When grieving, food from friends and family is a welcomed gift. We recently experienced a sudden, tragic death in our family. Unexpected travel, a million emotions, and exhaustion made self-care a challenge. During our intense period of grief, remembering to eat well was difficult. And getting healthy food on the table was far more difficult than I ever imagined. As a Registered Dietitian, I know that eating needs to be a priority, especially during times of stress.
What I was not prepared for, was coming back to Maryland without any food in the refrigerator. I managed to get some food at Target along with sympathy cards for family members. I was focused on making slow cooker chicken enchilada soup for my in-laws but had not thought about what my family would eat for the rest of the week.
Fortunately, three amazing Registered Dietitians showed up at my door with warm, delicious home-cooked meals to get us through the week. Immediately, I felt relieved and well-cared for. Not only did they cook and hand-deliver these meals to me; they gave me step-by-step instructions on how to reheat the meals. Although I am still grieving, their loving gesture brought be tremendous appreciation. Bringing food to our grieving family was an incredibly thoughtful and much needed way to help us through a period of intense grief.
Food is love. Pure and simple: food is a wonderful, loving gesture during a time a need.
Five Meals for a Grieving Family
Here is what my compassionate team brought me. I will definitely make these meals for others in the future to pay it forward to the next family in need. I am forever grateful for these meals which will help us cope with the week ahead as we return to work.
White Bean Soup
Tuscan Rice Soup
Honey Sesame Chicken
More recipes that are easy to transport to a grieving family include one dish meals.
Even one meal will help a grieving family feel cared for. I hope these meals inspire you to bring food to someone in need of sympathy during a stressful time. Thank you again Klara Knezevic, Kaitlin Williams and Dana Magee.
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Updated December 2019
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Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.