During the newborn days cooking will probably be the last thing you want to do and ordering take-away could be hard on your budget. I know the majority of you are not going to like the idea of frozen meals, but if you want to survive the newborn days, freezing food will help you save time and money.
Ever since the first moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew that the baby would be a handful. I can assure you, all the classes you take and all the tips you read are not going to be able to prepare you for that first day when you take your baby in your arms and bring it home. The last thing on your mind will be “What will I have for dinner?” Furthermore, in order to be able to cater to the baby’s needs, you need to cater to your own first. For this reason, here are a few meals you can try and stock your freezer with. In addition, don’t just consider the cooking, but keep in mind there is quite a lot of cleaning you have to do after you are finished preparing the meal.
So, here are some ideas for meals that freeze well:
1. Spaghetti sauce (or any other kind of sauce really). Extremely easy one – simply cook the spaghetti sauce as usual – tomato sauce, minced meat or ham, onion, mushrooms etc. put it in plastic bags, seal and store in the freezer. When the time comes boil the spaghetti and defrost the sauce. You won’t be able to tell the difference between fresh and frozen meal.
2. Pizza Dough. You can easily freeze a few balls of pizza dough and take them out whenever you want to. Simply defrost and put whatever topping you want on your pizza later. Voala! You have a home-made pizza in 20 minutes.
3. Waffless. You can make as many waffles as you want in advance and stock them in the freezer. Trust me, finding these early in the morning is like finding money, if not better! Honestly, the hardest thing for me was to make breakfast in the morning when I have just slept a few hours.
4. Lasagna. One of my favourite meals. You can cook it as usual, but just before the baking step pack it in a tray and put it in the freezer. When the time comes, take it out and leave it in the fridge over night. It will defrost and you will be able to cook it as usual.
5. Burgers. Similarly to waffles – freeze really well.
6. Stew. Easy to make, easy to freeze.
7. Enchilladas! I love them, I made quite a lot of batches – they freeze well and were very delicious afterwards too.
1. Use see-through zip-top bags. They don’t take a lot of space in your fridge, and allow you to freeze single or double portions. You can easily measure the quantity and see what’s on the inside.
2. Put labels and cooking instructions on each bag. This way you won’t ruin the meal. Here are some extra tips from Food Safety.
3. Cook an extra batch, instead of devoting an entire day of making food to freeze. What do I mean? Couple of months before Emily was born I was cooking random meals and I just decided to make double batches out of everything. This didn’t require much effort, really.
4. Put all the meals in smaller portions. I am not a fan of eating the same dish two days in a row and for this reason I made smaller portions of each meal, which allowed for a greater variety of meals each day.
5. Relax! After the meals are done, take a nap or spend time with your baby. They may not engage with you as much as you would like them to, but they still feel when you are around and are responsive to stimuli. In other words you can still play with them, so go eat those tiny feet! Just kidding!