One thing I really took for granted before I had kids was TIME! I had so much time to do all sorts of fun things…like feed myself, haha! Before my first daughter was born, I froze a few dinner meals and lots of healthy muffins. Those freezer meals saved my life during the newborn days! I slept when my newborn slept, so when I woke up with her, I was starving! Guess what? She was too! So I’d feed her and try to shove something in my mouth — if I hadn’t had all those muffins in the freezer, I would have been eating whatever I could scrape together with one hand while I held her with my other arm (boxed cereal, anyone?). While that does work, it usually means eating less nutritious, more processed foods. And what time do we moms need to be eating cleaner and more nutritious than during pregnancy and breastfeeding?! Postpartum freezer meals are one of those things you will be so thankful you did ahead of time. And if you don’t have a baby on the way, make some freezer meals anyway! (Better yet, make some and give them to a pregnant mom you know!) Time blocking by making so many meals at once will save you a lot of time in the future, since you don’t have to get out all the ingredients again, wash dishes, etc.
(That dirty spot on the bottom of my freezer is making my nesting hormones freak out! Let me go scrub that clean…) This time around as Annabelle’s arrival nears, I’m prepping even more food in the freezer. Come take a peek!
I like to keep it simple by making large amounts of just a few recipes. That way I’m using the same ingredients (instead of sourcing like 100 different ingredients) and the same bowls/measurements/utensils while I prep.
- Lentil Turkey Quinoa Muffins (from the Fitnessista’s book, HIIT It! I’ve linked a similar recipe from her blog)
- Veggie Egg Muffins (Similar to this recipe. You can add any veggies you want! I used broccoli.)
- Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins (I had to make another batch to eat right away! These are delicious!)
- Pumpkin Energy Balls
- Leftover chili and acorn squash filling from dinners where we had extra
- one Chicken Pot Pie – my “tradition” is to eat one after giving birth because it’s so cozy and nourishing! I’ll post the recipe in a separate post within a week, but I just threw it together and I don’t remember everything! This is a big improvement for me, because a few years ago I was still a religious recipe follower and wouldn’t have trusted my instincts to make anything without following directions.
- Thanksgiving leftovers are going right in the freezer, too! OK, so these won’t be the most nutritious foods possible, but they are homemade! That’s a huge step above processed freezer meals.
- Smoothie preps: To a ziplock bag, add 1.25 c. fresh or frozen fruit, 2-3 T. ground flaxseed, 1 serving of plant-based protein powder, and a handful of kale or spinach. When ready to use, dump in blender and add 1 2/3 c. almond milk or water and a splash of orange juice. TMI, but that flaxseed can really make it easier to use the restroom after having a baby and everything is swollen down there! I was totally unprepared for that the first time around, so I tried flaxseed on a whim and it helped so much.
I’m also looking for more recipes like Stupid Easy Slow Cooker Chicken that are so fast there’s no way I won’t be able to put it in the slow cooker in the morning during those newborn days.
On another note, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week; we have so much to be grateful for <3 I’m excited to host Thanksgiving at our house this year – time to work on that pumpkin pie!
What was your favorite meal you prepped before giving birth? What recipes are on your list to freeze next time you make freezer meals?