Prepping meals toward the end of your pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to BLESS your future postpartum self! As a new mama, you won’t want to be cooking in the kitchen again for quite some time, and your spouse likely won’t have the energy for much cooking either. (And, meal trains are GREAT… but they don’t last forever.)
In my third trimester, I prepped some lunches/dinners and some snacks and breakfast foods as freezer meals for postpartum. Here I’m sharing every recipe I made, and I’m sharing this AFTER eating all of these, so I know they’re good stuff!
Once we ran out of these recipes, we kept the freezer party going with more and more freezer meals. My amazing mother-in-law actually made some freezer soups and casseroles for us when she’d come to visit in the early months of Colin’s life. I’m including those recipes on here too — they are delicious!
Get a Friend to Set Up a Meal Train for You Too!
- In addition to these freezer meals, get a friend to set up a meal train for you. (If no one offers this, ASK! Your friends will say yes and it will be such a blessing to you!) I’ve done this for multiple friends of mine, and had a friend set up one for us. We used MealTrain.com — it’s free and amazing!
- Even if you have a meal train, I’d still recommend making freezer meals! We had a meal train where someone brought dinner most days for about 3 weeks after Colin was born. On the days that no one brought a meal, we used one of our freezer meals. And, I ate the breakfast and snacks I prepped basically EVERYDAY because no one brings you breakfast! Once your meal train ends, you’ll have these meals to dive into next.
Top Tips for Getting Started with Freezer Meals:
- All of the dishes I prepped are good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- For the frozen dinner dishes, break them up into smaller portions in the freezer pans a.k.a. Not one giant frozen dish but 2 to 3! That way you can make enough food for just a few meals instead of one giant dish.
- Always write the name of the dish, cooking instructions, and date it was prepped on the pan cover!
- Buy the freezer aluminum dishes at your grocery store or on Amazon. I prefer these from Amazon because it’s a WAY better deal than what you’ll see at grocery stores. You don’t want to use your regular Tupperware and pans to store to this stuff!
- For soups, we used plastic Tupperware to store it in. This worked great! We’d thaw the soup overnight in the fridge, then run the tupperware container under hot water to thaw MORE. Next, just pour into a bowl and microwave your serving.
- For the breakfast items and snacks, you can store them in freezer ziploc bags.
- Other things you’ll want on hand that aren't meal prep are just granola bars and other fast snacks! As a new mama, snacks are KEY! Especially easy to eat snacks for during breastfeeding — day and night! I feel like I was constantly hungry (and constantly eating) in those early months.
Freezer Meal Cooking and Storage Supplies:
- Silicone baking cups — These are great for making freezer muffins in big batches. The clean up is much easier.
- Disposable aluminum baking pans — These are what I use for all my freezer casseroles and baked dishes.
- ZipLoc Twist N Loc Containers — This is what we use for freezer soups! When storing this amount in the freezer, it will need longer to thaw. Thawing overnight in the fridge is great or letting the container sit out in hot water.
- ZipLoc Gallon Freezer Bags — This is what I use for freezer items like muffins!
Not Postpartum? Freezer Meals are still for you!
So, as I’m writing this, my son is actually 16 months old, and guess what? I still make freezer meals all the time! Today it looks more like doubling a dish and putting half in the freezer versus a big “meal prep day”. It’s become a way of life for me as a mom, and it’s nice knowing that on a week where time is especially tight, we have a delicious meal ready to thaw in the freezer. I also love making freezer meal items for my son, Colin, these “Grinch Muffins” and Chicken Zucchini Poppers are 2 of his favorites and are really great to have on hand!
Amazing Breakfast Freezer Meals for Breastfeeding Moms:
These will likely be what you use first if you have a meal train. These were essential for me to not have to cook a big breakfast but still get something tasty in a hurry!
Baked Oatmeal Cups (with 4 variations) by Eating Bird Food:
Think oatmeal, but in muffin form! This has become my favorite breakfast. Just take out of the freezer and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, add some peanut butter or butter on top, and you’ve got yourself a warm, tasty breakfast. I added brewer’s yeast to this recipe to help promote lactation. The oats + brewer’s yeast are a great combo to increase your milk supply! I’m not in the early postpartum days anymore, and I still like to meal prep these like once a month!
