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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