Healthy Pregnancy: Planning Ahead in the Kitchen

by in Healthy Pregnancy, October 8, 2009

Apple and Pear Muffins
I’m due in a few short weeks. Once my baby arrives, most of my time and energy will go to him or her — at least until we get into a routine. To spare my husband and me endless nights of takeout, I’m planning ahead by stocking my fridge and freezer with some delicious and healthy foods. Here’s what’s cooking.

The Plan
Even after the baby arrives, it’s still important for moms to get extra calories so they can keep their energy high, heal from delivery and have fuel for breastfeeding. These recipes will keep my family covered.

Muffins
Muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast or midnight snack (new moms will inevitably be up) — add a nonfat yogurt or a piece of fresh fruit and you’ve got a meal. Store a baked batch in the freezer and give a quick zap in the microwave to defrost.

Chicken Stock
I could buy the canned or boxed stock, but the homemade version tastes so much better. Stocks are great for quick soups or as a flavored, cooking liquid for rice, risotto or couscous.

Soup & Chili
These are a perfect heat-and-eat dinner for cool fall and winter nights. Make a fresh salad, heat some up on the stove and dinner’s ready.

Tomato Sauce
In my Italian family, tomato sauce is good for just about anything. My go-to recipes are classic pasta dishes tossed with veggies or meatballs or easy pizzas.

Freezer to Oven
If you’re pressed for time, these dishes (and many of the ones above) can go right from the freezer to the oven. For faster cooking, remember to take them out the night before to defrost in the fridge.

Sweet Treats
Don’t forget about dessert! These plan-ahead sweets are perfect when a craving strikes or unexpected guests stop by to meet the baby — they all freeze and defrost beautifully.

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Comments (3)

  1. Thankfully I won't worry about ever getting pregnant, haha, but I love a good healthy muffin for quick on the go breakfasts I don't have to think about. I like Zen Bakery brand and Trader Joes'

  2. Julie says:

    This freezer business isn't just for when there's a new baby.
    For a TON of make-ahead meals, search online for "freezer meals," "OAMC" or "make-ahead" meals. (OAMC stands for "once a month cooking.") There is SO much more out there than casseroles and baked goods. And you can skip the unhealthy meals, or modify them to be much healthier.
    I work nights, so I freeze meals in advance that I can prepare for the family during my hour lunch break. With the commute, I have to have the meal ready in 15 minutes. Thanks to freezer meals, we eat like kings and get a lot of veggies without chemicals and preservatives you'd see in store-bought convenience foods.

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