The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom

March 9, 2016

When you're keeping a tiny human alive, hangry happens. Here are some staples you can find around Boston to bring over to help.

Catherine Smart
The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom | WGBH | Craving Boston

You’ll cry for no reason. You’ll fall in love. You’ll be exhausted. You’ll feel a renewed sense of purpose. You’ll experience a deep animal hunger the likes of which you’d never imagined possible in your 30 years on this planet.

You receive a lot of warnings about what life will be like when you have your first baby. Much of it is true, though most of it is not worth dwelling on as, a) there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prepare, and b) in my humble opinion, you should be filling any spare time before your bundle arrives taking naps, eating at restaurants where you’d never bring a baby, and fantasizing about that first sip of a long-awaited frosty margarita. But that last reality of new-motherhood — that I would be constantly famished — came as a real surprise.

Our baby Jack was born a few weeks ago. He’s the absolute best, and no one is sleeping, and you know how the story goes. Sorry for burying the lede — I blame sleep deprivation — we are here to talk about food. Specifically, what to feed the new moms in your life.

Here’s my short list of the best giftable grub and where to find it around Boston. Bring these edibles straight to the gullet of that harried, spit-up covered woman who looks a whole lot like your girlfriend, co-worker, or sister. You’ll hand them the dish of their dreams. They’ll hand you the baby, and you can snuggle up with that sweet newborn-head smell under your chin. Everyone wins. And yes, she will probably cry, but don’t be alarmed. These are the good kind of tears.


1. Donuts
A raging case of gestational diabetes, which kept me from (most) of my beloved carby sweets, might mean I am particularly fond of the glazed, yeasty rounds at this point in time.  But there are few things that will make the dark-circled, puffy eyes of a new mother light up first thing in the morning like some deep-fried breakfast pastries, and a cup of really good coffee.

The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom | WGBH | Craving Boston

Where to get the goods:

Union Square Donuts
These are big, decadent donuts, with flavors like maple bacon, brown butter hazelnut crunch, and vegan offerings like lemon coconut. Wash it all down with a cup of their high-test cold brew coffee. 

20 Bow Somerville, 617.209.2257, and in the Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St.,

Linda’s Donuts
This no-frills family run shop is a time capsule, serving hand-cut donuts in classic flavors like honey dip, and chocolate cruller to regulars who know that doing things the old-fashioned way is often the best way. 

247 Belmont St., Belmont, 617.484.9844,

Blackbird Doughnuts
The South End shop features unique flavors like blueberry white chocolate bismark, cookies & cream, and savory selections like their everything bagel donut.

49 Tremont St., Boston, 617.482.9000,


2. Sushi
I’m not talking about shrimp tempura (which would likely fail the sog-test by the time it got to her door anyway) or a lowly California roll. This is the time for sashimi, nigiri, and over-the-top hand rolls. It must be raw, and perhaps, even a bit mercury-laden: fatty tuna, yellowtail-scallion maki, that $20 special roll that contains half an oceans worth of fish, plus something torched and something truffled. Girlfriend needs those omega-3’s. And maybe a cold Sapporo to wash it all down.

The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom | WGBH | Craving Boston

Where to get the goods:

A Japanese fish market with simple, sparkling seafood. Point to what you want and the fishmonger will expertly prepare your order, and wrap it to go.

75 Linden St. Allston, 617.254.0009,

This local chain serves traditional nigiri and sashimi as well as more inventive rolls, like their hot tamale maki, which laces raw and torched tuna with the fiery peppers and cooling cucumber, as well as cooked Japanese dishes. You can place your order online and get the meal delivered to the new mama’s door via Foodler or other delivery sites. 

Fuji at Kendall, 300 Third St., Cambridge, 617.252.0088, ; Fuji at Assembly, 320 Canal St., Somerville, 617.628.8883, ; Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar, 1546 Hancock St., Quincy, 617.770.1546,


3. Burgers and Shakes
This was my post-delivery meal and I remember every juicy, salty bite, and sweet icy sip. Childbirth takes-it-out-of-you. Literally. You need that iron. That calcium. That special sauce. Fortify that mama for the tough parental road ahead.

The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom | WGBH | Craving Boston

Where to get the goods:

Tasty Burger
With five locations in and around Boston — four of which deliver — you’re never too far from the addictive griddled patties, crisp golden fries, and sweet shakes like the Green monster, a mint chocolate chip delight. 

Locations in Harvard Square, Fenway, Dudley Square, Back Bay and Southie,

Shake Shack
The Danny Myer fast-food chain that had New Yorkers lining up around the block has made its way to Boston. Though not a truly local brand, they serve up some of the best shakes in town. And for those who like their frosty treats extra dense, try a "concrete," a concoction of frozen custard with candy mix-ins. I think it goes without saying that the burgers — with melty cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Shacksauce — really hit the spot after a long night of, say, delivering a baby. Which is why a Shackburger and strawberry milkshake were my post-delivery meal. 

Locations in Chestnut Hill, Dedham, Newbury St., Harvard Square,


4. Oysters and Champagne
It’s just cruel that consuming two of the most divine, celebratory foods is frowned upon when you are gestating. You are growing a human being! That’s cause for celebration!  When the baby finally makes its debut, be the one to show up with a sack of ‘sters and nice, chilled bottle of bubbly. You’ll be in for a shucking good time (just don’t forget the knife), and will go down as the friend who made her feel classy-as-hell. Even if she’s rocking those tired, black maternity leggings for the fifth day in a row.

The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom | WGBH | Craving Boston

Where to get the goods:

Island Creek Oyster Company
The Duxbury based company will deliver a bag of 100 fresh, local oysters or a selection of other sea-treats, straight to your door.


5. Italian subs
It’s funny. There are so many rules about what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy.  I maintain it’s impossible to follow them all, but everyone takes the information at hand, and makes decisions about what they are willing to forgo.  While I didn’t think twice about the occasional sip(s) of wine, I wouldn’t let an unheated lunchmeat cross my lips for 9 whole months. I was petrified of listeria.  Whether or not your mom-friend snuck in the occasional cold sandwich, there are few hunger-busters as deliciously effective as a big, fat, Italian sub, layered with thinly sliced salami, provolone, mortadella and more.  Order the large.  She will likely wolf down half before you get your coat off, and can self-soothe by polishing off the rest during a 3 a.m. cluster-feeding session.

The Top 5 Foods to Bring a New Mom | WGBH | Craving Boston

Where to get the goods:

Bob’s Italian Foods
Tufts students and Medford locals know this one of the best spots for takeout Italian in Greater Boston.  The pasta entrees and antipasto are divine, but you cannot miss their deluxe Italian subs with upgraded meats like Prosciutto di Parma, sopressatta and mortadella with all the fixings.

324 Main St., Medford, 781-395-0400,

D’Agostino’s Deli
The family run delis — the original has been around for almost 50 years — are a fixture for a reason: their classic Italian subs. There are other reasons too, like their heat and eat entrees like eggplant parm and lasagna, which are perfectly respectable treats to take a new family.  But seriously, don’t leave without a sandwich. 

D’Agostino’s Deli, 11 Waterfield Road, Winchester, 781.729.7984 and 1297 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781.64.-4949,


  • March 8, 2016