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Preparing Freezer Meals For After Baby

>20 June 2009
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35-weeks prego with Xia

I’ve been cooking all day long today, trying to prepare as much food as I can to stock my freezer before baby comes. Stephanie at Keeper of the Home really inspired me to get on the ball after reading her post on how she is doing exactly that before the birth of her third baby. She has some great freezer meal ideas to share. Thanks for the nudge Stephanie!

Since I only have 5 more weeks till my due date I really need to do as much as I can while I still have time. I didn’t get everything finished today, but at least I got a start. Here is a list of what I plan on having in my fridge for when baby comes:

*These are the recipes I have not tried yet. Hopefully they’ll be good!

Here’s a great Printable Freezer Inventory sheet to help organize all of this stuff!

I’m still trying to find more recipes to freeze though. I’m looking for good Crock Pot recipes that I can throw together and freeze, then just dump in the crockpot when ready. Anyone have any good suggestions??

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10 Comments »

  • Liz said:

    Try Beans and Wieners! Hot dogs are not the most nutritious thing, but as long as you don’t eat them more than a couple times a year…

    1 pound small white beans*
    3 1/2 cups water
    1/3 cup molasses
    1/4 brown sugar
    1 onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon prepared mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 6 to 7 hours until tender. Add in the wieners after freezing when you put them in the crockpot the second time.

    *Cover the dried beans with water and add a tablespoon of whey and soak overnight. They will cook better and won’t cause as much gastric distress.

  • Anne Alagna said:

    Freezer food is the best! I started this way when I was pregnant with my fourth. I had the entire freezer packed with 13 weeks of lunch and dinner by the time she was born… and then my wonderful friends got together and brought us hot dinner every night for 2 weeks! It was such a blessing.

    She is now nearly 7 and I continue to cook and fill the freezer. I have some of my favorite ideas and suggestions on my blog if you are interested in reading them.

    Beyond that, One thing I suggest specifically because you are expecting: put as much away as possible… even things you might think you wont have any trouble making like mashed potatos or cooked brown rice or breakfast burritos. Even sliced cheese in perfect cracker size. My third baby taught me that no matter HOW you think it will be, it wont. Some days you can barely manage to get to the bathroom without a cry and need to keep up your strength (breastfeeding?) so quick and easy finger foods are essential. Plus fun things for the other little ones such as freezing waffles and pancakes ahead, freezing cupcakes… Do as much as you can handle now. You will totally appreciate it later.

    HUGS!

  • Kara said:

    There are a few websites out there for Once A Month Cooking OAMC. I can’t find the one that I used to use, but there are a lot of good recipes to be found that way.

    Also, http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/ – Her rotisserie chicken in the crockpot is seriously once of my favourite meals. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/crockpot-rotisserie-style-chicken.html

  • Julie said:

    I started cooking freezer meals when I was pregnant for my daughter (now 2.5 years old). I did it mostly for maternity leave but have been using this cooking method ever since! At the time, I’m still working full time (hope to be home in a couple of years) so it’s been such a blessing to me. Cooking freezer meals saves me money (buy in bulk and when things are on sale), saves me time (don’t have to cook dinner each night after work), etc. I don’t do once a month but more like a couple meals every other weekend. It’s awesome!

    Here are the things I do most often for the freezer: meat spaghetti sauce, meatballs, hamburger patties, beef stew, shrimp/corn soup, marinaded chicken breasts (freeze in your favorite marinade and as it defrost it’ll do it’s work), grilled chicken (chopped up for salads, enchiladas, etc.), cooked carrots or other veggies, blueberry pancakes, breakfast casserole, lasagna, gumbo, red beans, white beans, etc. I also keep shredded cheese, hot dogs and things like that in the freezer.

    When my son (now 5 months) starts eating baby foods, I’ll start doing those myself too (again). I puree veggies, fruits, etc. and freeze in ice cub trays. Pop out and put in ziplocs. It’s so easy!

    I know from your post that you have just started canning. My goal, once we get a bigger place, is to do more canning and less freezing (at least for veggies and things like that). We live in hurricane territory so though we have generators, power goes out frequently from storms. The food in my small deep freezer and above-fridge freezer would be sad to loose.

    Don’t wear yourself out! Try to rest, too, before baby comes!

    Have a blessed day,
    Julie

  • Heather said:

    One thing that I ALWAYS like to have in my freezer is BROWNED ground meat. I will brown up a BIG batch of ground meat and freeze in meal size freezer bags…. this way it is WAY simple to make any meal using browned meat!!!

