When I was pregnant, one of the best things I did to prepare for our baby was to make a bunch of freezer meals. They really come in handy in the early newborn days, when you are too busy to cook. It’s also so wonderful to give your body comforting, nutritious food as you recover from birth. When I went into labor, I actually pulled one of my freezer meals out to defrost in the fridge. After two days of hospital food, it was bliss to come home and dig in to a big bowl of homemade soup!
Here are some of the things that worked best for our family:
Soup was by far the most freezer friendly item I made. It is quick to make, easy to defrost, and maintains its texture and flavor nicely. If you are not vegan or vegetarian, making your soups with bone broth gives them excellent healing properties for your postpartum recovery.
2. Curries and stews
Similar to soup in their freezer compatibility, curries and stews make for a comforting meal. I made a big batch of Chana Masala and also froze baggies of individually portioned cooked rice. Both microwave well.
A wise mama told me to make plenty of hand held items among my freezer meals. Why? Because the golden rule of motherhood is that you’ll never have two hands to do anything ever again! On that note, make the burritos a little smaller than usual, so you can eat it with one hand without it falling apart all over the baby nursing in your lap. Just saying.
4. Snacks, snacks, snacks!
Speaking of nursing, it makes you hungry! Plan on eating a lot of snacks. Muffins, bars, and cookie dough bites (aka protein balls) all work well in the freezer. And if they are made with oats, they’ll be great for your milk supply!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many burgers I’ve eaten since having my daughter. I’ve got it down to an exact 30 minute science. Oven at 400 degrees, diced potatoes + grape seed oil + S&P on a sheet pan in the oven for 10 minutes, then burgers join them for an additional 20. Toss a couple buns in the toaster, slice some toppings and supper is DONE.
6. Falafel & Bean Balls
Made into a pita or wrap, or eaten on their own as a snack, falafel are fantastic because you can take a few out of the freezer and have them ready to eat in about 2 minutes in the microwave. Bean balls are a nice way to add some protein to a simple bowl of pasta and jarred marinara sauce.
Besides the above suggestions, I also have a few Do’s and Don’t s that I learned along the way.
DO label things. You will be surprised how much you may forget when pregnancy brain and sleep deprivation are at play. It’s also a lot faster to find what you are looking for when everything is labeled.
DO make most things individually portioned. Yes, it may be nice to have an entire pot of chili to serve throughout the week, but most of the time you will probably want to just heat up a bowl of something to eat.
DO stock up on store bought snacks as well. Before my due date, I went on a shopping spree at Costco and bought pretty much every non perishable snack they have! Coconut macaroons, Lara bars, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, and chocolate. All the chocolate!!!
DON’T go overboard. I made about 12 different meals (4-6 servings each) plus a bunch of miscellaneous stuff. I ended up having a lot of it sit in the freezer for months. In reality, you probably won’t want to eat defrosted food all day every day for weeks on end.
DON’T tackle it all at once. Rest while you are pregnant! You won’t have the chance to again for another 18 years. Haha! Aim to freeze one or two recipes a week. Even if you only end up making a single pot of soup, it will help you out when you first bring that little bubba home.