For my second baby, I took freezer prep even more seriously than the first time! The first time, I thought I made so much food, and then the pandemic happened, and my husband was home from work sharing all the food with me, and we didn’t have anyone dropping of meals, like you often have after having a baby [by the way, if you ever need a gift idea for a new parent, there is no better gift than food, or any service gift…cleaning, cooking, helping, babysitting…!], and we chose not to pick up food (as you probably remember, restaurants that were open were only open for pickup). So, the moral of that story is that what I thought was so much food didn’t last us very long. And although we, like many people, acquired a new found passion in exploring the kitchen at the start of the pandemic, I thought this time when a new baby came along with feeding myself nutrient-dense foods as well as my toddler, and having a husband out of town for work, the more food I could have stashed, the better. That being said, I think having food prepped no matter your situation is such a gift for your future postpartum self. So, let me tell you about what I did.
Who Gets To Eat It
I have to be honest, this time around, I chose to be a little bit “selfish” with the freezer food…breastfeeding makes you hungry, y’all! I told my husband that the freezer food is more for when I’m alone – to quickly pull out something to feed myself and my toddler. When my husband is home, he will help with dinner prep. Plus, when family is in town, they will help cook as well. I also treated myself to two weeks of a postpartum doula chef to make sure I get all my nutrients in delivered to my door. There are many services that do this if you live in the city, so do some research! I know it may not be financially-feasible for all, however, maybe it’s something you can add to your gift registry, or ask for at a baby shower. Like I said earlier, I think there is no greater gift than good food!
When Did I Make It?
I started making it mid-third trimester, so I could take my time making it, but also so that I would have all of it done no matter how early baby decided to make their appearance (not that my babies trend in that direction), and also not too late that I was in full nesting/relax mode. A great way to do it is to make something in a double or triple batch, so you can not only eat it that day for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but also store as much as you want in the freezer. Making one meal a day-ish, makes it feel not so daunting.
Why Is Freezer Prep So Important?
In fear of sounding like a broken record, there is no greater gift to your future postpartum self than food!! No matter how much you like making food, no matter how much help you have, and no matter how chill your baby is, it is still very much a time for recovering and soaking up time with your baby during that “fourth trimester.” Plus, freezer food doesn’t go bad very fast, so it will get enjoyed eventually!!
By the way, here’s some more info about postpartum care.
Freezer Prep List
Now, let’s get to the important part – the food! Your list may be totally different or slightly different. I broke mine up into sections of Frozen and Fresh. The fresh is definitely hard to time, since you don’t necessarily know when baby is coming, but if you have the recipes ready, and you have some help from family or friends, you could request those meals be made at your house or made and dropped off after baby!
Most of my meal inspiration came from these 5 sources: Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 1.0, Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 2.0, Yum & Yummer, The First Forty Days, and Feeding the Whole Family, plus some recipes on my blog that I’ll link up.
Sourdough (recipe here)
Vegan Burgers (from Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 2.0)
Chili (recipe here)
Chicken Parm Squares (from Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 2.0)
Quinoa, Lentils & Greens Soup (from The First Forty Days)
Cream of Tomato Soup (from Feeding the Whole Family)
Hearty Sausage Stew (from Feeding the Whole Family)
Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup (from The First Forty Days)
Chicken Potpie Chowder (from Yum & Yummer)
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (from Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 2.0)
Granola (recipe here)
Black Bean Brownies (from Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 2.0)
Date Balls (from Collins’ Kitchen)
Healthy Cookies (from Brownie Pan Every Damn Day 2.0)
No Bake Balls (from Yum & Yummer)
We could get into a whole postpartum mineral depletion conversion over here, but in short, I plan on restoring myself with:
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Veggie Tray & Hummus
Hope this helps you with your own freezer prep! Happy Postpartum.