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13 Make-Ahead Freezer Meals for New Moms

Trust us: As a new parent, you're going to be busy. Having an arsenal of precooked postpartum freezer meals tucked away will save you time and stress.
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published June 8, 2023
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Image: Valentina Barreto
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Bringing home baby (and acclimating to life as a new parent!) will consume your time and suck up energy—physically and mentally. You have a sweet newbie at home, but you’re still getting used to this whole child-rearing thing, or figuring out how to balance life with two (or more) little ones at home. And let’s not forget you’re also still recovering from childbirth. With so much going on, everyday tasks like laundry, cleaning and cooking can quickly become a challenge. Set yourself up for success by preparing some postpartum freezer meals ahead of baby’s arrival. It’ll save you and your partner some of the stress during your first weeks as a new mom. Need some ideas? We’ve got delicious inspiration from three amazing cookbook authors. Try out the following healthy and easy freezer meals for new moms.

Image: Toni Okamoto

Lasagna is one of the best freezer meals for new moms—and for good reason. While this recipe will take between an hour to an hour-and-a-half to make (including prep and bake time), it’ll last up to three months in the freezer, says Toni Okamoto, the cookbook author and food blogger behind Plant-Based on a Budget. “It’s perfect to stash ahead of time—or to gift to new parents in your life!” Plus, with ingredients like zucchini, mushrooms and tofu, it’s “loaded with spinach and veggies for extra nutrition.”

Image: Toni Okamoto

Overnight oats have become a go-to breakfast for many harried parents. “They’re cheap, filling, and so easy to customize,” Okamoto says. “This recipe requires minimal effort for a meal you can just grab from the fridge.” You can make individual servings and refrigerate them for five to six days in an airtight container (three to four days if you add in fruit!). Bonus: Oats are a galactagogue and can help increase milk production, making this recipe a win-win for breastfeeding mamas.

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Image: Toni Okamoto

If you’re looking for cozy, comforting freezer meals for new moms, this is it. Sopa de fideo is a childhood staple in Mexico—Okamoto likens it to the American classic of grilled cheese and tomato soup. This recipe from Plant-Based on a Budget will only take you 20 minutes to make—and it uses only eight pantry staples, including pasta, veggie broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce. It’s filling, easy to freeze and, as Okamoto notes, “will feel like a warm hug on those tough postpartum days.”

Image: Toni Okamoto

This recipe takes a total of 5 minutes to make and offers tons of variations—put it on a sandwich, in a wrap, or eat it as a salad with added vegetables. It’s even a great snack with crackers, Okamoto says. Better yet, it’s easy to make-ahead and will last in the fridge for days. Along with being incredibly simple to whip up, it’s also highly nutritious. “Chickpeas contain 3.7 mg of iron (along with tons of fiber, protein, and folic acid!) per cup, making them an excellent and inexpensive choice if you’re struggling with postpartum anemia,” she explains.

Image: Catherine McCord

This healthy postpartum freezer meal for new moms comes from Catherine McCord, the cookbook author behind Weelicious. All you need to do to make this chicken is whisk together the ingredients for the marinade, add the chicken breasts, let them soak and then bake —it’s easy, quick and mess-free. “After I had two of my babies, I made this no-work chicken weekly,” McCord says. “You can make huge batches to keep in the [freezer], offering protein to keep you fueled up, alongside a salad, rice or favorite vegetable. Since there’s virtually no clean up, it’s a flavor packed win-win.”

Image: Catherine McCord

If you’re looking for the best freezer meals for moms who are breastfeeding, look no further. This Weelicious smoothie only uses a handful of fresh, whole ingredients and helps maintain hydration, which is key for breastfeeding parents. “After baby is born, you need tons of hydration to improve lactation,” McCord says. “This smoothie is easy to digest and fast to prepare. You can even batch out the ingredients by putting them in zipper bags to freeze.” This way, you can just toss the contents of each bag into the blender and add liquid before blending for a creamy and filling smoothie. It’s super simple and virtually mess-free.

