Stocking up the Freezer for Postpartum Meal Prep

Stocking up the Freezer for Postpartum Meal Prep

Expecting a baby and trying to plan ahead for those early days home with baby? There’s so much benefit to putting some time in for postpartum planning to make the transition so much easier. If you haven’t already, talk with your doula about making a postpartum plan, gathering resources, ideas, and do-aheads to make the fourth trimester go more smoothly.

It’s important for your recovery after birth and during breastfeeding to keep up good nutrition. A variety of vitamins, nutrients, and protein helps your body heal and restores your energy. If you have the opportunity to plan ahead and stock up your freezer for those early days postpartum, you’ll spend less time and energy thinking about shopping and food prep, and instead will be able to spend more time resting and will be more inclined to eat healthier foods. Here are some meal prep ideas to get you started on stocking your freezer for a better postpartum time.

  • Salmon en papillote. Fish cooks up amazingly well straight from frozen in the crock pot. We don’t usually think of the crock pot for fast-cooking fish, but this is a great strategy for keeping that time before dinner hands-off.

    Freezer prep: Place a square of parchment paper on your prep surface. Put a frozen fillet of fish (salmon and firm white fishes work best, but even tilapia works) on the parchment. Season with something as simple as salt and pepper, or add your favorite seasonings or sauces (lemon juice and zest, fresh herbs, and garlic are excellent) and seal the parchment into a packet shape. You can then store these easily in the freezer sealed in a glass or plastic storage container or zipper freezer bag.

    To make: Place packets straight from the freezer on the bottom of the crock pot and cook at high for 2 hours.
  • Sweet potato-black bean enchiladas. LOVE these! I also used to make these for clients with chicken in them and they were a hit.
  • Curries freeze up great with whatever veggies or meats you love. One of my favorites: Pumpkin Coconut Curry!
  • Creamy lentil soup makes a perfectly cozy and filling lunch or dinner.
  • Shredded meat: cook up a pork roast or chicken in the oven or crock pot. Shred them up and freeze. Shredded meat is perfect to throw into wraps, tacos, sandwiches, or rice bowls to serve.
  • Salsa chicken: freezing up individually portioned chicken breasts is super easy and you can prepare them from frozen or thawed. Toss breasts into crock pot and pour in a jar of your favorite salsa, let it cook on low 4-6 hrs. Great as-is or shredded.
  • Southwestern stuffed peppers
  • Vegan meatballs or beef meatballs are a classic freeze-ahead meal
  • Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili you can pop in the crock pot, then freeze for later.
  • Freeze cooked rice so it’s ready to reheat. Use batches as a side, rice bowl, or layered under soups, stews, and curries. Here’s how

Breakfast:

  • Egg muffins make great individual breakfasts full of protein. Add your favorites with bacon, sausage, veggies, cheese, and breakfast is ready to eat.
  • Freezer breakfast bowls, burritos, or sandwiches (tons of ideas online to customize). Don’t forget to add in some veggies to boost your nutritional content. Peppers, onions, spinach, salsa, avocado…add some extra nutrition, flavor, and variety.
  • Oatmeal. Freeze up cooked oatmeal/steel-cut oats in nonstick muffin tins for individual servings. Once frozen, pop them out and store in freezer bags. They can be reheated in the microwave, then add a splash of your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk.
  • Smoothies! Stock up the freezer with frozen fruits and greens, or prepare individual baggies with the ingredients for your favorite smoothies for breakfast or a snack. If you are like me and often have extra left over that doesn’t fit in the glasses, freeze it up in ice cube trays to add to later smoothies, or freeze into popsicle molds to have a great snack ready to go.

Snacks:

  • Delicious, filling lactation cookies. I am a big believer that you don’t need to eat or drink particular things to have a healthy milk supply. So you don’t NEED lactation cookies, but they are a great snack full of good ingredients and are a great way to keep you satisfied with one-handed eating while nursing.
  • Guacamole. Freeze in individual serving size and thaw in fridge overnight to have with veggies or your favorite chips.
  • Pumpkin amazeballs: Super flexible recipe, customizable with all your favorites, and such a great way to pack in tons of nutrition. They freeze great! I always make a way bigger batch.
  • “Toddler” muffins: I freeze them on a rack first, then store in a zipper freezer bag once frozen through. They thaw easily on the counter or in the microwave. We play with this recipe all the time. Coconut oil can sub in for butter, can substitute flours (I usually use half regular, half whole-wheat), change out sweetener, flex the veggies, etc. I use regular mashed squash rather than specifically baby food.

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