My due date is just around the corner now-May 29th! And while it is getting harder to move and my energy levels are dwindling, I know now is the time to make sure I’m ready for those first couple of weeks of adjustment and chaos. Some of the best advice I have gotten from friends and family is to be sure to stock our freezer with meals and our fridge and pantry with easy to grab healthy snacks. I know by planning in advance, we will avoid eating a lot of take out food, which is better for us and baby, especially since I will be breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, remember that baby is essentially eating what you are eating! When freezer meals were suggested, I thought that will be easy, but my friends added a twist: make them meals you can eat one handed (assuming you will have a baby in arm). With that tip in mind, I brainstormed ideas that were easy to make and could freeze well.
My list for one handed entrees: muffins and mini quiches for breakfast, bean & cheese burritos, quesadillas, calzones, and whole grain sandwich bread (frozen in groups of 2 slices, ready to spread with nut butter or made into a grilled cheese). All of these entrees can be made in bulk, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, and then placed in a freezer bag.
I thought I would freeze some two handed meals as well, with hopes of actually sitting down and eating. What do I know? This is my fist kid 🙂 I plan to make some pasta dishes and salmon (omega 3’s for baby’s brain development!). I don’t normally purchase many frozen vegetables, but in this case, I will, to be able to complete our meals.
Moving on to the pantry and fridge, my list includes nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to eat as snacks and to make into trail mix and granola, yogurt, kefir & frozen fruit (for the freezer) to make smoothies, pre-sliced cheese, eggs (they cook super fast), nut butters, hummus, and fruits and vegetables with longer shelf lives (think apples, citrus, carrots, etc.). I wrote out a grocery shopping and cooking plan, trying to make one dish or part of a dish per day. An easier way to do this is to plan on eating what you are making that day for dinner! Also, if you have leftovers from any dinner that freeze well, go ahead and freeze them in single portions, even if it is just one meal.
One of the challenges is determining when to go grocery shopping. I don’t want to go too early, but if I wait to long, I might just not get the opportunity! Even though normally long expiration dates slightly disturb me, in this case, they will help a lot. For example, you can easily find yogurt with a shelf life of a month! I’ve actually already purchased some of the foods, and will probably stock up on the rest next week.
Definitely don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have the time to prepare this much food in advance, but I wanted to provide some ideas on what you can do to make life a little easier when baby comes home!
To YOUR Taste!