One of the hardest things for me, when I came home with a new baby (especially with the second, third, and fourth children) was finding the time and energy to cook dinner for our family. Soon after coming home from the hospital, I wasn’t physically able to stand up for long periods of time. I didn’t have the energy to prepare a healthy, substantial meal after staying up with a newborn all night, and I rarely had both hands available to cook, even if I wanted to, because during those first weeks, I was holding a baby more than I wasn’t. The solution, and the thing I love to do with girlfriends that are getting ready to give birth, was to prepare freezer meals ahead of time, and literally fill the freezer with them.
There are so many meals that you can prepare big batches of and freeze….a search online will bring up dozens of websites devoted to them. When you need to make dinner, you can simply pull it out of the freezer and reheat it. Things like casseroles are perfect for this, and you can make them exactly how your family likes them, saving you time and energy every evening when you’d rather not eat sandwiches or order pizza for the fifth night in a row.
The easiest way to fill the freezer is to make those meals for your family while you’re still pregnant, but make extra. If you’re making a pan of lasagna, just make two together: cook one for that night, and freeze the other. Maybe the next night, you can have enchiladas and do the same thing. The next night, double your chili recipe and fill up a freezer bag full of it. Before you know it, you’ve got stacks of meals in the freezer, ready to go for when your hands are full and your energy tank is empty. Or, you can spend an afternoon stocking up on ingredients and putting all of them together at once. I’ve even made a girls’ day out of it, putting together freezer meals for several hours with a girlfriend. The time passes and the stockpile adds up quickly, and before you know it, you’re ready for that baby to come.
Spending several hours (or making extras in the weeks before) allows you to relax once your baby is born, focus on healing from the birth, and spend a little time on yourself instead of slaving over a hot stove every night.
What are your favorite freezer meals? Have you ever stockpiled them in preparation for a birth?
Photo by Elkeflorida via iStock