New Mom Survival - Freezer Meals

April 9, 2015

Back in November I started hoarding away meals in our deep freezer in an attempt to make it easier on myself after I had Harrison.

Having a baby is something I don't think you can fully prepare yourself for, plus you don't know the personality of that little person until they show up. I know my mother had a hard time after I was born because I cried nonstop in the evening, my grandmother had to come over to hold me just so Mom could cook dinner.

I wanted to avoid that.

Plus I didn't have the luxury of having my mother here for the first week home. In fact she wasn't able to come (aside from the hospital) until he was a month old. Work, ugh.

We were very fortunate though to have our close friends and the major support of our church, for our first two weeks home we has a Meal Train and that made life so much easier on myself. Plus it kept me from using any of the freezer meals until the 3 week mark.

If you haven't used Meal Train for new moms, or anyone who recently had surgery that you want to take meals to, I highly suggest you check it out. I came across it when we were living in Thibodaux and it make organizing who would take meals to our new mom's so much easier. Plus the new mom gets to see who is bringing what on what day and she can plan accordingly!

Now for the actual freezer meal part.

I did have one big rule for it, we would no under any circumstances use a freezer meal while people were staying with us. All of our family is out of town, and either Jeremy could cook, they could pick up food, or who ever was staying here could cook.

Freezing Meals >>>

- Buy the tin pans that you can toss afterwards. Definitely get the ones that come with the plastic lids so they are easy to store in the fridge, you aren't trying to make more dishes! Keep that in mind.

- I also used wax or parchment paper to place over the actual food in the pan, then I wrapped the entire pan in plastic wrap and then a layer of tin foil. I didn't want any freezer burn getting in! Lastly I wrote on the top what the dish was and cooking instructions in Sharpie.

- Meals that were going directly into the crock pot, or that weren't in a casserole type format, were placed in 2 gallon Ziploc bags. Make sure you buy the name brand bags for freezing, I had a heck of a time with the off brand ones.

I know it isn't as exciting to have most of your meals come in a casserole dish, but I promise you it is well worth it to not be pan frying chicken and roasting veggies every night.

- If you can find the plastic soup containers like restaurants use for take out get some. I froze my soups in 2 gallon bags, but we were given two different soups for our freezer meal collection in them and I thought it was a great idea.

- I didn't go out of my way to make these meals either, I just doubled what I was making once or twice a week for the 4 months leading up to the birth.

- When you're ready to defrost a meal be sure to take it out early in the day with enough time to thaw out completely. I made this mistake a few times. I also have had to keep in mind that when I typically stick these things in the oven they are at a much higher temperature than they are after defrosting, you may have to extend your cook time.

Now for some actual freezer meals.

Meal Ideas >>>

Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Breasts (for salads and what not)
PW Comfort Meatballs & Mashed Potatoes
South of the Border Chicken
Precooked Sausage for Irish Nachos
NOLA Black Ham for White Beans and Rice (I saved the hock with a bit of meat)
Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach
Beef Paprikash
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Baked Parmesan Spaghetti
Barbacoa Pork
Paleo Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Paleo Mini Meatloaves
Tamales (leftover from Christmas and can be used in casseroles or eaten as is)
Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

We also have Gumbo and Chicken and Dumplings in the freezer that someone gave to us to add in.
I also have a big bag of frozen uncooked chicken, as well as two chuck roasts and 6lbs of ground beef.

We do a lot of our bulk shopping at Sam's Club so before I went into labor we made sure to have other household items stocked. Jeremy was great after I had Harrison and did our grocery shopping for the first month, I had to venture out this past week.

I actually had a list of meals I never got around to making since I was induced a few weeks early.

Hopefully this give some expecting Moms meal ideas or even if you're going to have a planned surgery or something that you know you won't want to cook through.

If you have any other freezer meal ideas I'd love for you to share them in the comments below!