Freezing Meals for Postpartum - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-13-2007, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies. I'm expecting my baby in June. I already have a 20 mo. old and my husband works to late to be able to cook when he comes home. I want to cook some meals to have on hand to make the weeks after the baby comes easier. I want to freeze the meals now so we can just reheat and eat later. I'd like some suggestions for what to cook. So far the only thing I've come up with would be chili and gumbo. Help me ladies! Also any recipes for the meals would be great too. I'm a young mama and don't have a wide range of meals I cook right now! (Hey I'm learning!!!)
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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You MUST check out www.recipezaar.com and search for "OAMC"

TONS and TONS of recipes and a LOT of them are really, really easy!


FWIW, I found that the "easy" meals I'd planned ahead that got eaten the quickest were the mini bagel pizzas I made up, breakfast sandwiches I made (English muffin filled with cheese and bacon or sausage and some had eggs), and I also made a taco meat starter which I froze in 1 lb quantities for easy thawing and we used these in burritoes as well as tacos
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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My only suggestion would be that you go for diversity, and make sure your meals aren't too focused on the same few ingredients -- especially the ones that are commonly associated with allergies and sensitivities (milk & soy products, eggs, tomatoes, heavily spiced dishes, etc.). It's not uncommon to hear about nursing babies having trouble with certain foods in the mother's diet. Food sensitivities can also affect postpartum mothers themselves, with all the raging hormones and whatnot. After having my last baby, I developed a weird reaction to tomatoes (they made me break out in hives), and it turned out that just about all the main dishes I'd frozen had them as an ingredient. We ended up with a freezer full of food that I couldn't eat.... which, needless to say, was no fun at all.

This time around, I'm going to play it safe, skip the mixed dishes entirely, and just freeze the "basics" in meal-sized portions, e.g.:

- pre-cooked, plain whole grains and beans
- meat patties, fish fillets, natural sausage and ham, cut-up chicken
- pizza crusts
- shredded cheese
- chopped green vegetables
- cubed squash & root vegetables
- chopped onions, garlic, & pesto, frozen in ice cube trays & stored in a bag

That way, we can throw them together as necessary.

If you don't have a tendency toward food sensitivities in your family, you might not need to go to such an extreme, but it would still be good to try for variety. Maybe, in addition to the gumbo and chili, you could make some goulash (which traditionally uses paprika instead of tomatoes), or a chicken casserole, or a big batch of split pea soup.
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I haven't even thought about the baby reacting to foods I eat because of the breastfeeding. I already buy ground beef by the pack that I cook and season to store in 1lb. bags. It makes life easier and dinner a lot quicker. I just wanted some ideas for variety in the meals to store. Big question: can you freeze cooked pasta and rice or does it get mushy and nasty? I thought about doing spaghetti, chicken spaghetti, and some dishes like that but I was worried about cooking the pasta to freeze. The whole point of doing this is so I can just heat foods and eat them. I won't have time for anything else with a 22 mo. old and a newborn!
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:03 AM
 
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check out the feed the freezer thread. also the crock pot thread...

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:41 AM
 
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Soups worked well for us frozen, muffins, lasagne, pesto sauce, tomato sauce. DO you have any help from family? mother, MIL? I ask because my mom was very helpful with cooking large batches of foods my ds liked & i froze them. It was great, as i could heat up just enough of what he wanted.
His likes were basically meatballs and tomato soup. My mom also cooked lasagne, blintzes & pierogies for us.HTH
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:25 AM
 
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Great advice!
I'm also looking to freeze postpartum meals, but still have a few months to think about it (and get working!). I'm going to try and plan simple meals that I know the family will like, such as pizza, calzones, pasta, soups, bread.

4 kids under 10
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well unfortunately I'm not going to have much help. My mother is having surgery Tues. and has to have another surgery this summer after this one heals, so she won't be able to help at all. I'm just hoping she'll even be able to hold the baby (she's having surgery on her shoulder and wrist). And my MIL ... well lets not open that major can of worms! My sister is 16 and might be around to take the pressure off some but thats about it. Thats why I'm trying so hard to get organized now. I'm going to be left entirely alone with a newborn and 1 1/2 year old! I have started on my OAMC though. So far all I've done is breakfast foods.

