The One Food Prep Secret I Wish I Knew Before My First Baby Arrived

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Cheese and crackers. Cereal.

That’s pretty much what my meals consisted of the first time I arrived home with a newborn.

Although I was lucky enough to have my mom in town for two weeks to cook and clean prior to that, once she had to go and the hubby was working all day, I needed to figure out a way to nourish myself (quickly!) so I could return to baby duties or (ahem) nap time!  So these “meals” were all I had to resort to.

food prep secret after baby arrives

But I wish I had known about an ingenious food prep secret that would have made my life much easier (not to mention healthier considering I was a nursing mother with multiple nutritional needs).

That secret? Preparing meals in ADVANCE and FREEZING them!! Sounds so simple, but NEVER crossed my mind before…until I stumbled on a few blogs that had amazing meal planning ideas for those first few weeks when you don’t have time to cook for yourself.  Seriously this is a HUGE time saver!

One thing to note about freezing meals however, is to clearly label each container with food and date so you can easily identify each. You’ll be on little-to-no sleep when grabbing them from the fridge, so best to make things easier for yourself.  I’d also recommend that you take your time when preparing these meals as to not overwhelm yourself — usually cooking one extra meal a week to freeze works well.

I’ve rounded up some favorite meals from around the web for expectant moms to consider; these are made fresh, and can then be frozen and easily prepared on the stove or oven once dinner time comes!

Chicken Enchiladas

Skinny-chicken-enchiladas

Saucy Chicken Broccoli

saucy chicken broccoli

Black Bean Burgers

skinny-black-bean-burgers

 

Three-Cheese Spaghetti

spaghetti

Sausage and Sorrel Quiche

quiche

How did you handle meal time post-pregnancy?  Any favorite recipes to share?

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Comments

  1. Even better – when someone else makes them for you! All those people who say, “What can we do to help?” tell them! Most people really do want to help. Let them know a meal you can freeze for when you need it would be super helpful (and maybe someone to watch the baby while you shower or nap, but that might be pushing it! lol!)

    • Yes!! I wish those people who offered help would really do things like that! It’s hard to just come out and ask them to cook for you, but next time someone brings it up I won’t be as shy to request it this time around :)!

  2. I agree with Emma! The first two weeks I was back home with my baby, people from church brought us meals. It was awesome! That being said, I have heard about the freezing meals for later but I just never got around to it.

  3. I hear you! When I was pregnant with our second child, I was like a momma squirrel storing food away for winter. I wish I had done that more the first time around! In general, though, when I’m making something that freezes well, I like to double or quadruple it. It’s not a lot more effort at the time than it is to make it once and now you can have three more meals (or more with leftovers!) in the freezer.

  4. AMEN to this! I didn’t think or know to do this with my first, and it was a nightmare. I could not put that baby down and on the days my husband had to go into work I literally did not eat until he got home…I was just so stressed! For Baby #2, I asked both my mom and my MIL to make me a bunch of food and we freezed it all and it was a lifesaver…truly, it made the second newborn baby’s newborn stage SO MUCH EASIER.

    Thanks for linking up to Wordy Wednesday – pinning this! 🙂

  5. I am also a HUGE fan of freezing meals ahead of time. My favorite frozen meal is chicken enchiladas, so I am glad it made the list. It seems to taste better than if you just ate it fresh for some reason! While it may not be homemade, I have also found that using a food saver to freeze purchased foods from Costco that can simply be thawed and eaten later has saved me in a pinch. Whatever works, so that you can have some form of non-processed nutrition in about 5 min. maximum prep time! 🙂

  6. You know, it’s funny. I do not even remember eating for the first 6 months of my daughter’s life. Lol! Freezing meals is a great idea though.

  7. Ana, I can’t really recall that far back {our kids are 22, 13 and 12} but I do know that freezing food like all our protein, berries for smoothies, even spinach and kale helps keep food fresh and easy access. I love cutting and chopping all veggies to store in the fridge so easy to grab and go or snack. This also helps us make healthier choices with food, since it is so easy and ready. 🙂

  8. I totally agree we had a lot of cereal, grilled cheeses as well as ordered in a lot when we first brought our little one home in January. I made a few meals and froze them prior to our little one arriving which included chili, tortilla soup and pesto (for chicken pesto pasta). I wish I had made more … we ran out of frozen meals extremely quickly!

  9. Ana, my mom helped a lot too. Our church is great about sending meals to families who do not have it covered but I think your tip on freezing is the best. That way you have what you know you and your husband will eat!

    This is a great tip for anytime that you know there is going to be a scheduling crunch. Baby’s arrival for sure but even when there is a big family event that you are hosting like a graduation or wedding or even a known hospital stay coming up. Pinning it and sharing on G+!
    Sinea Pies recently posted…Growing Circles Hop HASHTAG Party is LIVEMy Profile

  10. Visiting from #GrowingCirclesHop. Thanks for this post and the great recipes – I especially can’t wait to try the Black Bean Burgers.
    Susan – ofeverymoment recently posted…A Thrifty Idea and a Few Suggestions Worth RepeatingMy Profile

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  1. […] has time to cook after a long day and little to no-sleep? Not a new mom. Freeze your meals in advance so that come dinner time all you have to do is […]

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