Whether you’re already a mom or you’re soon welcoming your first little one into the world, you know that the timeframe post-birth is going to be a crazy one. The last thing you’re going to want to worry about is what you’re eating—and while Seamless-ing every meal is an option, it’s hardly a practical one, which is where freezer meals for new moms come in. If you’re anything like me, you’ve frozen leftovers but probably aren’t used to freezing whole meals at a time, but this genius concept is pretty much the same thing.
Busy moms need food at the ready for whenever the moment strikes (it’s kind of like how you pull out a pint of ice cream from your freezer after a really bad day). The trick to these types of meals is that you want to be sure they are easy to make and freeze and that they’ll still taste great once they’re defrosted (as in no soggy ingredients). And contrary to what many believe, these meals can be made for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner, so you’ll be covered around the clock.
We wanted to take the pressure off (you have so many other things to think about), so we’ve rounded up the top 10 freezer meals for new moms. Trust us: The extra prep will be worth it in the long run.
Avocado Breakfast Burritos
For when you’re craving protein via eggs and you don’t want to make them, you can turn to this breakfast burrito filled with eggs, peppers, onions, bacon, avocado, and roasted potatoes. It’s much healthier than the kind you’ll find in the grocery store freezer section—and tastier, too. Microwave it for two minutes, or pop it in the oven for easy heat-up.
Whole Grain Waffles
These have all the goodness of the waffles you used to have as a kid while being 10 times better for you. An easy-to-make batter of whole wheat flour, oats, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon whips up into a breakfast that freezes perfectly. Pop them in the toaster or oven, add some toppings, and you're good to go (you also may just be inspired to have breakfast for dinner).
Frozen Green Smoothie
New moms need their nutrients, but sometimes they’re not craving a full meal (or they want a healthy snack). Greens freeze well, so making smoothie packs in advance is as simple as washing your greens and cutting the fruit into small pieces so your blender can handle them. Pack in freezer-safe Ziploc bags and let out as much air as possible to avoid frost. When you’re ready to blend, add a cup of water or your favorite milk, and it will be done in an instant.
Greens are great for new moms (especially those who are breastfeeding) because they are a good source of iron. In this soup recipe, Brussels sprouts, leeks, cauliflower, and broccoli are cooked and then puréed into the creamiest broth (you can add cashews, too). PS: This soup lasts up to three months in the freezer, so it may be worth making extra.
Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sometimes soup isn’t filling enough for a meal, but this chicken corn chowder doesn’t fit into that category. When you're craving protein and veggies, this dish packed with chicken, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, and cream will satisfy your taste buds. It’s best served with fresh bread, but some croutons will also do the trick.
Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
Once in a while, we crave something kind of unhealthy—and new moms will need something on hand. The good news is that the ultimate in mac ’n’ cheese gets fancied up with a butternut squash purée that also packs the vitamins. And did we mention it’s just plain delicious?
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
A vegetable lasagna packed with everything good—broccoli, roasted grape tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini, onions and more—is a great way to get little ones to eat something healthy with you for dinner. Plus, no-boil lasagna noodles and jarred marinara sauce make prepping this one-pan meal an absolute cinch.
Gnocchi Bolognese Bake
Maybe you’re hosting a family dinner, or maybe you just want something a little more elevated than your sandwich between feedings. Whatever the reason, this gnocchi Bolognese bake will come in handy with its spicy sausage filling and provolone and mozzarella topping. We can assure you everyone will be going back for seconds.
White Bean Tortellini Soup
Tortellini soup instantly feels more filling when it’s packed with white beans and spinach. Crushed tomatoes and parmesan in the broth add tons of flavor, while fresh Havarti toasts on ciabatta take this dish from lunch to dinner.
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
These delectable enchiladas are made with beef, butternut squash, and mozzarella, and they roll up into little pieces of heaven. Time-saving trick: You can actually freeze these uncooked and save yourself from cooking it twice. ■
Having the right freezer meals for moms ready will make your first few weeks 10 times easier.