All of the pre-baby advice I received was related to the lack of sleep or the ‘soak up every minute of it’ type of words of wisdom. One piece of advice that I don’t remember receiving much of, but so wish I did – you’ll forget to eat once baby gets here! Your days become a blur and you are so focused on feeding this new little baby, oftentimes your own meals get pushed to the wayside. The best thing you can do, or ask a family to help you with, is to prepare a stash of freezer meals before baby gets here, so once baby arrives you simply take them out of the freezer and heat them up.
You can make quite literally ANYTHING into a freezer meal, so pick and choose recipes that appeal to you and your partner’s taste buds, and get cooking. Some of these meals require a crock pot, which if you don’t have, I highly recommend, especially as you transition into motherhood! If you don’t have a crockpot, there are recipes here that can simply be reheated in the oven. Here is a list of delicious and easy freezer meals to help inspire you, as your prepare for your fourth trimester home with baby:
Freezer Breakfast Burrito
While you’re preparing freezer meals, don’t forget about breakfast – because while it is easy to just grab a granola bar and cup of coffee when you roll out of bed, your recovering body will thank you for something nutritious to start your day. Breakfast burritos are easy to prepare and heat up quickly, so you can have a well balanced meal in merely seconds. Make enough of these to last you a few weeks, so they are always on hand for not only breakfast, but also “breakfast for dinner” one night.
Another option when preparing breakfast foods is to make some breakfast sandwiches ahead of time and freeze. You can make a variety of options, so depending what you are in the mood for on a particular day, you have it available. I like this idea too, because breakfast sandwiches don’t take up much space in the freezer, so you will have room to prepare multiple meals for yourself.
While lasagna might take a little bit more time to prepare, when you are ready to take it out of the freezer to heat, all of the prep work is done. Between the meat, cheese and pasta noodles, lasagna can be well balanced and certainly filling. If you have the time and energy, you can even throw in some garlic bread to really complete the meal.
Slow Cooker Black Bean Corn Salsa Chicken
Not only is this easy to make, but it’s versatile because you can split the recipe into two bags and have two completely different meals. Once cooked in the crock pot, you can throw these in tortillas for taco night or over rice for a more casual meal. Garnish with fresh toppings if you’d like, but this freezer meal is filling all on its own.
Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki
Another crock pot meal to make those busy nights even easier. Split this recipe into two freezer bags when preparing, and you have dinner for two nights. Serve with rice and frozen veggies to make a complete well balanced meal, something that may be few and far between during those first few weeks!
Freezer Shepherd Pie
Shepherd’s pie is one of those meals that can encompass as much or as little variety as you’d like. Add a variety of vegetables and spices, or keep it simple. The choice is yours, but it is sure to be a nutritious and filling comfort meal when those long nights turn into long days and it is already time to eat dinner again.
Crockpot Pot Roast
This is another hearty meal that your body will thank you for preparing while you’re in that new parents daze. Double the recipe and create two separate bags, for two separate meals. Especially if you are having a baby in the winter, crockpot meals are perfect for those chilly days at home.
Black Bean & Quinoa Burrito
An excellent protein packed, vegetarian option! Prepare a few of these and throw them all in the freezer, then you have easy grab-and-go lunches or dinners as needed. You can even make each burrito slightly different, so you don’t get tired of having the same exact meal each time.
Quinoa Chickpea Meatballs
This is another great vegetarian option that can be used a few different ways. Add them to pasta, put on a roll as a sandwich, or eat them on their own with some added veggies for a delicious meal! When family members ask you what they can do to help in those months leading up to your due date, feel free to pass this recipe along – you will have enough to worry about, let someone else do some of the meal prep!
These meatloaf muffins are the perfect size to freeze a few together, and have multiple servings on hand. You may have a favorite meatloaf recipe already, consider splitting it into a muffin tin for smaller servings when freezing. Serve with veggies, maybe microwavable mashed potatoes and you have a quick, complete meal! Another great recipe to have family help you prepare before the baby arrives.
You might feel inspired by one or more of these recipes, and may go search for a recipe that is more aligned with ingredients you love. Whatever recipes you land on, I do really recommend preparing a few of them ahead of time. I did this, and even had help from family in preparing freezer meals, and it was unbelievably helpful during those first few weeks. We could barely get ourselves dressed and showered some days, so it was nice to know we had something healthy to eat!
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