Pre-baby Meal Prep
Lots of people ask me what the best thing is to buy for someone when they have a newborn baby. My answer is always the same.
Even then, you don’t have to buy something – you can make it! Babies get given so many things when they’re born and none of it is really all that necessary. But what is necessary is making sure Mum and the rest of the family are fed.
I am a bit of a planner and like to have meals in the freezer ready to go for when I got into labour. It’s nice to know that neither hubby nor I need to think about food for the first few weeks when bub is here.
This time around I’m aiming to have about 3 weeks worth of meals in the freezer. I’m hopeful that some friends and family may deliver the odd meal, and if we need easy meals, we can always have spaghetti on toast, or buy pre-made pies, pizzas, quiche, pasta & pasta sauce etc from the supermarket, that take no time at all to heat up. While I’d love to eat healthy post-baby, being fed is also the main goal.
Some meals reheat better than others – I know what I like and what my kids will eat so here’s what I’m making.
This is just a packet mix, and we will cook rice on the day.
Bacon & Egg Pie
My longtime go-to for a quick meal. Puff pastry, diced onion and bacon, crack some eggs and mix it around, and pastry on the top.
This recipe is basically what I make (but I always buy pre made sheets)
Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie
I use a recipe from the 100 meals for $10 or Less book from Destitute Gourmet / Sophie Gray. It’s my fave!
I used the mince from the lasagne and then mashed kumara and put it on top.
Hubby is the nacho man in our house, so he’s done a mince mix full of beans and veges ready to pull out for nachos!
Spag Bowl Mince
Keep it simple. Spag bowl is such an easy meal but make it child friendly if you have other kids at home. Again I used a Pepper and Me Club recipe.
Fun fact, I never make soup. I just don’t ever think of it for a meal! But if someone places a hot bowl of soup in front of me, I will demolish it. My Mum makes brilliant soup though so she’s making us a pot to freeze in smaller containers for lunch. Don’t want to make it? Buy some in the pouches from the supermarket and freeze those!
Another Pepper & Me Club beauty that I’ve found is for Corn, Potato and Ham chowder. I also love a good Chicken & Corn Chowder. Either way, Mum will be making this one too!
Beef Casserole (or Stew)
There’s 2 ways I’ve found to do this. Either make the casserole and then freeze it, or put all the raw ingredients (including veges etc) into a freezer bag, and then on cooking day, empty the whole bag into a slow cooker and let it do it’s thing. Either way – time saver!
I do a super basic mac n cheese. Cook the macaroni in a pot. Fry up onion and bacon in a fry pan. Cook a cheese sauce (just your stock standard butter, flour, milk, grated cheese) and mix together. The cheese sauce I used for this was the same as the lasagna – so I did this, the lasagna and the shepherds pie all on the same day.
We have pulled pork often at home. We make a big batch, freeze it in smaller portions and then mostly use it in wraps. But it would be easy to also just have with rice, in roti bread, bao buns, burgers, whatever you like!
Similar concept to the Pulled Pork but I found a delicious recipe from VJ Cooks for Honey BBQ Pulled Chicken. Again it’s been frozen into smaller portions to use for a variety of meals.
Another VJ Cooks winner – delicious, super easy and being sausages I can almost guarantee my kids will eat it!
We often include baking in the kids lunchboxes, so prior to baby arriving I like to make banana bread or muffins (good old Edmonds recipes) to have in the freezer to pull out. Again, just buys us some time.
Some of these meals will need adding to on the day – we might need to cook some mash or rice to go with it, or get a bag of coleslaw and tortillas to make wraps etc. Overall though, it helps to streamline those first few weeks so we don’t have to think about what to cook – we can just pull something out the freezer and away we go!
I’d love to hear your favourite freezer meals or quick and easy post-baby meals too!