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Anyone thinking about freezing food yet? Or about Thanksgiving dinner?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I got some tomatoes at a roadside stand today and froze up a few pounds of chopped tomatoes and juice... we'll probably use it before the birth, but it got me thinking about postpartum food.  Maybe I'm weird but I LOVE feeding my freezer before a newborn arrives!

 

This time I want to make sure I'm putting away some more high-iron foods as my blood loss is always on the high end.  So far the things I've thought of (not all of which I expect to get to) are --

 

-beef taco meat and tortillas (I've never frozen tortillas before but I hear it works...)

-collard greens or other greens

-breaded chicken for chicken parmesan

-beef stew without any potatoes

-chicken pot pie filling

-chili

-sweet potato casserole (maybe more than one, but at least one for Thanksgiving!)

-cornbread dressing

-dinner rolls and/or garlic breadsticks

-shredded chicken, and chopped tomatoes (for soup)

 

With my ds, as soon as I knew I was in labor I started a crock pot of soup with tomatoes, chicken stock, frozen vegetables, and frozen shredded chicken.  It was sooo comforting!

 

Also... does anyone have any ideas for how to do an easy Thanksgiving?  Maybe a rotisserie chicken from the store with some of those pre-trimmed green beans steamed up, and some corn and a frozen casserole?


Edited by laurac5 - 7/24/12 at 4:22pm
post #2 of 28

My MIL will be here for weeks, so I'm not worried about food immediately after birth. I'll probably freeze some things that won't be used until the New Year, but I'm not going to go crazy with that because of our particular situation. Plus, I remember from last time that our church friends sent lots and lots of food. I didn't need to cook at all for the first month, I believe.

 

As for an easy Thanksgiving, again, I'm not worried about that for this year. But last year I had surgery one week before Thanksgiving. Here's how we managed it:

*Crock pot turkey breast (our crock pot fits a 6-8lb breast pretty well) - just throw it in with some seasonings, and you're good to go (probably could even do it without the seasonings)

*Your basic green bean casserole - frozen green beans, cream of mushroom soup from the natural section at the store

*Mashed potatoes - boil, mash, serve

 

I'm pretty sure that was all we did last year, and it really took about zero effort. You could pretty easily add some other sides, though, if you thought ahead of time: pies, sweet potato casserole, gravy, rolls, etc, can all be done ahead of time. I don't know how dressing freezes, but if you go with the instant kind it's very easy to add in. I think maybe cranberry sauce freezes well, too?

post #3 of 28

I've thought about it and made a list but that's the extent of my preparation.  I'm planning to start making meals mid-sept and stock piling my extra freezer as much as possible.

 

chili

meat and veggie tomato sauce (to add to pasta)

black bean soup

crockpot chicken curry

chicken tortilla casserole

lasagna

beef casserole

mock shepards pie (with cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes)

chicken soup...

whatever else I may think of

 

I'm not thinking of thanksgiving.  I have no idea what will happen.  If I go late I may not make it to thanksgiving.

post #4 of 28
I've been thinking about it but haven't started yet. I enjoy doing it too :-)

I'd like to have a mixture of individual meals, meals which will feed us all and some snacky type things. DH will be off work from when the baby is born until New Years Eve and we will have my BIL & SIL staying with us for about 3 weeks in December so I'd mainly like to have food ready for when DH goes back to work. Both meals he can take with him and ones I can heat up for J and me when he's not here. With that in mind I'll probably start cooking and freezing around September/October. I need to get more containers before then though!
post #5 of 28

Totally thought about it.  We are considering moving...house was on the market until the realtor just up and retired!  So, not sure how much I can actually do, without major planning to move it all.  I do want to fill it though.  Maybe that's my nesting.  I love hearing about it from everyone, so bring it on.  Perhaps I will be inspired!

post #6 of 28

I will definitely be freezing some meals for my food allergic kiddo so that whoever has to feed her will be set.

