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Easy Meal Prep for Postpartum

Baby on the way? Me too. I am all about easy meal prep for postpartum, as I have zero intention of making difficult dinners once this baby arrives!

Why meal prep before the baby comes?

If you’re pregnant with your first baby you may be thinking, why do I need to meal prep? I won’t be that tired will I?

I’m here to tell you that yes, yes you will be tired. More tired than you’ve ever been in your life. Especially after the first few days when those early “new baby” hormones have worn off. Maybe your spouse has to go back to work or a visiting friend/relative has headed out. Now it’s a very tired you, healing from delivery, taking care of a newborn, and still with all the responsibilities you had before.

Every meal you can prep ahead of time is a little gift you give yourself. Here are some meal prep tips, ideas and recipes to get you started!

Prep with One Ingredient

Making tons of meals in advance can seem overwhelming. I found with my first daughter that an easy way to prep a lot of meals is to pick one main ingredient and focus on that.

Ground Beef

A very easy ingredient to use is ground beef. There are a ton of recipes you can use to make with ground beef. Here’s what I’ve stashed in my freezer to make easy meal prep for postpartum.

Taco Meat

I use the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for taco meat and make up at least a five pound batch. Freeze in quart or gallon size bags, depending on how many tacos you go through in a meal.

Chili

Especially if you are having a fall or winter baby, a few gallon bags of chili will hit the spot. Here’s my personal chili recipe.

homemade chili rough and tumble farmhouse

Burger Patties

If you make quarter pound burgers plan to thaw at least three pounds of hamburger. Season them with your favorite burger seasonings (or I like to do Worcestershire, salt, and pepper) then make patties. Place them on sheets of wax paper, then freeze in gallon Ziplocs.

Meatballs

Meatballs have so many possibilities! Swedish meatballs, sweet and sour, toss them in spaghetti sauce, or make meatball subs.

Again for this one I’m heading back to a Pioneer Woman recipe. Reason being she has a whole section in one of her cookbooks (Dinnertime, I believe) about make ahead freezer meals. If you have your own favorite meatball recipe I see no reason why you couldn’t just freeze those too.

After you make the meatballs let them cool. Then freeze them on a wax paper lined baking sheet. After they are frozen (a few hours) put them in a gallon ziploc bag. It’s important you freeze them on the baking sheet first, otherwise if you put them all in the bag they’ll stick together and you’ll have one giant meatball on your hands.

Other Single Ingredient Prep

Not a fan of ground beef? Sub in ground turkey no problem! Or maybe chicken is your thing. You can cook up a bunch of chicken breasts, chop them up into strips and freeze them. Consider making a bunch of chicken pot pies or shredded creamy chicken.

Double Your Recipes Now

A super easy way to stock your fridge before the baby comes is to double, triple or quadruple your recipes NOW.

Already in the freezer I have 2-3 meals worth of ham hock soup and about 2 meals worth of Cajun chicken pasta sauce, just because I made extra large pots of it for dinner.

Pasta sauce, soups, strews, etc. typically all freeze incredibly well. The only things that don’t freeze the best (but still not terrible) are potatoes and cream based recipes.

If you can, make your recipe to the point where you add the potatoes or cream. Pack away however much you want in freezer bags or containers. Make sure to note on the container what is in it and that you need to add a potato or a cup of cream, etc.

Then go ahead and make the rest of the recipe as planned.

Preserve your Produce

As a homesteader I spend a good chunk of late summer and early fall preserving produce. Freezing, dehydrating, and canning take up a lot of time but leave me with a stockpile of nutritious foods that I grew organically myself or sourced from neighbors. Tomatoes, pickles, syrups, salsa, etc. area all good things to have at the ready.

canned goods rough and tumble farmhouse

If you aren’t a gardener/homesteader type, there are still some good produce options you can buy at the store and have in your arsenal.

  • Pasta Sauce
  • Soups
  • Beans
  • Frozen Veggies (Broccoli, carrots, beans, peas, etc.)
  • Frozen Fruit (whatever you like!)

Pastas for Postpartum

Another way you can prep for postpartum is to have a good stash of pasta. No, straight up pasta noodles aren’t necessarily the healthiest option, but they can make a dinner come together quick when tossed with some meatballs and sauce.

Here’s the pasta I have on hand on my easy meal prep for postpartum list.

  • Annie’s Mac and Cheese– Not my proudest pantry item, but my toddler (and husband) love it and hey, so do I. Thanks to my husband’s overzealous Costco run a few weeks ago we have about 24 boxes of the stuff in the pantry.
  • Organic Pasta – Again, Costco here is a lifesaver. You can get organic pasta that is delicious, inexpensive, and comes in a variety of shapes/texture.
  • Ramen – I LOVE having Ramen in the pantry. We get the Lotus Noodles that are packed with protein. All you have to do is chop up some carrots, cabbage, and any other veggies you want. Stir fry them quick and add to the ramen (which cooks in less than five minutes). Toss some soy sauce or liquid aminos on there, a little ginger, garlic, maybe lime juice. Ugh. So good and so healthy!
pastas for your pantry rough and tumble farmhouse

Healthy Snacks

When you area new mama or a mama with another little kiddo running around, having some healthy snacks on hand is a must. Here are a few things that might come in handy.

  • Lactation Bars/Cookies – I already have a pan of these made and in the freezer. They keep up to three months and are delicious frozen. A total Godsend during night time nursing sessions. Tasty, nutritious, and dense!
  • Apples and Peanut Butter– Stored in the crisper apples will literally last for months. Slice ’em up an scoop up some peanut butter for a protein boost with a sweet crunch.
  • Cheese Sticks – Costco and Aldi both carry organic varieties.
  • Almonds/Cashews/Nuts in General – I’ll be honest, this is probably the last thing I’ll reach for when I want a snack.
  • Popcorn – Another easy snack to cook up! Get a bag of organic popcorn (Wal-Mart even carries it) and a one dollar bag of paper lunch sacks. 1/4 a cup of kernels in the bag, folded over twice, and microwave for 1.5-2 minutes. No need to add oil or anything, it will pop perfectly.
  • Carrots & Dip – A crisper of sweet carrots are easy to grab. Bonus if you have yogurt based dips or hummus to up the protein but keep the unhealthy fats and sugars down.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt – This is so handy to have in the fridge because you can throw some nuts and fruit in it for an easy and nutritious snack. You can add savory spices to it to make a healthy veggie dip. Or blend it up with your favorite ingredients to make a smoothie.

Do you have some great meal ideas for postpartum? Leave them below in the comments!

Check out more Rough and Tumble baby content like Breastfeeding Must Have’s, Caffeine Free Fall Drinks, or Cloth Diapering Basics.

Watch and Learn

Come along with me and my messy house as I give you a tour of my postpartum meal prep!

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easy meal prep rough and tumble farmhouse

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