Image: Catherine McCord

Say goodbye to banana bread and hello to these banana muffins from Weelicious. This take on the classic sweet treat is pretty healthy and contains lots of magnesium, which helps soothe sore muscles, McCord says. It also offers tons of fiber, protein, complex carbs and nutrients thanks to the wheat germ. Make a few batches ahead of baby’s arrival to freeze for those quick morning breakfasts or an afternoon snack.

Image: Catherine McCord

These no bake protein balls from Weelicious are made entirely from whole, healthy ingredients—including plant-based protein—that pack a nutritious punch and offer a (much-needed) energy boost between meals. Plus, they only use five ingredients, many of which you likely already have in your pantry, making them a much more affordable option than some store-bought protein bars, McCord says. Even better? They’re incredibly easy to make and only take about 15 minutes with no baking time required. Once made, the protein balls can easily be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Image: Catherine McCord

If you’re looking for a sweet treat postpartum, look no further than this recipe from Weelicious. “Not only do these lactation cookies taste delicious, but they’re packed with fiber and omega 3 fatty acids,” McCord says, both of which can help with postpartum recovery and breastfeeding. Yes, you can always buy lactation cookies after baby’s birth if you plan to breastfeed, but McCord recommends making a batch to freeze at home during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This way, they’ll be easily accessible right away after baby’s arrival.

Image: Frances Largeman-Roth

“Protein-rich egg bites are a mom’s best friend,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist. Better yet, this postpartum freezer meal offers plenty of vital nutrients, like choline and vitamin D from the eggs, and B vitamins and zinc from the turkey. They’re easy to make and require ingredients you likely already have in your pantry (eggs, milk and cheddar cheese!). Once made, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or freeze them for later use.

Image: Frances Largeman-Roth

Inspired by the viral Jennifer Aniston salad, this medley from Largeman-Roth offers tons of flavor and fiber for new moms, with ingredients including quinoa, asparagus and cucumber. Plus, it’s also incredibly easy to make a big batch at once—“you’ll have lunch for a week,” Largeman-Roth says. (But if you’re freezing it, it’s best to add the cheese after defrosting, she adds.) If you’re looking for some added protein, you can also easily mix in grilled chicken or salmon.

Image: Frances Largeman-Roth

A smoothie is a go-to meal that’s quick, easy, healthy and mess-free. This recipe from Largeman-Roth offers 8 grams of plant protein and 5 grams of fiber, which will help you avoid constipation (a common postpartum issue), she notes. To prep the recipe, portion out the ingredients (minus the liquid) by single-serving into freezer bags or freezer-safe containers to use later on.

Image: Frances Largeman-Roth

This lasagna is secretly packed with vegetables, but so tasty, the whole family will love it, Largeman-Roth says—even picky eating toddlers. It incorporates kale and Brussels sprouts, both of which have antioxidants, as well as ricotta and mozzarella, both cheeses higher in protein. The recipe will take about an hour to make, but it’ll make a big batch that’s perfect to freeze. “You may want to cut it into squares, wrap them separately and then freeze individually,” Largeman-Roth suggests.

About the experts:

Toni Okamoto is the food blogger behind Plant-Based on a Budget, created in 2012, as well as the author of a Plant-Based on a Budget Quick & Easy. She shares recipes that allow families to be plant-based in a time- and budget-friendly way. Okamoto has over a decade of experience in the food industry and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco.

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a nutrition expert and New York Times best-selling author of the books *Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide and Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and went on to complete her dietetic internship at Columbia University.

Catherine McCord is the entrepreneur behind popular family food blog Weelicious, as well as the cookbook author of Weelicious, Weelicious Lunches, Smoothie Project and most recently Meal Prep Magic. In 2015 the brand also launched One Potato, a meal delivery service focused on the dinnertime needs of families. She has over 15 years of experience and received her culinary training from the Institute of Culinary Education.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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