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Preparing meals for the freezer before baby is born

(34 Posts)
RaisinGirls Mon 24-Mar-14 17:08:11

Im due to have my first baby in about two weeks or so. I want to do some batch cooking in the next few days so I can prepare some decent meals for me and DH to eat during the first month - and so we can avoid living off takeaways.

I've not been particularly hungry recently and so haven't cooked anything 'proper' for ages living on beans on toast, and now I've got a total mind freeze on what to cook though - all I can think of is bolognese.

Anyone any ideas on what I could cook?

waceystills Mon 24-Mar-14 17:11:38

Things you can eat one handed and with a spoon.

Curry, stews, ratatouille or chilli?

I stuck to a lot of rice dishes, Nasi Gorang is nice, or you can do lots of different types of curries.

Good luck thanksthanks

CoolCat2014 Mon 24-Mar-14 17:11:39

Stuff I often cook & freeze: cottage pie, lasagne, chicken curry, vegetable curry, homemade soups, stew, fish pie, mashed potatoes, etc. depends what you like!

KiwiBanana Mon 24-Mar-14 17:16:03

You could get some of those nice pasta ravioli packs and sauces to go with them, they're dead easy and quick.

What about some muffins or flapjacks for snacking?

BakingBunty Mon 24-Mar-14 17:39:45

Some really good ideas here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/freezable

I really enjoyed batch cooking before DS arrived, it was my form of 'nesting'! I bought a load of those metal containers that you get takeaways in (found them in the pound shop) and did beef casserole, chicken casserole, cottage pie, fish pie, fish cakes, curry, and stacked them up in the freezer. Lasted ages!

ChicaMomma Mon 24-Mar-14 17:46:51

I suppose it all depends on whether you plan to breastfeed- if you do, just make sure that you avoid the ingredients that they tell you to avoid- ie the ones that could aggravate the baby- I dont have a full list but things like cabbage/dairy/citrus fruits feature on the NO list i'm pretty sure? wonder how things like chili are for breastfeeding? I love a good chili!

Thank you thank you thank you for this post!!
I'm doing mine this week!!
I did cottage pie last week, lasagne this week and was looking for more ideas!

RaisinGirls Mon 24-Mar-14 17:53:27

Ohh, I am planning on breast-feeding but had No idea that there were foods I needed to avoid red-faced to admit I thought after 9 months of foods to avoid I was able to dive into the brie and rare steaks again
<<off to check up on new foods to avoid lists>>

cottage pie, yum yum - although does mashed potato freeze and cook again ok?

crashbangboom Mon 24-Mar-14 17:55:38

There is no need to limit foods when breast feeding unless baby shows intolerances. Rare steak and brie are fine!

crashbangboom Mon 24-Mar-14 17:55:48

There is no need to limit foods when breast feeding unless baby shows intolerances. Rare steak and brie are fine!

ChicaMomma Mon 24-Mar-14 17:58:37

I think there are SOME though that they tell you are the biggest offenders for causing gas in babies? is that right? or do you just suck it and see (pun alert!!!) and cut things out if you need to as you go?

Fizzy drinks/citrus fruits/caffeine i thought were all on the 'limited' list unless you wanted a gassy baby?
I want a cottage pie tonight now after all the cottage pie talk!

Definitely no need to limit food other than alcohol or caffeine when breastfeeding, unless baby starts to show signs of intolerances (which the vast majority don't have).

I batch-cooked furiously for a fortnight before DS1 was born, then again in the fortnight before I went back to work. Fully intend doing the same thing before DS2 arrives in August! I did pasta bakes, lasagnes, bake-from-the-freezer pizzas, pies (ones with pastry as well as the cottage variety) pithiviers, huge batch of chilli to have on jackets, with rice, in burritos etc, refried beans (for quesadillas - very easy), stews, soups...I have a big freezer and a DH that couldn't cook if you hold a gun to his head! He was able to just stick stuff in the oven, often straight from the freezer. We were also living in a rural/remote area where phoning for a delivery was not an option.

Fizzy drinks and citrus are absolutely fine. Caffeine and alcohol do pass into BM a bit less diluted so can be a problem but there's no evidence to suggest you need to avoid anything else.

Evie2014 Mon 24-Mar-14 18:46:06

Someone thinks you should avoid dairy when breastfeeding? hmm

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 24-Mar-14 18:48:42

There are no foods you routinely need to avoid during breastfeeding. That's a bit of a myth. All those 'onions make them gassy' things are not evidence based and I think are just people (understandably) searching for an answer. They might affect the odd baby, but they aren't something to assume as a starting point. I, for example, have breastfed for about 4 years solidly and am about to start again, and have not limited anything except alcohol and, in the earlier days, not too much caffeine at one time.

