If there is one thing I would recommend to do before having a baby, it would be to make as many freezer friendly meals to get you through the newborn phase as you can! Make enough to get you up until they leave home if you can!
Seriously though, having fresh, healthy meals prepared in the freezer was a life saver for me.
We all know that eating well is necessary not only for physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing also. Queensland Health states “Following a healthy pattern of eating is linked with better stress management, improved sleep quality, increased concentration, and better mental wellbeing in general. Just as our food choices affect our physical and mental wellbeing, the opposite is also true – we’re more likely to follow a healthy diet when we’re in a good headspace.” (You can read the full post here)
My Husband doesn’t like cooking. When I had my first baby, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, and whether I’d have enough time to cook (I love cooking!), so to make sure our family still ate well, I pre-made lots of meals towards the end of my pregnancy, and froze them. I definitely didn’t want to be living on stir fry and cheese sandwiches, which is what we’d eat 7 days a week if my Husband was in charge of cooking! I did this with my second pregnancy also, and boy am I glad, because having two children is more than twice the work 😉
If you plan to breastfeed, having a healthy diet is also important for your own health and energy levels. For tips on what to eat while breastfeeding, this post from the Australian Breastfeeding Association is great!
I have compiled a list of freezer friendly meals to give you some ideas of things you can make, and freeze in advance towards the end of your pregnancy. (Hot tip: don’t wait too late though, just in case you go into labour a little early)
- Spaghetti bolognaise – You can’t beat a good spag bol. I load mine up with veggies too like capsicum, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots and some fresh tomatoes. (If you have other little ones who are a little fussy, grate the zucchini and carrot and they’ll never know!)
- Chilli con carne – Another nice and easy meal. All you or your spouse have to do is reheat the chilli and boil up some rice.
- Any type of curry – A great meal that you can have with meat, or as a vegetarian option. There are so many great curry recipes. We love Rick Steins India, Gordon Ramsays Great Escape and anything Jamie Oliver!
- Speaking of Jamie Oliver, his Superfood family classics book is great! He has some meal prep recipes towards the end of that book. Including a fresh pasta sauce, a big batch of pesto and various curry pastes. I make those recipes all the time! His recipes are always simple and quick to make, so anything by Jamie is a yes from me!
- Freeze meat – I know this isn’t pre-made meals, but I also bought a fair bit of meat and froze it too. I generally don’t like to eat freezer meals daily, it’s just not the same as cooking and eating it fresh. So I bought in meat and knew that my Husband could throw together a salad and even just some boiled potatoes if it came to it!
- Muffins – of all varieties! Breakfast muffins, snack muffins! You can fill them with veg for a savoury muffin, or make them as a sweet snack. I’ll link to Jamie again, because, well, I think he’s great, and honestly, I use his recipes more than anyones!
- Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry
- Superfood protein loaf
- Cottage pie
- I recently bought ‘The healthy slow cooker‘ cookbook from Amazon and it’s amazing! You can make the recipes and freeze them, or most of them are so quick to prepare, you could just throw everything in in the morning and have it ready for dinner (or breakfast or lunch!)
You can also make up some toasted sandwiches and freeze them, then just pop in the toastie maker when you want them and make smoothie bags too with mixed fruits and veggies, so on a morning you can throw your ready cut fruit into a blender with your chosen liquid (coconut water, water milk, almond milk etc) and blend!
I hope some of these ideas are useful for you! You are more than welcome to DM me on Instagram if you’d like to talk cooking, because I am always trying out new recipes and love to share my favourites!
If you think of any that you think I should add to the post then leave a comment below, or DM me on Instagram!
Happy cooking! x
P.S. All ideas are my own. I am not a nutritionist. These are just recipes I love.