Zoey’s original due date was slated for July 10, which meant Rob would have only one week with her before heading back to work for the school year. Rob’s return to teaching made me really nervous as I would be home on my own with a one week old as a new mom.
As a result of this, I wanted to be sure the freezer was stocked with pre-made meals, so not only would I be able to eat throughout the day, but Rob would have something to eat when he got home from work.
I spent some time on Pinterest researching various non-pasta freezer meals, types of things to make (go with one handed items!), and creating an epic shopping list. The weekend before Zoey made her appearance (three weeks early – you can read her birth story here), I spent two days cooking. By the end of the weekend, I had these things in the freezer and ready to go.
(It’s worth mentioning that I do not own a crockpot.)
- Banana Nut Bread Muffins
- Summer Minestrone Soup
- Healthy Blueberry Muffins
- Egg and Sausage Burritos
- Homemade Ham and Cheese Pockets
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Spinach Balls
- Momma Energy Bites
- Cheesy Taco Bake
- Turkey Meatballs
- Stuffed Peppers
- Smoothie Packs
- Lasagna – from my mom
- Church’s Chicken Casserole – from my mom
Even though it took a while, I am so incredibly glad I spent the time to fill our freezer. In those first few months of limited sleep, constant attention, and new mom worries, it was a relief to not think about preparing food. I could just throw a burrito in the microwave for a few minutes and breakfast was ready to go! Or, I could grab a few energy bites and get back to feeding and snuggling Zoey.
My mom also helped stock the freezer when she came down for Zoey’s baby shower. She flew across the country with four lasagnas and four of her go-to chicken casseroles. Plus, a few weeks after Zoey was born, a few of my friends brought over pre-made meals and added to our easy-to-make stash.
If you’re on the fence about preparing meals ahead of time, I highly recommend it. You might not need them every night, but they become a lifesaver on the nights you do.
A few tips before you get started:
- Use disposable serving trays. You’re not going to want to do dishes!
- Choose meals you will actually eat and know you like
- Go with as much one-handed food as possible
- Pick a variety of meals you can eat throughout the day – breakfast, dinner, snacks
- Make bigger portions than you need. Then you can cook once and eat it again for lunch or dinner the next day.
- Freeze soups into muffin tins so you can have smaller and larger portions as needed
- Date and label everything. Don’t forget to include the cooking directions!
Happy pre-baby cooking!
What are your favorite freezer meals?1