Remember the days when you came home from work, kicked off your shoes and created a culinary masterpiece with your significant other while sipping a glass of your favorite wine?!? Well, as you might imagine, dinner time’s going to look a little bit different when baby arrives. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a new kind of work of art in the kitchen!!!
It might take a little grunt work up front, but anyone who has prepared freezer meals ahead of the birth will tell you that the payoff comes in delicious‒and here’s the important part‒no hassle meals that are healthy, quick and easy. All you need is a collection of recipes, a crockpot, some freezer bags and you’re set! Set aside a Saturday morning for preparing all of your meals, (my favorite method), or spread it out over a few weeks by doubling or tripling each nightly meal. Before you know it you’ll have a freezer full of options ready and waiting for your little one's arrival! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did it. When you hear your newborn crying to be fed in one ear and your partner asking “What do you want for dinner?” in the other, you’ll wish there was already a crockpot of food simmering on the counter!
Here are a few ideas to get you started. They’re perfect for this time of year and will help keep your family’s bellies warm all winter long.
- Quick, Easy Taco Soup http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/04/09/quick-easy-taco-soup/
- Lasagna Cupcakes http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/lasagna-cupcakes/973c5603-c1e4-4790-9e6a-aef378332ef2
- Chicken Noodle Soup http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/chicken-noodle-soup-with-a-freezer-friendly-twist/
- Freezer Veggie Burgers http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/freezer-veggie-burgers
- Dump Chicken http://aprongirls.blogspot.com/2009/08/dump-chicken.html
- White Chicken Chili http://recipesthatcrock.com/white-chicken-chili/
- Freezer Chili http://www.cozycountryliving.com/freezer-chili/
Things to keep in mind when freezing meals ahead of time:
- Double recipes if you can to make meal planning easy for you now, too! Eat one tonight, save one for later.
- LABEL! LABEL! LABEL! Frozen food does keep for a long time, but you’ll want to date your bags/glass dishes/foil containers appropriately. And be sure to include the directions directly on the bag!
- Variety is important. You don’t want to get tired of your freezer meals or you won’t use them. Remember to switch it up enough so no recipe becomes stale.
- Take advantage of grocery meat specials to be even more cost-effective. Find recipes that cater to the sales. Freezer meals can save money too - more $$$ for that college fund!
Try to focus on nutrition and ease when preparing your postpartum meals. I don't recommend recipes with a lot of steps in preparation, or with a ton of ingredients. Think simple and fast. A little effort now will keep you from stressing about meals later, and give you more time to focus on what really matters‒that little bundle who thinks you are one Powerful Mama!