You can’t wait to bring home your little bundle of joy. However excited you may feel, your life is about to change significantly. Expect everything to undergo a deep-sea change — including your mealtimes.
Fortunately, a little mealtime savvy can help you maintain good health and nutrition when things get crazy. Here are 11 super simple dinners to prep and freeze before baby to eat well after delivery.
1. Orange-Turmeric Wild Rice Salad
Giving birth causes changes in your body that can prompt inflammation. Fortunately, turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory compounds you can find, and you can get it through meals. You don’t even have to be a fan of curry to up your intake.
For example, you can whip up this orange-turmeric wild rice salad and keep it in the freezer for a return-to-the-workday lunch. Alternatively, pair it with a loaf of crusty French bread for a light and elegant dinner that pairs perfectly with a glass of sauvignon blanc after a busy day with a baby.
2. Honey-Sesame Chicken
One of the things you must do after giving birth is regulated your hormonal cycles once more. Sesame seeds can help in this endeavor. They contain lignans that can help control the female menstrual cycle as one of their many health benefits.
This easy recipe requires only seven little ingredients. Add an instant pot, and you can have dinner on the table on the busiest nights with barely a fuss. You’ll save a small fortune on Chinese takeout by cooking at home.
3. Lasagne Roll-Ups
Who doesn’t love lasagne? This meal represents the ultimate in comfort, but it takes forever to make — doesn’t it? First, you have to cook the noodles, then assemble the pasta.
Shave serious time with this variation of lasagne roll-ups that take out some of the work. Best of all, the individual portions let you heat a family dinner or make a quick midday meal for yourself alone. When you’re a new mom, it pays to have a comfortable favorite on the freezer speed dial.
4. Buffalo Chicken Chili
Chili is low-fat, hearty comfort food, but buying it from your favorite fast-food restaurant is unnecessarily sketchy. Instead, why not keep a healthy version in your freezer to put in your instant pot after your baby arrives?
This buffalo chicken chili will quickly become a game-day hit. You can serve it over noodles or rice for a heartier meal or eat it solo with a few crackers or tortilla chips. You decide how much cheese you want to use for garnish.
5. Zucchini Pizza Casserole
Pizza should qualify as a vegetable. After all, it has tomato sauce and grains. However, the all-purpose flour many places use to make the crust can up your Type 2 diabetes risk, making it unwise to order out more than once a week.
Satisfy your craving for a savory pie while increasing your veggie intake. You can slice the zucchini for a different experience, but spiralizing it adds a paste-like appearance. The oven does much of the reheating work, letting you kick back and nurse your newborn while dinner cooks.
6. Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
Black beans and corn are awesome vegetarian protein choices. Pair the two of them with chicken, and you have a meal guaranteed to help you and your baby grow strong muscles.
You can serve this chicken over nachos as a meal. Alternatively, use it to stuff tacos or top a salad.
7. Baked Mac and Cheese
Few things scream comfort food classics like mac and cheese. However, opting for instant joy can mean settling for processed orange cheese “food” — is that what real cheddar has for breakfast?
Instead, fill your freezer with this baked version before the baby arrives. You can even make a bacon-y or garlic version for those nights when you have slightly more sophisticated comfort cravings.
8. Bacon, Potato, and Cheese Waffles
Breakfast for dinner? Yes, please! Especially when you can include everything that makes the first meal of the day great in one convenient form.
These bacon, potato, and cheese waffles fit the bill with your dairy, carbs, and protein in one easy-to-carry package. However, they taste even better drenched in maple syrup — the combination of savory and sweet is divine.
9. Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
There’s something about jambalaya that transports you to the streets of New Orleans — even if you’re ensconced on your couch in Des Moines. This chicken and sausage version can use a poultry version of the latter ingredient if you stay away from beef and pork.
You only have to let this simmer for about 20 minutes. You’ll still enjoy the full flavor blend, thanks to letting the ingredients sit together in the freezer.
10. Baked Spaghetti
When you have a new infant, you need a meal that goes straight from the freezer to the oven with no fuss. This baked spaghetti fits the bill and keeps for up to three months.
For best results, try an alternative pasta made with lentils or chickpeas. These noodles are slightly heartier, making them stand up better to freezing.
11. Homemade Vegan Veggie Burgers
Can you eat burgers guilt-free, even on meatless Monday? You can with this terrific recipe that won’t leave you feeling deprived.
For best results, serve these with plenty of garnishes like onions, tomatoes, and lettuce. You can even whip up some vegan mayonnaise to keep with your cruelty-free dinner theme.
Prep and Freeze These Super Simple Dinners Before Baby
Bringing home a baby means you have much less time to cook. Prep and freeze these super simple dinners to have dinner on the table in a jiffy.