Here's the list:
-banana nut muffins
-blueberry muffins
-pancakes
-breakfast hot pockets: ham, egg & cheese; bacon, egg & cheese; & sausage, egg & cheese
-egg muffins: bacon, egg & cheese; sausage, egg, & cheese
-french toast sticks

My cousin told me that she freezes pasta and rice well too. To defrost all you do is put them in a colander and run hot water over them!

So far here's what I've come up with for dinners:
-hamburger patties
-salisbury steak
-red beans and rice
-pot roast
-vegetable soup
-beef tips w/ mushrooms
-chili
-beef stew
-chicken spaghetti
-spaghetti
-gumbo
-potato soup

And for lunches and snacks:
-ham and cheese hot pockets
-calzones
-pizza bites
-chicken strips
-rice crispy treats
-peanut butter crispy bars

Any other ideas ladies? Especially for lunch foods or snacks. I'll be doing dinners all next week. I feel better knowing things are a little more in order now. I'm about to order supplies for some of my other projects too, like CD's and a ring sling.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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i make lasagne for my new mom friends 1 usual lasagna recipe (a 9x13 pan) splits up well into 3 loaf pans, which is good for 2 or 3 people, depending on appetites

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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Things that I freeze:

I roast a turkey. Make gravey from the drippings. Make mashed potatoes.

Freeze some meat in some of the gravey for either just roasted turkey or hot turkey sandwiches.

I save some of the gravey to make a goulash dish we call "Gravey Train."
(saute onions and garlic, add ground meat and brown, make gravey or add the turkey gravey--cause I use ground turkey--salt and pepper to taste, cook for 35-45 min to blend flavors, then add frozen veggie of choice, we like corn or green beans,and cook till crip tender...serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes--use some of the frozen taters for an EASY dinner!).

I freeze some of the turkey just plain for cold turkey sandwiches.

I take the bones from the turkey and make broth in the crockpot over night (w/quartered onion, some carrots, celery, crushed garlic, parsley, salt&pepper), then take some of the turkey meat scraps and add them to the finished broth, with some sauteed garlic, carrots, a little onion, and celery (all of that sauteed, by the way, makes for a richer flavor to the soup). I wait to put the noodles or brown rice in it till about an hour before the actual dinner...it's not that tough to make, and the rice doesn't get over puffed that way from being in the fluid for so long and then frozen and reheated.


Same Idea with roaster chicken. I roast the chicken and some sweet potatoes. I mash the sweet potatoes and freeze. Make pan gravey with the chicken drippings. Freeze the gravey, some plain and some w/chicken in it. SOme chicken plain and some in STUFF. Enchilada sauce is good, taco seasoning, too. I make soup from chicken and bones that's left.

I make turkey meatloaf (oh, it's sooo good. dh is pickiest eater on face of the earth and he asks me to make it!), three at a time.

I make meatballs. SOme for gravey and noodles, some for spaghetti sauce.

Roast beef. Some sliced for sandwiches. SOme in pan dripping gravey for roast dinner. Some for soup. I make really yummy beef noodle soup. Yum.

Ham. Don't have to precook it, that's nice, just break it into meals...some for lunch meat (tons less money than delicounter stuff, and tastes better, too!), some for breakfast ham, some for dinner time. Dice some for hash, if you eat hash for sunday breakfast, and for soups. Make hambone broth. I use it then for either lentils or for navy bean or 12 bean soup.

Saute some onions and celery. Add pork chops to brown. cook some rice. Throw a can or two of tomato soup (condensed) in the chops pan to boil up the brown bits. Get a baking pan, layer the chops, some rice, the chops, some rice. Pour the tomato/brown bits stuff over it, bake it till meat is cooked through. Yum. My great gramma's recipe.

I'll think of more.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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Old 04-25-2007, 12:25 PM
 
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I froze lots of meal before I had my son. Pasta does freeze well and still tastes good 3 months later.
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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I freeze mashed potatoes, so that with your salisbury steak, a bag of frozen veggies, and mashed taters, you have a nice meal that is different from casseroles.