 

As for Thanksgiving, well, my best friend is my labor support and we also go to her house for T'giving.  She is constantly hassling me about when I am going to have the baby (jokingly of course), telling me that if I want a big feast (and boy does she ever put on an enormous feast) then I better have the baby early in the week or after T'giving.  I am due Monday of T'giving week and I tend to go late.  I so very much desire to have my baby in arms at T'giving dinner.  As long as I have the baby before T'giving, I will be there.  That food is too too good to miss and I know I could just sit and nurse on her couch all afternoon...ahhh that sounds blissful, lay around all day nursing and then super delicious food.  I can't wait for Nov!!!

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
...ahhh that sounds blissful, lay around all day nursing and then super delicious food. 

 

I wish I could feel that way!  I had an October baby a couple years ago and Thanksgiving dinner at our friends' house was so stressful to me, sitting down for five minutes of eating but dd fussing so much, and me having to be up and down from the meal for diaper changes and nursing.  (Discreet nursing is stressful to me, and I finally just accepted that it is a better experience for me and baby if I find a private place to nurse where I can bear it all, lol.  But it stinks to have to hop up from a meal and have to be away from my plate for 30 minutes or more!)

 

As for Thanksgiving at home, I guess it all depends on how the labor goes.  After dd, I was practically an invalid for a month.  Incredibly difficult labor with lots of blood loss, a third degree tear, and a bad case of mastitis before I was recovered from all of that.  If I were to have a similar recovery this time, I would not be able to deal with any dinner prep work much less the dishes afterwards, and I would not be able to spare dh for any of that, either. ;-)  

 

But after ds, we were back to cooking for ourselves after a couple of weeks (at that point it was only dh cooking, though, because I still didn't have stamina for a while... maybe I'm just a wimp after childbirth?).  Anyway, with ds the stockpile in the freezer was mostly just a luxury that let us have more family time when we'd rather not cook.

post #8 of 28

Well, my friend is an LLL leader and her dh is our ped and absolutely loves babies.  My last baby was an Oct baby and he walked around with her for probably close to an hour so dh and I could just sit and have a relaxing dinner.  It really is the ultimate set up for me smile.gif  Sorry it was so stressful for you greensad.gif

post #9 of 28

I am not to worried about stocking up on food but the mention of Thanksigiving left me panicked. We visit my mom for one version and she make everything. I normally would bake but will probably pick up a pumpkin cheesecake that everyone loves instead. And this is my sister's year to host Christmas so I few obligations there.

 

But the other Thansgiving is with Dh's family and that is problematic with all sorts of unbearable weirdness like canned gravy. I'd make stock during labor to avoid that. So, better get that done now. And some pies, somehow I find purchased pie the most depressing dessert of all. Not that my MIL won't go out and buy six even if she knows that I am bringing enough homemade.

 

If I feel great and together than I might just go crazy and cook a third one. I did that last year too.

post #10 of 28

As a FTM, the higher iron food tip is something I hadn't considered but is something I will think about now. There are a lot of good ideas above, so thanks!

 

One snack food on at least a couple Top 10 Iron Content Foods lists is egg yolk.  It's really easy to boil up a dozen eggs for breakfast or snacks. When you run out, it's easy to make more. Best part, they don't need freezer space.

 

The turkey breast in the crock pot mentioned above is a great idea. A few years ago, we actually did a whole turkey in the crock pot with success. Of course, then you have to cut it apart, but we are dark meat lovers, so the breast wouldn't be quite the same.  The fact that I'm currently due on Black Friday means everything is for grabs, so we're not making any particular plans. I know that my MIL will be very helpful whatever happens, so I'm not really worrying about Thanksgiving itself yet. 

post #11 of 28

JodiAU, I'm totally with you on store-bought pies!  (Though the pumpkin cheesecake sounds good...)

 

I'm hoping to do at least some make-ahead meals this time around, but then we'll probably need to break down and buy a standalone freezer.  (Already our frozen organic chickens that we buy every fall live in my IL's freezer!)  My DH has a lot of food sensitivities (gluten/wheat and dairy, and he also tries to limit corn and peanuts), which has thus far made me throw up my hands at trying to find good freezer meals.  This discussion made me remember a pin I saw on Pinterest: http://onceamonthmom.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-april-2012-menu/ (I also pinned a "whole foods" menu of hers).  I'll have to start trying these recipes and doubling/freezing the good ones.

post #12 of 28

I'm thinking once September hits, I'll start doubling every meal I make! That should give me enough to avoid cooking for a couple of months :) In addition to what others have listed, I'm also going to make:

 

Breakfast foods- french toast, egg/sausage casserole, quiche, waffles

Lots of soups

PBJs to grab and quickly thaw for DS

Oatmeal and chocolate cookies (for lactation, OF COURSE!)