  • Dawn said:

    What a yummy-sounding list you have! I’m due in mid-August, and I’ve just started putting together a list of meals to freeze (…and checking the sales flyers to find ingredients on sale, too.)

    A few easy favorites from last pregnancy –
    ~ shredded chicken tacos (Place 6 chicken breasts, 1 packet of taco seasoning (or equivalent of homemade seasoning), and 1 cup chicken broth in the crockpot all day. Shred, freeze, and thaw when you’re ready to use it. You can even freeze tortillas & cheese so you have everything on hand. I make my own taco seasoning with no preservatives.

    ~ shredded chicken or pork in the crockpot (water or chicken broth for liquid) mixed with homemade BBQ sauce, then frozen to make BBQ sandwiches.

    ~ Italian beef (or chicken) – cook a beef roast (or 6-8 chicken breasts) in the crockpot with 2 or 3 envelopes of dry Italian dressing mix (or make your own dry mix of spices) and chicken broth/water to cover the meat. Shred, freeze, and (after thawing) serve on buns. Very yummy with cheese melted on the top!

    ~ make and freeze homemade spaghetti sauce in meal-sized batches. That way, all you’ll have to do is boil the noodles and top with thawed sauce. If you’re getting tired of spaghett, boil mostaciolli/penne noodles, toss with sauce, and bake for 20 minutes in a Pyrex dish covered with mozzarella…delicious! Homemade spaghetti sauce is also a quick topping for stuffed peppers. If you make your sauce with meat, you don’t even need to add meat into your rice mixture…that saves time!

    ~ last time, I froze lots of soups/chili, but I had a December baby. I’m still searching for some good warm-weather recipes…so I’m grateful for your list to get me started!

  • Heather (a different one) said:

    I do quite a bit of OAMC. My favorite is to cook with friends. I have a mobile home with a fairly small kitchen – I like to go to my friend’s house (with a huge kitchen) to work there. I have more recipes/experience cooking she has the space. Our favorites are enchalada casserole, chili soup (we LOVE this one), meatloaf, stuffed jumbo shells, shepherds pie (potatoes and all), and cooked meatballs. The meatballs are great beacause they are so versatile – spaghetti, with marinara sauce and a bun they make a great sandwich (with mozz cheese), and in sweet and sour sauce.

  • Lanna said:

    You look fabulous for being so far along! I look like a lumbering whale by about 32-34 weeks along.

    I also found cookie dough already made, but frozen in cookie-sized lumps (like a teaspoon or tablespoon, whatever your preference) and then tossed into a baggie was super helpful. Just preheat the oven, pull out some cookies, and viola, a snack for the kids and I. Or just flat out frozen (already baked) cookies worked for some kinds.

    One super easy crockpot recipe? Crockpot Enchiladas. 4 ingredients – corn tortillas, browned ground beef, shredded (cheddar) cheese, canned enchilada sauce. Layer it in in that order using a third of each ingredient for each later, and cook for like 4 hours or so. I forget whether it’s low or high, but if you’re in the house you can keep an eye on it.

    Already cooked/seasoned taco meat can be used several ways as well. Tacos, pizza, wherever your imagination takes you. And since the beef is cooked and already crumbly, it doesn’t take much time at all to thaw.

    I do pressure can spaghetti sauce and chicken stock and such as well, so it’s right there and needs no thawing at the time, which is pretty groovy when I’m just making up dinner half an hour before eating.

    I also usually have a fair amount of homemade jam and organic peanut butter in the house so pb&j is sometimes all I can muster up some days post-partum.

  • Robin said:

    Here is my favorite website for this. They test all of the recipes so that you know they will freeze well.

    http://onceamonthmom.com/

  • Bethany said:

    I am about 3 months along with my third, and I was wondering how your freezer meals turned out. How many did you get done? Did they freeze ok, and did you/are you using them?? I’ve been thinking I’d maybe like to prepare some later down the road for myself, but I don’t want to create extra work if I won’t use them.

    Which ones did you like or didn’t like. Is there anything else you wish you had done? Well I know your busy with your beautiful new baby girl, but if/when you get the chance, maybe you could let me know, or post something.

    Thank you. And thanks for having a site that I really enjoy visiting. It’s very refreshing to know there are other young mothers out there just like myself trying to get back to the basics. It definitely doesn’t come easy when you haven’t been brought up this way :)

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