Are you expecting a new baby soon? Whether it is your first or your fourth, it pays to be prepared. One of the best things parents can do to get ready for a new baby is stock the freezer.
That's right - setting up the nursery can wait!
Once you bring home the new baby, you will be surprised how quickly taking care of yourself becomes an after thought. Who knows when the last time you made it to the grocery store was and you can't live on take-out alone.
This is why it's a great idea to have several freezer meals all ready to go. All you have to do is remember to put them in the oven!
Some of the meals require advance prep and others are just toss and freeze. For the advance prep ones, you can start assembling them the month before your due date by either prepping on a Sunday afternoon or doubling the recipe so you have half now and half later. However you decide to do it, this is one area where it really pays to plan ahead.
So, without further ado, here are our favorite freezer meals for new parents:
Easy Baked Mac-n-Cheese:
This is one you can assemble up until the final step and then package for the freezer. Or you could make a double batch for dinner tonight and freeze the leftovers.
Slow-Cooker Balsamic Pork Roast:
This is one of our favorites and even though the recipe is not specific to a freezer meal, it is easy to convert this into one.
Here's what you'll need to do: In a gallon-sized freezer bag, add all of the liquid ingredients and seasoning first and shake to combine. Then add the pork on top of that so when you're ready to dump in the crock-pot, the pork goes in first. You will need to pull this out of the freezer and thaw it in the fridge the day before. Once it's thawed, simply follow the cooking instructions listed in the recipe.
Come on, we couldn't do a postpartum meals list without baked ziti. It's a classic. And this is a delicious recipe.
This is comfort food at it's best. And let's be honest, even if you are normally an incredibly healthy eater, there will be times during your postpartum recovery where you just need some delicious, warm comfort food to see you through. Indulge with this one.
Ham and Navy Bean Soup:
This last one is Doulas of Raleigh Co-Owner, Kelly Rutan's own delicious recipe. It was a meal she made-ahead before the arrival of her first child in 2009 and fondly remembers eating (or rather, scarfing down before the baby woke up from his nap) during that postpartum time.
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c. chopped carrots
- 6 c. water
- 1 tsp Better than Bouillon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Pinch of cloves
- Ham hock or ham bone
Soak dried beans in water overnight. Drain and rinse.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large stock pot. Add onion and saute until tender. Add garlic, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add carrots, saute 5 minutes. Add navy beans to pot along with remaining ingredients through cloves. Stir. Bring to a boil.
Add ham bone and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours or until beans are tender. Remove ham bone and bay leaves, discard.
This recipes makes a lot of soup, so you can have some now and freeze the rest for later.
And here's the best part - if this sounds overwhelming for you, then you need a postpartum doula.
Yes, postpartum doulas do that! We are happy to work with you on meal planning and meal prep and even stock your freezer with a ton of healthy meals to see you through those first months of life with a new baby.