Expecting a Baby? What to Cook and Freeze Now So You Won’t Go Hungry Later
• If you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables, toss in a handful of fresh or frozen chopped spinach, kale or collard greens into soups, stews and sauces while you’re reheating. Add a bit of broth or water if it gets too thick.
• Now might be the time to invest in a good blender if you don’t have one already (and especially if you think you might make your own baby food down the line). Smoothies can serve as breakfast, lunch or even dinner in a pinch. Blenders are also great for puréeing easy vegetable soups like this lemony carrot and cauliflower soup or tomato soup.
• If this seems like too much work, or if you think you’ll need supplements, ask a friend to organize a group to take turns bringing meals for you. (We’ve known some parents-to-be to forego a baby shower altogether in favor of a Meal Train.) These recipes are a good place to start. If you’re planning on cooking a lot in advance, consider asking your family and friends to focus on bringing breakfast and lunch foods, fresh fruit, salads and snacks to accompany the main dishes you already have waiting in the freezer.
Here are some of the dishes our editors have had success making and freezing ahead when they were expecting:
Stews, soups, marinara sauce, pesto, Bolognese, ragùs and seasoned taco meat.
Meatballs, meatloaf, salmon burgers, veggie burgers, crab cakes or cod cakes.
Stuff you can eat with one hand: spiced nuts, granola, granola bars and calzones.
Raw chicken, pork or beef in marinade or dry-rubbed. When you’re ready to eat, defrost and grill or broil.
Chocolate chip cookie dough (or any cookie dough for that matter). Roll it into balls and freeze. There’s no need to defrost. Just add a few minutes to the baking time.
Quick breads like banana and zucchini bread, muffins, scones and biscuits.
Pancakes and waffles. Make a big batch for a pre-baby brunch, and freeze the leftovers. To reheat, toss into a toaster.
Freeze plastic zipper bags filled with drained, pre-soaked beans. You can toss together bean soup pretty quickly if the beans are already soaked.
For more ideas, check out our recipe collection.
Finally, if this just seems too overwhelming with all of the other items on your baby-on-its-way to-do list, don’t stress about it. Cook what you can, or nothing at all. Order some takeout, and relax.
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