Healthy-ish muffins

 

NO pastas or lasagnas!! Seems like that's what everyone gives you if they bring a meal. I don't want to have lasagna for days and days on end. winky.gif

 

Can't wait to talk more about this in another month!

post #13 of 28

Yes!!! thumb.gif We got a new full-size freezer and I can't wait to stock it with some grass fed beef, bone broth, coconut baked good and treats and harvest from our garden. We need to have some electrical work done in our garage before hooking it up though. So waiting on that.

 

I have to go on this totally extreme diet after my babies are born, and it pretty much resembles GAPS. So I am going to take the opportunity to put the whole family on GAPS, which I've been wanting to do for a year or so now. Postpartum will be the perfect time to do that! DH is totally supportive of doing GAPS postpartum, which is a HUGE relief to me.

 

I found some great resources on KeeperoftheHome, and Health,HomeandHappiness for gearing up to do GAPS with a big family. I also bought a few grain-free meal plan from some of the WAPF blogger mamas, just for some extra ideas and fun recipes.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thyme Mama View Post

Yes!!! thumb.gif We got a new full-size freezer and I can't wait to stock it with some grass fed beef, bone broth, coconut baked good and treats and harvest from our garden. We need to have some electrical work done in our garage before hooking it up though. So waiting on that.

 

I have to go on this totally extreme diet after my babies are born, and it pretty much resembles GAPS. So I am going to take the opportunity to put the whole family on GAPS, which I've been wanting to do for a year or so now. Postpartum will be the perfect time to do that! DH is totally supportive of doing GAPS postpartum, which is a HUGE relief to me.

 

I found some great resources on KeeperoftheHome, and Health,HomeandHappiness for gearing up to do GAPS with a big family. I also bought a few grain-free meal plan from some of the WAPF blogger mamas, just for some extra ideas and fun recipes.

Just curious why you have to go on an extreme diet after your babies are born?  I did Gaps last year with my daughter- and it was really extreme.  We both had a lot of die-off and found that we were HUNGRY all the time.  I can't imagine doing that with a newborn and all the nursing.  It was also so much work to prepare for.  We do a sorta paleo diet now, but I do eat grains at least once a day and find that I need it to keep up my energy, weight and sanity- ha!  But maybe it's different for others. That was just our experience.  

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kateaton View Post

Just curious why you have to go on an extreme diet after your babies are born?  I did Gaps last year with my daughter- and it was really extreme.  We both had a lot of die-off and found that we were HUNGRY all the time.  I can't imagine doing that with a newborn and all the nursing.  It was also so much work to prepare for.  We do a sorta paleo diet now, but I do eat grains at least once a day and find that I need it to keep up my energy, weight and sanity- ha!  But maybe it's different for others. That was just our experience.  


Long story short, we have ended up in the pediatric gastroenterologists' office with all three of my newborns, due to intestinal bleeding, mucous and leafy green poo. Essentially, the kiddos have had lymph node hypoplasia which is basically aggravated intestinal lining due to allergies from my breastmilk. Our naturally minded P.E. puts me on this super restrictive diet and super powerful probiotics for about one year. Babies are then fine as long as I stay on the diet. After a few months, I can usually add in eggs, and I will be trying raw dairy this time around too.

 

Instead of telling you what I can't eat on this diet, I will tell you what I can eat:

 

Meat (additive free)

Fish

Potatoes

Rice

Coconut

Water

Squash

Celery

Carrots

Apples

Oatmeal

Salt

Onions

Honey

Maple Syrup

 

Yay! rolleyes.gif But pretty similar to GAPS.