FAST TIPS FOR THIS OATMEAL CUPS RECIPE:
- Add brewer’s yeast to SOME, but not all of the batches. If you’re a first time mom, you don’t know what your “breastfeeding journey” will be like. In case you have an oversupply of milk, you won’t want all that extra brewer’s yeast. If you have a normal or undersupply, it’ll be perfect. Just make both versions, and label the freezer bags so you know which is which. [Get my Brewer’s Yeast from Amazon!]
- This recipe is dairy and gluten free, so if you have to give up dairy at any point in your breastfeeding journey… These will still be good to eat!
- 2-3 are a serving. I’d recommend tripling the recipe for your first freezer batch.
- My favorite variations are the apple cinnamon and blueberry!
- If you don’t have almond butter on hand, peanut butter tastes great in them too.
- I use these silicone baking cups for this recipe to make cleaning up nice and easy.
Oatmeal Banana Bread from Work Breastfeed Mom:
I loved these, and made it in muffin format instead of a loaf of bread so that I could easily freeze single servings. This is a great recipe to help build up your milk supply, and makes for a great snack in addition to a breakfast item!
Freezer Meal Dinners and Lunches for Newly Postpartum Families:
Tuscan Chicken Pasta from Diary of a Fit Mommy:
She has a ton of freezer meals in this blog post that all look great, but the Tuscan chicken pasta is the only one I made. And, we’ve made it AGAIN to restock it many times now! If you love sun dried tomatoes, you’ll really enjoy this one. It’s savory and a very nice comfort food as a new mama. This one took us WAY LONGER to cook than her directions say, so be sure to thaw for a long time (on the counter or in the fridge) before cooking. Pairs great with an Italian or Cesar salad!
PRO TIP: Double or triple this for more freezer meals and the same amount of work. Just a few weeks ago, I made this for a new mama friend’s meal train. We doubled it for us, put ours in the freezer for later, and ate it a few weeks later.
Healthy Baked Turkey Ziti Turkey from The Clean Eating Couple:
This is one of my favorite recipes EVER, and I had never made it as a “freezer meal” until I was making postpartum freezer meals. And, it worked great! I did all the steps up until cooking it, and then froze. We froze it into 2 smaller disposable baking pans for smaller serving sizes. To take from frozen to cooked, allow for extra cooking time, and I’d recommend thawing on the counter for a few hours beforehand or in the fridge the day before cooking! This one pairs great with a side salad and some french bread! Or, it is a great meal on its own. P.S. We make this one with high protein pasta instead of whole wheat like the recipe calls for. Try Banza pasta with this one for even more protein! I also like to sub out half of the ricotta for cottage cheese.
Chicken Zucchini Rice Bake from Half Baked Harvest:
We discovered this one when a friend brought it to us during our meal train, and we were in love! And, turns out… It makes a great freezer meal too. Just bake the whole thing according to directions, then divide into individual tubs for small servings. Take the serving out of the freezer, pop on a plate then into the microwave for a quick lunch or dinner. This recipe is more “labor intensive” than some of the others in this list, but I promise it’s worth it!
PRO TIP: This recipe is also great with cauliflower rice or Right Rice instead if you want to make it low carb.
Roasted Vegetable Stuffed Shells by Two Peas and Their Pod:
This is a yummy pasta dish with a variety of veggies in it — like eggplant and red pepper. Super flavorful, and easy to reheat. You cook it all THEN cool, then freeze. Reheat the whole dish to eat later or pop individual shells in the microwave for a faster meal. This was one of my favorites, and I wish we had made more! I especially loved the red pepper flavor and how it’s a great comfort meal, but with some veggies too.
Crispy Cheddar Chicken from My Freeze Easy:
This is one that we loved so much that we’ve made it multiple times since! It’s fairly easy to make. Note that at least for us, going from frozen to cooked took FOREVER… so definitely thaw for a long time before cooking! Pair this with some roasted veggies or a salad!
