Meal Train Ideas That Aren't Soggy Casseroles: The Lunch Edition

One of the hardest things about grief is that lots of people expect it to just end.

You’ve spent a few weeks or months “being a mess” and now it’s time to come out of it. And part of that is returning to work or school as your “normal” self. But just because the funeral is over, that doesn’t mean that you’re prepared to jump straight back into your normal routine.

If you want to support a friend with food that isn’t a full-on dinner, take the leap and go off the beaten path! Your instincts to treat them to something different could make the offer more fun for you, as well as more helpful for them. 

Energizing snacks

There are many reasons why some of us skip breakfast. We just looove that snooze button. We think a banana will cut it. Or we straight up forget because there’s too much going on. Regardless, a pick-me-up snack could be all that your friend needs to help them get through the day. 

Pack them a “back to work” box to keep near their front door, in their car, or at their desk. Loading it up with few small, simple snacks makes that care package great to have on hand for when they forget their lunch in the fridge or overslept.

The snacks listed below are also a better re-energizing option than the corner store staples like Mars bars or Doritos (which… I’ve definitely had my fair share of while grieving, I’ll admit). 

A few things to incorporate: 

  1. Power bars to keep in a backpack, purse, or desk

  2. A bit of trail mix (which you could even mix yourself) 

  3. Dried fruits

Frozen meal prep ideas


There’s tons of things that you can cook for a friend that don’t come in a baking dish. If you’d like to offer them something simple, complex and hearty, or even fun, go for it. And note that if you’re under the impression that frozen meals have to include EVERY ingredient for the dish, think again!

A homecooked sauce, filler meat, or meatballs can be accompanied by dried pasta or rice, giving your friend a shelf-stable side to go with your main or protein.

There are a few great options on this Pinch of Yum list, including everything from soups and stews to tacos and tandoori chicken. 

Gift card to a restaurant or grocery store

Sometimes it really is just easier to eat out - someone is in charge of cooking the food, bringing you food, clearing it away, and doing the dishes. And if you’ve been home, alone, crying all week, it can be really nice to be surrounded by white noise and bodies.

So if your friend could use an excuse to step out into the world, do a little research into restaurants near their home or office. Enough money to treat themselves to a lunch on a day they forget could go a long way and save them on a day they’d otherwise skip eating.