 

It is SO hard to eat this way without intense planning. Where are my quick protein snacks???  No eggs, no nuts, no dairy!!! After learning about GAPS, I figured that I might as well do it, since it's so close to my restrictive diet anyway. I'll just omit the oatmeal and rice. And after doing some research about my CRAZY oversupply, my theory is that the abundance of foremilk is aggravating the allergy issues. So I plan to pump a wee bit with a hand pump before each nursing session.

 

I know my whole family would benefit from GAPS, so I think that this will be just a natural transition for us. DH has ulcerative colitis, DD has Aspergers, DS1 seems pretty "normal" but he does seem to be the one who always gets sick with something and DS2 we highly suspect is Aspergian as well. I am actually looking forward to the postpartum food thing this time!

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thyme Mama View Post


Long story short, we have ended up in the pediatric gastroenterologists' office with all three of my newborns, due to intestinal bleeding, mucous and leafy green poo. Essentially, the kiddos have had lymph node hypoplasia which is basically aggravated intestinal lining due to allergies from my breastmilk. Our naturally minded P.E. puts me on this super restrictive diet and super powerful probiotics for about one year. Babies are then fine as long as I stay on the diet. After a few months, I can usually add in eggs, and I will be trying raw dairy this time around too.

 

Instead of telling you what I can't eat on this diet, I will tell you what I can eat:

 

Meat (additive free)

Fish

Potatoes

Rice

Coconut

Water

Squash

Celery

Carrots

Apples

Oatmeal

Salt

Onions

Honey

Maple Syrup

 

Yay! rolleyes.gif But pretty similar to GAPS.

 

It is SO hard to eat this way without intense planning. Where are my quick protein snacks???  No eggs, no nuts, no dairy!!! After learning about GAPS, I figured that I might as well do it, since it's so close to my restrictive diet anyway. I'll just omit the oatmeal and rice. And after doing some research about my CRAZY oversupply, my theory is that the abundance of foremilk is aggravating the allergy issues. So I plan to pump a wee bit with a hand pump before each nursing session.

 

I know my whole family would benefit from GAPS, so I think that this will be just a natural transition for us. DH has ulcerative colitis, DD has Aspergers, DS1 seems pretty "normal" but he does seem to be the one who always gets sick with something and DS2 we highly suspect is Aspergian as well. I am actually looking forward to the postpartum food thing this time!

That is really restrictive- but similar to gaps.  You sound like the perfect family for the diet!  The hardest thing for me was the lack of carbs- which causes ketosis and a lot of weight loss.  I felt very tired and lethargic on the diet.  You might want to taper off the grains slowly to allow your body to adjust (and to minimize any potential die-off).  Have you read the gaps book?  There is a section in there on gaps in pregnancy.   There are some good tips- like using yogurt/kefir internally closer to your due date (I forget exactly when it recommends) to ensure that the birth canal is populated with the good stuff to pass on to babe.  I plan to do this as my due date approaches.  Also , the diet is huge on ferments.  I've been eating saurkraut daily to try to make sure my body is as probiotic friendly as possible.  These are things you could do now to try to prevent some of the gut problems you've had before.  My girls both were pretty colicky and still currently have multiple food sensitivities (and dd1 has celiac).  The diet helped, but we didn't even do it for a year.  I feel that what we did do has had lasting benefit.  Best of luck!

post #17 of 28

Thanks you for the support! thumb.gif We are WAPF, so GAPS isn't a huge leap from that, but still, eliminating dairy, nuts, eggs and grains is TOUGH! We do eat lots of ferments and take probiotics & FCLO, so there won't be a change there. I don't eat a lot of grains, but I do LOVE fruit and sourdough bread. greensad.gif I will definitely need to wean myself off of those carbs. *sigh* Fortunately though, I tend to gravitate towards meat and fish and broth, I have never been big on starches, but I do love fruit and creamy, rich, buttery dairy. orngbiggrin.gif I always tell DH that if I was wealthy I would eat sashimi and fruit for every meal. lol.gif

 

I don't have the GPAS book yet, but I plan on ordering it this week. I do know that GAPS Intro is not recommended during pregnancy, only full GAPS. Hopefully, though, GAPS Intro will be okay postpartum. Again, it really isn't that much different than the P.E. diet anyway. Cara at healthhomehappiness recommends eating a ton of squash and onions if you fall into ketosis and it will bring you around pretty fast, that was for Intro Phase 1.

