers from verywellfit.com

Ritz, Club, Saltines, etc. Take your pick! These are nice to munch on for someone who isn’t feeling their best.

18. Gatorade/Powerade

Gatorade vs Powerade - Wine and Liquor Prices
Gatorade and Powerade from bottledprices.com

For someone who has been throwing up, these drinks can help to rehydrate them and replace any electrolytes they might’ve lost. Plus there’s a million flavors, so they are bound to like at least one of them!

19. Bananas

Bananas: Health benefits, tips, and risks
Bananas from medicalnewstoday.com

Bananas are one of the top recommendations for food to eat when you’re body is recovering from sickness. Take some ripe ones over, just don’t bring too many. They get dark pretty quickly!

20. Mashed Potatoes

Easy Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe - Pillsbury.com
Mashed Potatoes from pillsbury.com

Because mashed potatoes are warm and soft, they can be a real comfort food.

Share the Good!!

Please share stories about how receiving or bringing one of these items had an impact by adding it in the comments below! Stories like that always lift my mood and remind me of the good in the world.

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