When you are a mom-in-waiting, your thoughts are naturally filled with prep for your baby’s arrival. Shopping for cribs, buggies and clothing will be top of your list along with getting your home ready for the new arrival. There is another thing you can do that is important – freeze plenty of food to see you through the first few weeks postpartum. Getting the best nutrition is essential for moms after birth to help with healing and the production of breast milk, and preparing some freezer meals for new moms can definitely help.
If you’re not prepared and your partner isn’t a dab-hand in the kitchen (or even if they are, you’d rather both spend time with the new baby), do yourself a huge favor and fill the freezer with delicious and healthy meals. When you are a mom-in-waiting, your thoughts are naturally filled with prep for your baby’s arrival. Shopping for cribs, buggies and clothing will be top of your list along with getting your home ready for the new arrival.
There is another thing you can do that is important – freeze plenty of food to see you through the first few weeks postpartum. Getting the best nutrition is essential for moms after birth to help with healing and the production of breast milk. If you’re not prepared and your partner isn’t a dab-hand in the kitchen, do yourself a huge favor and fill the freezer with delicious and healthy meals.
- 1 When to start preparing freezer meals for new moms
- 2 How much food do you need to freeze?
- 3 Do I need to stock up on freezer containers?
- 4 What sort of food is best as freezer meals for new moms?
- 5 Frozen breakfast ideas for new moms
- 6 Lunch ideas that will freeze
- 7 Evening freezer meals for new moms
- 8 Other things to freeze for ease
- 9 The Bottom Line
When to start preparing freezer meals for new moms
Most homemade food can stay in the freezer for 3 months before it needs to be used up. So you can start prepping as you enter into the last trimester. Don’t set yourself an overwhelming task to complete in one sitting, just start to prepare a few meals a week as you go. If you are making a favorite dish, such as your world-famous pasta bake, cook up a double portion and pop one in the freezer for later.
How much food do you need to freeze?
You don’t need to have enough food for months, but it’s good advice to have at least 2 weeks’ worth tucked away. Don’t underestimate how tiring it is caring for a newborn baby. Waking for night feeds takes its toll fairly quickly. If you have breakfast, lunch and dinner all ready to go, you will not only eat well, but you can have a little time to rest when you get the opportunity. Of course, if you can manage 3 or 4 weeks’ worth of dinners frozen and waiting, then you will be ahead of the game.
Do I need to stock up on freezer containers?
There are lots of options when it comes to containers. One of the easiest is Ziploc bags. They take up very little room and can be lined up side-by-side. The clear plastic is easy to see through so you can identify what’s inside straight away. And you can rewash them if they have not contained raw meat or eggs – you just need dish soap and hot water the same as you do if washing Tupperware. Of course, if you have plenty of room in your freezer, and a ready supply of Tupperware-style containers, then don’t hesitate to use them.
What sort of food is best as freezer meals for new moms?
Although you should consume a wide range of vitamins and around 70 to 80 grams of protein daily, the most important thing is to have enough calories. You need around 2,000 calories each day, with 450 more if you are breastfeeding.
Freeze the sort of food you know you will want to eat. Don’t prepare spinach-packed meals if you doubt you will consume it. Try to have extra veggies most days but don’t make yourself miserable – the weeks after childbirth is not the time to be tough on yourself.
Frozen breakfast ideas for new moms
Breakfast should not be skipped, it sets you up for the day ahead. Reaching for muesli and yogurt won’t take a moment, but have a few other options ready in your freezer to change things up.
- Frozen pancakes are easy to freeze and take just a little prep. Make your homemade pancakes as usual but let them cool and then freeze them on a baking sheet individually. As soon as they are frozen, stack them together in your chosen container. Just heat them when needed and add blueberries or bananas to get some of your 5 a day.
- Whole wheat banana muffins can be batch cooked and frozen individually, and they are great if you have to eat on the run.
- Frozen smoothie packs are small portions of goodness that you just add to milk in the blender and blitz. Buy the fruit, kale and flaxseed you need for a super healthy smoothie and divide it into lots of little combos ready for use. Freeze quickly.
Lunch ideas that will freeze
Lunch might not happen at the usual time when you have a new baby to care for, but have something tasty in the freezer anyway.
- Soups are always a great thing to make at home and freeze. Pack in those veggies, make a large pot and then divide into smaller portions. Make a few different flavors of soup over a couple of weeks to give yourself a choice later.
- Burritos freeze well and you can load them with bell peppers, beans and tomatoes before the cheese goes in.
- Mac and cheese that is homemade and divided into small lunchtime portions can go into the freezer. To make it healthier, add in broccoli when you cook it and use less pasta.
Evening freezer meals for new moms
Dinner is normally the main one of the day so it’s nice to have something yummy to look forward to. Luckily, there is a lot of options when it comes to freezing dinners.
- Minced beef meals are made for freezing, and if you fry up onion, garlic, meat and tomatoes, you have the base for a wide range of dishes. Portion this and add it when you’re ready to freshly cooked pasta, baked potato, rice or tacos with salsa, cheese or any number of other alternatives.
- Portion all the raw ingredients required for a crockpot meal and freeze these individually. When you feel like a casserole, curry or herb chicken, you simply tip the frozen contents into the slow cooker and let it do its thing.
- Chicken kebabs make a great treat and they can be cooked on the stove or barbecue. Cube the chicken, add the rub or marinade and freeze in a bag. Defrost before use, skewer and add salad or veggies.
Other things to freeze for ease
Bread is great to pop in the freezer, and you can take slices out one at a time when you need them and make toast, or fix a sandwich that will defrost in your lunch box. Bagels are nice to freeze, just remember to split them first, and then you can grill or toast them straight away. If you like mashed potato as a side, make up a large batch and freeze portions of it ready to heat in the microwave. Most kinds of milk can be frozen so stock up and forget about trips to the grocery store for a little while.
The Bottom Line
Make the most of your time before your baby is born. Preparing a choice of great food ahead of time will stop you from reaching for junk food and takeaways when you are tired. It will also save you money.
Healthy choices at mealtime help you heal and they generally make you feel better. If you have all the nutrients you need, it tends to mean you will snack less too. Start adding to the freezer in plenty of time – you never know what unexpected things might happen during your pregnancy. An early baby might through your plans into chaos, but having meals in the freezer ready means you’ll have one less thing to think about.