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Ask the Expert: Finding Time to Cook When You Have a New Baby, Plus a Cookbook Giveaway!

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New moms and dads pay a lot of attention to how much and how often their baby is eating. But when you're sleep deprived and juggling the needs of a newborn, making time to plan and cook your own meals (or even grab a snack!) can feel like an impossible task.

Food blogger, cookbook author and mom Debbie Koenig knows all too well what it's like to be a frazzled, hungry new parent. When her son was born, Debbie realized she needed to come up with new strategies and recipes to make it easy to prepare healthy meals for herself and her husband - and eventually for their baby, as he started to eat solid foods. Her ideas were so great, she turned them into a cookbook: Parents Need to Eat, Too.

Do you want to learn how to prep dinner during baby's naptime? How to stock your pantry so you'll always be able to make a fast, delicious and healthy meal? Would you like to know her recipe for the best-ever chocolate chip cookies? (A must for every new mom, in my opinion!)

Debbie will be here all next week to answer your questions about cooking when you have a baby in your arm and hardly any time to spare. But you can start asking questions today!

PLUS every mom who asks a question will be entered to win one of three copies of Parents Need to Eat, Too!

Thank you for joining us, Debbie! 

The Official Rules
To enter the this contest, reply to this post. Click on the 'reply to post' button at the top (or bottom) of that post. When the text box opens, add your reply. Once you've added your reply, click on the "Add Reply' button.

  • Posts must be made between Thursday, February16 at 4pm EST and Friday, February 24 at 11:59 pm EST.  
  • This contest will end on Friday, February 24 at 11:59 pm EST. 
  • Three winners will be selected randomly.
  • The winners will be posted on this thread and will be notified via CafeMom PM.
  • Multiple replies are allowed and will increase your chances of winning.
  • Prizes are only available to members who live in the US or Canada (excluding Quebec).
  • Three winners will receive a copy of the cookbook Parents Need to Eat, Too
by on Feb. 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM
Replies (91-100):
by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

KaylaMillar, when I'm looking for healthy, can't miss, and easy, I almost always turn to pasta. Whole grain, plus whatever vegs I can roast while it's cooking. I call it Hail Mary Pasta

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM

 hey hun!!  ok i have a big problem lol.. My husband is the worst picky eater!! EVER!! he dont eat left overs unless he don know they r left overs.  he eats no sausage. n nothing that looks wierd. What else is bad is im a horrible cook!!  this leave us with spaghetti and pork chops!!!  i have been tryin chicken and rice..  he hate veggies! i try to force him to eat lots of salad to be healthy..  but its hard!!  we have lots of sides dishes (u know the easy prepare things in the bag)  and veggies  chicken  rice  n plain noodles!!  the healthier the better i like to keep my family away from the extra unhealthy stuff !!  HELP this 25 yr old new mom!! my son is 5 months old btw lol i will buy anythin if its fast and maybe DH wil eat it!!

Quoting DebbieKoenig:

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for inviting me to CafeMom--I love this site! 

So, what's happening in your kitchen right now? I'm heading out to Trader Joe's soon--that place is a godsend to busy parents...

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM

What food allergies are you dealing with? My youngest DD has lots of severe food allergies so we have to avoid a lot of foods for her. I don't have one particular place that I find my recipes, but maybe I can point you in the right direction if I know what you are looking for. =)

Quoting corrinacs:

Thank you so much :).

I would love resources for quick and easy meals while navigating food allergies at the same time.  Do you have any good resources for this so that I'm not doing as much "sifting"?

Also, a great resource for substitutions.  What is your "go-to" guide for when you cannot use butter, etc.  I'm always asking these ladies here and I"m sure they are just like KNOCK IT OF LOL :)

Thank you :)

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

 Hi Debbie. :)  

What are some of the products that you consider life savers and keep stocked up on?  Would you have any tips on quick and easy snacks for parents that are always on the move? 

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedual to helps us moms out.  :)

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM
1 mom liked this

I love this post! I don't have a question right now, but I have been finding lots of helpful hints in the replies. Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for us. =)

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM

4kidz916 I'm with you on the Big Batch love! Here are some of my secrets--lots more in the book, in the Big Batch Bonanza chapter:

  • Freeze in meal-sized portions, so you don't have to waste time defrosting large hunks of food
  • If you're making a double-sized casserole, bake in two small dishes instead of one large one. Then you can freeze the entire second dish!
  • Use resealable freezer bags to save room in the freezer
  • LABEL EVERYTHING: what it is, when you put it in, when it should be used by
  • Follow the first in, first out rule: Whatever's been in there longest is what you should eat next
by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:05 PM

sunshinepraying, smoothies are easy & flexible! Just use some frozen fruit (bananas are fab because they're so sweet naturally), yogurt, and milk to thin it. Some actual recipes:

Chocolatey Banana Almond

Master Smoothie Recipe

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

 What is the best tasting, quick and easy vegetable to roast that is great with egg noodle pasta?  My family loves pasta, so I have to have a variety of pasta on hand. lol :)

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

nicki.hemingway, around here (in NYC) almost every natural foods store has Spectrum Organic shortening. It works great!

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 2:07 PM

nicki.hemingway, around here (in NYC) almost every natural foods store has Spectrum Organic shortening. It works great!

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