 

Re: you dd's celiac. Poor girl! I just want to give her a hug! hug2.gifDoes your whole family eat the Celiac diet? Or are you just super careful with cross-contamination of gluten and such for her?
 

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thyme Mama View Post

Thanks you for the support! thumb.gif We are WAPF, so GAPS isn't a huge leap from that, but still, eliminating dairy, nuts, eggs and grains is TOUGH! We do eat lots of ferments and take probiotics & FCLO, so there won't be a change there. I don't eat a lot of grains, but I do LOVE fruit and sourdough bread. greensad.gif I will definitely need to wean myself off of those carbs. *sigh* Fortunately though, I tend to gravitate towards meat and fish and broth, I have never been big on starches, but I do love fruit and creamy, rich, buttery dairy. orngbiggrin.gif I always tell DH that if I was wealthy I would eat sashimi and fruit for every meal. lol.gif

 

I don't have the GPAS book yet, but I plan on ordering it this week. I do know that GAPS Intro is not recommended during pregnancy, only full GAPS. Hopefully, though, GAPS Intro will be okay postpartum. Again, it really isn't that much different than the P.E. diet anyway. Cara at healthhomehappiness recommends eating a ton of squash and onions if you fall into ketosis and it will bring you around pretty fast, that was for Intro Phase 1.

 

Re: you dd's celiac. Poor girl! I just want to give her a hug! hug2.gifDoes your whole family eat the Celiac diet? Or are you just super careful with cross-contamination of gluten and such for her?
 

 

we are all gluten free- we all seem to have varying levels of gluten sensitivity so it works out best to just not have it in the house.  But we are extra careful with cross-contamination for dd1.    It was really hard in the beginning (3 years ago) but now it's just second nature and I kinda find myself thinking that gluten is not really food anyway and so there is no temptation or feelings of deprivation.   I do love to bake with coconut flour or almond meal- there are just so many delicious alternative treats!

 

In case you don't know, there is a yahoo support group for the gaps diet (unfortunately I can't remember exactly what it was called), but I found it super helpful.  Just a place to ask questions to those who have been there done that is invaluable..

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kateaton View Post

 

we are all gluten free- we all seem to have varying levels of gluten sensitivity so it works out best to just not have it in the house.  But we are extra careful with cross-contamination for dd1.    It was really hard in the beginning (3 years ago) but now it's just second nature and I kinda find myself thinking that gluten is not really food anyway and so there is no temptation or feelings of deprivation.   I do love to bake with coconut flour or almond meal- there are just so many delicious alternative treats!

 

In case you don't know, there is a yahoo support group for the gaps diet (unfortunately I can't remember exactly what it was called), but I found it super helpful.  Just a place to ask questions to those who have been there done that is invaluable..

 

nod.gif I get what you mean about avoidance being second nature. I tend to think that same way (something not really being food) about certain foods too. Cereal and noodles come to mind. smile.gif

 

I LOVE to bake! Would you mind sharing or PM'ing me just a few of your favorite recipes when you have time? Please? loveeyes.gif It's a challenge to find wheat-free recipes that not only work, but are actually satisfying. Coconut macaroons do get old at some point! orngbiggrin.gif Cookies, pies and quick breads are faves around here.

 

I will look for the GAPS yahoo group, thank you! I have found being part of my local WAPF chapter yahoo group to be a treasure of info and resources.

post #20 of 28

So it sounds like I should probably quit my whining about having to find gluten-free/dairy-free recipes to make ahead blush.gif.  I sometimes forget that I could always have MORE things to eliminate! 

 

Also, I've wanted to try eliminating dairy while nursing -- all of my children have spit up a TON (though they are rarely fussy/crabby about it) and are notorious cat-nappers.  I've wondered if cutting out dairy might cut down on the spitting up and/or help them sleep for slightly longer stretches.  With my last LO, I did try to limit dairy for awhile, but I don't think I did enough to really see a difference.  Maybe if I have a freezer full of delicious dairy-free meals all lined up, I'll be better able to stick with the program so I can test my theory!

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