I make a huge batch of poatoes, then spoon them out using an ice cream scoop on cookie sheets. Freeze until firm, then put in ziploc bags. You can take out as many or as few as you need.

Savannah red rice (jambalaya with tomatoes added basically) is another freezer go-to here.
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I make a huge batch of poatoes, then spoon them out using an ice cream scoop on cookie sheets. Freeze until firm, then put in ziploc bags. You can take out as many or as few as you need.
that's so smart!! I'm totally going to do that this weekend - just to have in the freezer

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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Old 04-28-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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that is a really good idea for the potatoes- im gonna have to try that

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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You have so many things on your list! Wow!

I think you'll be doing well to make all those things!
Your family will definitely be well-fed!!!

Some things I thought of.....

Foods To Buy Or Make For Nursing Stations Around Your Home

-little ziploc baggies of dried fruit & nut mix
-bottles of water for your nursing stations
-granola bars
-little containers of applesauce with spoons


Also I would stock up on and prepack your vitamins in daily containers.
Be sure to take an omega 3 oil supplement, multivitamin, Vitamin B 12 supplement (I like Jamieson's Vitamin B12 strips) & Floravit (iron).

Also stock up on epsom salts and pads.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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Bumping this up because its time for me to do this now and looking for more ideas!

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

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Old 07-29-2007, 10:35 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that I found it easier to buy and have on hand the ingredients for multiple crock pot recipes that I know we all love, including some easy and cheap ones (like 5 can soup). I always seemed to have at least 10 minutes in the morning to throw everything in the crock pot. And when I didn't have the time...well, this is what I did.

I had a printed list of all the dishes I had ingredients for. This was on the fridge. Stapled to the list was the recipes for all the crock pot dishes listed on front. *Anyone* who was here to help could find the ingredients, put them in the crock pot and make it. It was a huge saver for us. It usually made enough for 2 or more meals and if I got sick of it would then freeze the rest for later use.

I sincerely hope this makes sense!

Some favorites:

Veg. Black bean and brown rice soup
Chicken in peanut sauce
5 can soup
Roasted chicken
White chicken chilli with hominy
Flying Chicken (made with cooking wine and tomatoes...to die for!)
Split Pea Soup
a Roast for DH with carrots and potatoes
N. African Chicken Stew
Spaghetti sauce
Oriental Barley with Cashews
Lentil and Veg. Stew
Curry
Garlic Lime Chicken
Chicken and Corn Chowder
Jambalaya
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom2Joseph View Post

5 can soup

Flying Chicken (made with cooking wine and tomatoes...to die for!)
ohhh recipes please

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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Old 07-31-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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5 Can Soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes (or any brand if rotel is too spicy)
1 can chilli with beans
1 can whole kernal corn
1 can Veg. Beef Soup
1 can tomato soup

Open cans, cook on stove top or crock pot all day. Serve with any garnishes that you wish.


You can easily double this or make it vegetarian. I love to put this together (using all organics) and give to new moms with a package of corn bread mix. Non perishable so they can use any time. I got this recipe off MDC many moons ago, I have no idea who came up with it!

Flying Chicken

4 pounds of chicken pieces (dark meat works best in a crock pot, but I have used boneless skinless chicken breasts with good results too. I usually use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken quarters with the skin removed)
1/3 cup of Red Wine (or use red cooking wine)
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon chicken paste
1 onion chopped
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/4 teaspoon cyanne pepper
14 oz canned chopped tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano seasonings

1 small box of cous cous

Put Chicken in crock pot. Mix the wine and next 7 ingredients then pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 6 hours, (8 hours if chicken was frozen).

When chicken is cooked, remove from crock pot and stir in the box of cous cous. Put the cover back on for about 5 min. It will soak up all that delicious sauce and chunks of tomato.


This is my variation of a saving dinner recipe. Anytime we have family or guests coming over they beg me to make this! Using wine that you would drink with dinner makes this dish insanely delicious!
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:27 AM
 
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thanks!!!

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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