When you’re pregnant, it’s hard to know where to focus your nesting instincts. With all the things you have to do, adding meals to your freezer in the weeks before you deliver can be a lifesaver. When you plan ahead, freezer meals are easy to reheat and can be a delicious and healthy alternative to eating out in the weeks after having a baby. Even if you know you’ll have help from friends and family after your baby is born, having freezer meals in place will extend the time you have to recover postpartum before you jump back into cooking meals.
Here’s how to stock your freezer with meals before your baby comes.
Whether you’re planning to make 20 freezer meals or five, you’ll need to do a few things before you can get started.
- Gather supplies. You’ll need freezer-safe containers or baggies to store your meals or meal components. Get a sharpie so you can easily label what you’ve made.
- Choose your recipes. In most cases, it’s a good idea to choose recipes you already know and love. You can pre-prepare just certain parts of these recipes (like meats) or you can prepare whole recipes for freezing.
- Decide how many meals you’ll cook at a time. Being 30+ weeks pregnant may limit how many meals you can realistically cook in one sitting. Consider grouping your meals into sessions that will make your life easier. For example, cook several pounds of shredded chicken for things like taquitos or chicken noodle soup. If that still sounds overwhelming, simply double your recipe on nights you do make dinner. Eat half for dinner and freeze the other half.
- Clean out your freezer so it’s ready for all of those freezer meals.
Need a few more tips for your freezer meals?
- Keep a list of meals you put into the freezer. On the list, write down any additional needed ingredients (such as fresh produce like tomatoes and lettuce) so friends and family who are helping can pick things up and add them to the meal. Tape the list to the front of your freezer.
- Eat your meals within three months.
Cooking freezer meals in the weeks before your baby is due will make your life easier in the weeks (or months) after the birth of your baby. It just takes a little planning and work and you’ll be ready to spend time with your baby instead of cooking.