First off let me say, this idea is awesome. I was able to participate in my first meal exchange playdate last month and it was such a blessing. The concept is this – you get a bunch of hard working moms together (I mean really, who is not a hard working mom?), have each of them bring enough of one homemade meal for each person to take one home, let the kids run around and play, then exchange meals. It’s as simple as that!
Here’s an easy guide for how to set up your own Meal Exchange Playdate:
1. Invite moms: Let’s say there are 10. Set up an Evite (works well for posting what each person bringing) and invite the moms.
2. Each person brings enough meals (in 4 serving portions) for every mom in the playdate to take one home. Since they can post what dish they are making on the Evite, there aren’t any duplicates. You make 10 copies (in servings for 4 people) of the meal for the playdate. These meals are best if they can be frozen and it’s also a good idea to include recipe cards and cooking instructions.
3. At the playdate, everyone brings a cooler with their (10) meals in it.
4. Have a playdate! The kids can play, do a craft, have snacks…however you want to structure the playdate.
5. While the kids are occupied, the moms can exchange their meals. Each mom would swap one of their meals with a meal from another mom. At the end of the playdate they would have 10 meals, 9 new ones plus 1 of their own.
6. Go home and stock your freezer! You now have 10 different homemade meals for your family!
That’s it! Such a simple way to get some new recipes and almost half your months cooking done in one morning spent with friends. Another thing we added on to our meal exchange playdate is we had everyone bring an extra meal to bless a new mom with! It was such an easy way to show someone how much you care.