On the freezer front, I would advise things that can be eaten with one hand, and also nothing too liquid in case you have a cling-on/evening cluster feeder (soup is really hard to eat with a baby in the other hand). Bolognese is good, but probably served with penne or something rather than spaghetti. Stews, cottage pie, lasagne (you might end up having your DH cut it up for you at times!), chilli, pasta sauces for pasta bakes, etc.

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 24-Mar-14 18:49:38

Fizzy drinks absolutely cannot make a baby gassy. Just as the bubbles can't pass into your blood stream, they don't go into your milk.

AnythingNotEverything Mon 24-Mar-14 18:50:33

You can eat anything while breastfeeding and can drink more alcohol than you would think before you do any harm to your baby.

Some people find their baby is sensitive to certain foods, but it is uncommon I believe. I've heard MN's resident bf expert tiktok say as much.

That said, on the few occasions I've eaten chickpeas three days in a row we've had a very windy baby. Could just be coincidence though.

My tips for the freezer are ragu / you can then do lasagne or spag Bol, and fish pie, which gets better in the freezer!

BeverleyMoss Mon 24-Mar-14 18:50:37

yes, mashed potato freezes fine especially when it's a topping.

If you freeze just mash you might want to add more milk/butter whatever when you defrost and cook because it dries up a bit.

Mummyk1982 Mon 24-Mar-14 18:59:38

I've frozen a couple of left overs from the slow cooker recently (casseroles generally), have a taco mix frozen, and aside from that I've stocked up on some of the waitrose easy to cook things (prepared meat with various sauces in foil tray) and the sainsburys ones as those with boiled potato and either veg or salad are so easy and healthy. Also chicken kievs and fishcakes are regulars in my freezer :-) inexpensive too. Just didn't want to live on casseroles during the spring.

CoolCat2014 Mon 24-Mar-14 19:04:49

I've frozen mash a lot before, can get a little drier sometimes but never had a problem

MaryWestmacott Mon 24-Mar-14 19:07:26

My pre baby batch cooking was:
Bolognese sauce
Chilli
Chicken curry
Cottage pie

For each of these, make sure you batch them up in small pots! For the sauces and chili, I put them in the plastic containers you get takeaways in (that's about the right size for 2 people) and I made the cottage pies into small oven and freezer pots, again, right size for 2 portions.

I also made a couple of "instant stir fry" bags, get large freezer bags that seal, put in chopped onion, chilli, red and green pepper, carrots, green beans, mange tout and ginger, then froze. Stick that in a wok with some hoisin sauce and some 'straight to wok noodles' and you have an instant meal you can make one handed.

I was given a very good tip on here too, put chicken breasts (or other meats) in a freezer bag with some marinade, freeze together, take out of the freezer the night before you want to cook and it's marinaded while defrosting.

Mrswellyboot Mon 24-Mar-14 19:09:37

Definitely do this OP

We loved on freezer meals for a few weeks and it was great

Chicken curry
Chilli
Bolognese
Beef Stew
Chicken casserole
Pork chops in gravy

HHinde2014 Mon 24-Mar-14 19:15:51

Those metal containers are great for cottage / fish pie etc etc. Had them from the pound shop. If you need to defrost one of these quickly the metal peels off and the cooked meal can go into a microwaveable Pyrex dish. A fellow mum told me this - though she was batch cooking for her 19-year-old student son!

I've gone a bit batch cooking crazy - done lots of veggie dishes too - veggie chilli, thai green curry (milder), spag bol and a few sauces with plenty veg I can chuck over pasta.

Have done some soups as well, thinking ahead to lunch as well as dinner time.

I found that freezing double portions in freezer bags and rolling into a sausage shape means I can get more in the freezer.

Other mashed veg, like swede and carrot, freeze well. Sometimes need to add a bit of butter if it dries out.

Was recently given a slow cooker - brilliant for casseroles and easy on washing up (main dish part can go on the dishwasher).

HHinde2014 Mon 24-Mar-14 19:19:25

Oooh - great tip re. marinaded frozen chicken! Thanks!

Capitola Mon 24-Mar-14 19:23:52

Does your dh not cook?

At the end of my pregnancies or ever the last thing I wanted to do was batch cook.

I avoided nothing when I breastfed, which someone told me helps kids to be non fussy eaters. This may be an old wives tale… but my children will eat anything!

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