Recipes for fast, easy, toddler-friendly, possibly freezable, healthy dinners? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-28-2008, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thats not too tall an order, is it?

We are expecting our third child in October, when our two boys will be 2y3m and 3y6m old. Starting in September, DH will be going to college FT days, and working FT nights. : It will be a huge challenge, but a necessary evil if we are ever going to be able to move out of my mother's house (whom we love dearly...) As I was struggling to make dinner the other night with the two boys hanging off of me, I had a near panic attack thinking about how I'm ever going to get it done with a baby to boot. I don't want to resort to frozen chicken nuggest and hot dogs or similar meals (though I imagine they will be a part of the repertoire). I have already started mentally preparing myself to do some meal prep after bedtime the night before, but other than that I am at a loss. We are planning on buying a small chest freezer before the baby comes, so that homemade frozen meals are an option. I'd love to start trying recipes now, so any ideas would be appreciated. :

Thanks!

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#2 of 4 Old 04-28-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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Definitely start freezing stuff -- whatever meals you like and enjoy now are the best things to freeze (rather than trying a bunch of new "freezer recipes" which you may not like). Casseroles (mac & cheese, tamale pie, shepherd's pie, tuna casserole, chicken enchiladas, etc.) all freeze well. So do soups and stews of all kinds (almost).

Don't forget that you can freeze just parts of meals, too -- make meatballs and freeze them, then later you can put them with sauce and pasta, or make stroganoff, or meatballs subs. Fry up big batches of ground beef and onion to use later in tacos, spaghetti sauce, goulash, chili, etc. Make some turkey breasts (or whole chickens) and freeze the meat for casseroles and sandwiches. Cook beans and freeze in 2-cup portions (or thereabouts). Then you can have a "fresh" home-cooked meal by taking out one or two packages of different frozen ingredients.

Chicken nuggets, too -- or fish sticks, homemade. "Flash freeze" them on a cookie sheet, then package, so you can take out as many or as few as you need. Make a couple of pizzas and freeze those in smaller portions. Burritos, fajitas, "hot pockets" or calzones, egg sandwiches, all freeze wonderfully and will be good for quick meals for one or two people, or postpartum snacks for you or dinner for everyone on those nights when you'd otherwise resort to takeout or hot dogs.

You might also want to invest in a slow-cooker if oyu don't have one already. That way you can prep the meal whenever you get a minute (the evening before, during AM naps, whenever) and then just throw it in the crock and turn it on.

HTH! Good luck!
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#3 of 4 Old 04-28-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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Have you seen the feed the freezer thread around here? If not, I can bump it up for you. It's awesome!
I did A LOT of freezer cooking before our baby was born. In fact, we are STILL eating off of it and she's 4 months old. LOL
I was so worth it though to know we had meals and I didn't have to cook every single night. I did when I could but I'd always have one of those thawed in the fridge just in case and I'm so glad I did!
Good luck, and congrats!

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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#4 of 4 Old 04-29-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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When my husband was undergoing radiation therapy, I froze a bunch of quickie meals for DD for nights that I knew that I was making something un-kid-friendly. I did a batch each of veggie fried brown rice, spaghetti (with the noodles snapped to 1/4 length), and mac and cheese (both made with ww pasta). I froze them in muffin tins, and then popped the individual portions into freezer bags. It was really nice, especially as it turned out that DH couldn't eat solid food for most of the 6 weeks of treatment, so I was able to make MY version of comfort food, which means the spicier the better ... Still had to make him calorie and nutrient dense shakes, but it simplified things.
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