This one does contain dairy, which I had to give up for 2 weeks during my early breastfeeding journey to see if Colin had a dairy allergy. A non-dairy version that we’ve also made is linked here. We love this version too, just use vegan butter!
Whole30 Creamy Potato Soup with Bacon from Paleo Running Mama:
My mother-in-law made us a big batch of this one after Colin was born, and it was the perfect winter freezer soup! Plus, if you have any food allergies (or are cutting dairy due to breastfeeding) this recipe is perfect for you. We froze this into tupperware containers after it was completely cooked. We did some in single-serving tubs and others in 2-3 serving containers. Just thaw overnight in the fridge or out on the counter for a few hours, then pour into a bowl to microwave!
Whole30 Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken from Just Jessie B:
This is another one my mother-in-law prepared for us (two times actually… She's the best!), and it’s absolutely delicious. If you add some additional chicken broth, you can make this into a soup, which is the way she prepared it. You can also make it in the crockpot, which is what we do! Same as the above recipe, we froze into tupperware for individual servings and some containers with 2-3 servings in a container.
[NOTE: including a few Whole30-approved recipes for postpartum is so smart. If you’ll be breastfeeding, you might have to cut out allergens at some point, unfortunately. And most Whole30 recipes have those cut already.]
Easy Freezer Snacks to Promote Lactation for Postpartum Breastfeeding Moms:
Healthy Lactation Cookies from Eating Bird Food:
This has quickly become our FAVORITE COOKIE RECIPE! (Yes, lactation cookies are Adam’s favorite now, lol.) We’ve made these so many times before and since Colin was born. This makes 24 cookies. I highly recommend doubling it. Do not bake the cookies, instead freeze the dough balls in the freezer for cookie dough to eat or to make some cookies when you want them. I like the dough so much that I just eat it that way! Seriously obsessed with these! (Husband Approved!)
No Bake Lactation Bites from Exclusive Pumping:
This is super similar to the above recipe but way simpler. It’s basically a twist on normal “energy bites” but with some stuff to help milk supply! I love these for a quick snack while breastfeeding or to pack on the go! I’d also recommend doubling this recipe, and freezing some of it for later.
Bringing a loved one a freezer meal (or a meal train meal)? Here are some tips to bless that family as much as possible!
If you’re reading this and you’re bringing someone else food (or a freezer meal) for their meal train, here are my best tips to BLESS that family and new mama as much as possible!
- Bring her a drink: Bring a mini champagne bottle for the new mom! When I had my meal train, one of my best friends did that for me and I do it for every new mom ever since. A big bottle of champagne or wine is nice, but if she’s nursing, 1 glass is probably all she’ll want in the early days. So, a mini champagne bottle is perfect!
- Make it a full meal: Instead of just a pasta dish or casserole, add in a salad kit to make it a “full meal”. I love using the Taylor Farms salad kits for this. You can find them at most grocery stores.
- Use disposable dishes: Don’t send it in a dish she has to send back to you. Either put the dish in throw-away disposable cooking pans OR in some Tupperware that you’re okay parting with permanently.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoy these freezer meals for postpartum! Tons of awesome recipes to freezer prep — whether you’re a new mom or not, preparing food ahead of time and freezing it is such a win to save TIME.
Discovering freezer meals has been a game-changer for me. Now, any time I plan a meal that could work as a freezer meal, I double the recipe and freeze half of it for later. Doing all the work ONCE… but for another week’s worth of meals is a total productivity win!
Want more? Here are some other blog posts that I think you’ll love!
- Third Trimester Pregnancy Must-Haves
- Third Trimester Of Pregnancy Update: Sciatica, Gestational Diabetes Tests, Baby Showers, Maternity Leave, Baby Names, And My Biggest Month EVER In My Business
- Colin’s Nursery Reveal!
- Try These 5 Strategies To Get More Done With Your Limited Time In The 1st Year Of Motherhood And Business ￼
- How I Planned a Maternity Leave from My Business
- Don’t Mom Alone: How These Working Moms Have Help Inside The Home (And Their Top Tips For Getting Help With Your Kids, Business, And Household)
January 6, 2023
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