Some women like to clean and organize. I’m more of a cook. But I am human. And cooking at 9 months pregnant and immediately after a baby is not easy. So when nesting hit me at the end of my last pregnancy, I was focused on FOOD! Let me share with you some ideas that helped me stock up my freezer and cupboards with easy to grab snacks and meals.
Easy to eat snacks for energy when breastfeeding:
- Apples and Almond Butter
- Dates and Almonds
- Chocolate Milk!
- Instant Oatmeal
- Raw Energy Bites (As a bonus, this recipe helps with milk production)
- Carrots and Hummus
- Cashews and other nuts
- Buy some disposable foil casserole pans. Make one lasagna (for example) in your regular pan to eat right away and a second in the disposable pan to freeze.
- For a round up of dishes that freeze well, please see my recent post “The Best Meals to Freeze Before Baby Arrives” featuring Pomegranate Lamb Moussaka, and other unexpected meals to put up.
Ask for meals instead of presents.
- My second Baby Bird was also a girl, and I seriously didn’t need any more pink clothes or gear. So I asked my friends, if they wanted to give me something, make a meal and either bring it to me ahead of time to freeze or after the baby comes.
- Get over any hang-ups about asking! In my work as a therapist, specializing in maternal mental health, I strive to empower mamas to ask directly for exactly what will make life easy for them. Don’t wait for someone to organize a meal train for you. If you do have a friend willing to do it, great, but go ahead and do it yourself! Schedule your friends days to bring you food. “Wanna hold the baby? Bring mama some lunch while we chat and/or a dinner for my family for that night!”
- Chop and prep all the ingredients for a recipe, including proteins and sauces, and place them in a gallon bag in the freezer. Tip: write what it is on the bag, along with simple instructions of what to add, if any, and how to cook it. For example, “Chicken lentil stew, add 1 quart chicken broth, cook 8 hours low in crockpot.” So easy, anyone helping out at your house could do it!
- My sister made me 8-10 bags like this when she came down when the baby was born. I liked throwing in at least one fresh ingredient at the last minute, like greens from the garden or a little cheese, to make it fresher.
- For more advice on this see “Baby Prep: Frozen Slow Cooker Meals” on Diapers N Heels.
Stock up on ingredients you already know how to use. What’s on your regular rotation?
- I make some version of this Chicken and Split Pea Stew almost once a week. So I stocked up on boneless, skinless chicken thighs when they were on sale and froze them. I also filled the cupboard with dried lentils, split peas and beans.
- Make it easy for others to cook. My husband likes to make spaghetti squash with meat sauce. Winter squashes keep well and we stocked the freezer with ground buffalo and beef. It was easy for him to brown the meat while the squash baked and throw it all together with tomato sauce I made during the summer.
- There’s nothing wrong with a few frozen pizzas. Trader Joes is great for pizza and other prepared stuff.
Think outside the box!
- How else can cooking be made easier? Can you repurpose a kitchen gadget you already own? Danielle from Simms Family Works recently shared “How to Make Oatmeal in a Rice Cooker.” We made it the other day and it turned out perfect!
For more suggestions on meals to freeze, check out my recent round up on Baby Birds Farm.
What ideas do you have for stocking up on food before baby comes?