Are you pregnant right now? Let me tell you what you need to do: Stock your freezer with freezer meals! Having healthy meals on-hand when you’re caring for a newborn is the best thing ever. I’m currently pregnant with my fifth baby, so I’m excited to share what has worked for me in the past and what I’m planning to do differently this time around.
First, why make freezer meals for new moms?
- If this is your first baby and you have no idea what to expect let me tell you that you’re probably going to lay around on the couch for at least two weeks after giving birth. If you don’t want to count on your husband cooking every night (or eating out every night – yuck!), stocking your freezer with homemade meals is the best option.
- If this is your second baby or more, then you already know why it will be so great to have meals made ahead of time.
- Not only is it amazing to make meals for yourself while pregnant, but I love making freezer meals for my family members and friends when they have a new baby. Freezer meals make great gifts.
I like to make meals that are frozen without any cooking ahead of time so they cook the first time out of the freezer and don’t taste like leftovers at all. Yay!
Most freezer meals are good for at least three months, so I would make them around 32 weeks if you can. That means they’ll be good for at least a month after your baby arrives and you’ll be making them at a time in pregnancy when you still feel OK. I’ve made meals closer to my due date and it is more exhausting and requires a lot of sitting.
If you’re making the meals for someone else you could make them a week or two before their due date or deliver them after the baby is born with a new baby gift. (Although the meals themselves will be the best gift ever.)
Here are my favorite freezer meals for new moms (and dads):
Making freezer meals for new moms aren’t any different than the types of freezer meals that you would make for anyone else. (Here’s a good list of 31 freezer meals prep sessions that I’ve done in the past that include the free printable recipes and shopping lists.) The only difference in making meals for after birth is that you might want to include more variety. For example, when I’m making freezer meals for myself I like to double or triple recipes to save time and money because we have no problem repeating meals before they expire. BUT, when I’m prepping a batch of meals to eat in a row right after a new baby arrives I don’t want to eat the same thing every night. A mix of tastes, textures, and even cooking styles is key (crockpot, oven, skillet, etc.).
Let’s get to the recipes…
- 40 Pre-Baby Freezer Meals – these were the meals that I made while pregnant with Baby #4 and was feeling like a total over-achiever. I made 15 beef/pork crockpot freezer meals, 15 chicken crockpot freezer meals, and 10 casserole-type meals. We ate like kings after our son was born and loved every second of it.
- 27 Pre-Baby Freezer Meals – these are the meals I made while pregnant with Baby #3. The blog post doesn’t contain a full shopping list, but there are some good tips and it shows the process of stocking your freezer.
- 12 Freezer Meals in 2.5 Hours – these are the meals that I made for my friend Heather when she was pregnant. I picked six recipes that I thought her family would like and doubled them so we could keep six for us.
- How I Stocked My Freezer Before Baby – this post was written by my friend Denise at Sweet Peas and Saffron when she was pregnant with her second son. I love that she made such a variety of recipes – soups, breakfasts, muffins, snacks, etc.
- Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for a Stocked Freezer Before Baby – this is how my cousin Jacquie stocked her freezer when she was pregnant with her third daughter. I just love all of her details and tips.
Other freezer meal prep sessions that I’ve done (they all include free printable recipes and shopping lists):
- 7 of My All-Time Favorite Crockpot Freezer Meals – these are sure to be a big hit with anyone.
- 30 Meals in 3 Hours from Costco – this would be an easy way to stock your freezer for a long time.
- 8 Freezer Meals in 90 Minutes – includes my favorite meatloaf recipe.
- 5 Vegetarian Crockpot Freezer Meals in 50 Minutes – perfect for vegetarians.
- 10 Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Crockpot Freezer Meals in One Hour – I loved these meals and they’re perfect if you’re worried about eating dairy while nursing.
- 10 Whole30 Crockpot Freezer Meals in 90 Minutes – These meals are all really delicious. If you don’t want to make all 10, I would skip the chicken enchiladas and Tuscan chicken stew.
Individual crockpot recipes that I would give to another new mom in a heartbeat:
- Chicken – chicken noodle soup or chicken fajitas (if you slice the chicken, it can be cooked on the stovetop or in the crockpot)
- Beef – homemade Mississippi roast or meatball vegetable soup,
- Pork – Italian pork roast or sausage-stuffed mini peppers (great in the crockpot or oven),
- Vegetarian – curried sweet potato soup (also great with butternut squash), mushroom spinach stroganoff, or Thai pineapple curry (yum!)
- Whole30 – beef and sweet potato chili, steak Italiano, or simple stuffed peppers
- Other – turkey black bean chili (so good)
- Non-crockpot ideas – baked chicken pot pie, mac ‘n cheese (the best ever), or the recipes in my Stovetop Freezer Meals cookbook eBook
- Prep Session Tips. This blog post contains my seven best tips for a big freezer meal prep session.
- Enlist help if you can. I’ve made a lot of freezer meals with my mom and it’s a lot of fun.
- Side Dishes. I always like to consider side dishes and how to make my freezer meals into complete meals. Stocking up on frozen garlic bread, frozen veggies, and microwaveable rice packs are great options.