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Sep 17, 2002 11:53 AM

Freezable meals for a new mother

  • a

My friend just had a baby, and I wanted to give her a bunch of freezeable no fuss meals that she could just reheat in the oven or microwave. Any suggestions?

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  1. r

    frozen chicken pot pie (not swanson), stews and soups. citerella sells some lobster bisque and a lobster corn chowder...yum. also frozen raviolli w/ frozen tomato sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: redwinegulper

      At the verrrry beginning we were too addled even to unfreeze food. For an incredibly appreciated week, a set of angelic neighbors brought over hot, complete meals (and took away the dishes). For the donor, it's not such a terribly big deal to produce if the recipients live close, and boy, is it a treat to get.

    2. j
      Josh Mittleman

      Any kind of stew or soup is easy. Package one or two servings at a time in small freezer-zip-lock bags; these can be re-heated in boiling water.

      When my wife gave birth, I had prepared bags of jambalaya, milanese sauce for pasta, and chicken soup.

      1. Interesting that you should ask this question now -- a friend of mine is about to "drop one" and I've been thinking about meals for her and her husband.

        I did the Freeze-a-meal thing for my stepmother as she was caring (at home) for my dying father, and it was greatly appreciated. I froze everything in individual portions, which may sound like a pain, but it allows for great flexibility in terms of number of mouths to feed. Zip-Loc and Glad both make cheap but reusable plastic containers that are perfect for this task, although quart-sized Zip-Loc bags seem to have been custom made for freezing soup (fill them, then lay them flat and stack them).

        Soups and stews are ideal for freezing/reheating. Also, lasagne -- standard tomato (with-or-without-meat) or veggie with bechamel sauce -- is easy and freezes well. Any variation on chicken-in-a-pot-with-wine. Mac-and-cheese (dressed up or down). Pasta dishes that will be frozen/reheated benefit from a slight undercooking of the pasta.

        I'll be watching this thread closely for other ideas!

        1. simple stuff that's fun to eat. I really greatly appreciated cheese and bean enchiladas that a friend made and froze. agree on lasagne.

          as a mama alone w/ a new kid who really liked to be held a LOT, I found that soup wasn't workable. too drippy, and I nearly always ate while holding the baby, so I preferred things like the enchiladas that I could eat warm but not hot and would stand a greater chance of making it to my mouth intact. though a few crumbs on a baby's head, as long as they're not hot, are just fine, I quickly and gratefully learned.

          hmm, what were other things that we appreciated? risotto! didn't freeze this but it was great to have around. a friend made spanikopita that was fantastic but I know it's a big deal to produce.

          1. Curry!!! Curry freezes and reheats quite well. Use chicken, beef, or pork, no seafood.

            Just make some new rice while heating up the curry.

            I think the thicker kind like Indian or Japanese reheat better than the Thai (more watery) type.

            7 Replies
            1. re: tissue

              All great suggestions, thank you!!!

              Another question: she's still nursing the baby. If I were to make a curry for example...would I have to make it unspicy? Another other rules I'd have to follow for a nursing mother?

              1. re: Abbylovi

                The rule I always followed was no gas producing foods, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, legumes, etc. Don't know about spicy though.

                1. re: Pat Hammond

                  When making meals for nursing mothers, I make the meals without the spices and then include the spices in a small packet and let them choose how much or how little to use. It all really depends on the mother and the baby. If I know the mother well enough, I ask her which way she prefers.

                  It's been my experience that first-time nursing mothers will be a bit pickier. I know I was! With the first one, I was horribly picky; with the second one, things changed entirely. And my first child is a very picky eater, and my second likes just about everything...hmmmm... could there be a link?

                  1. re: Melissa
                    Kathryn Callaghan

                    A friend of mine is nursing, and I was astounded to learn that she will not eat spicy foods, onions or garlic. Are there really substances in these foods that can be passed through milk and would be harmful to an infant? What do mothers in, say, India do? I would be very surprised to learn that they eliminate spices from the diet as long as they're nursing. I wondered when I heard this if the child would turn out to be a picky eater.

                    I don't have enough infomation to have an informed opinion, but my instinct would be to say that it makes sense to try a bland diet if the baby isn't eating properly or has colic, but otherwise a mother might as well eat normally. Am I wrong? Or are baby books making new mothers unnecessarily fearful?

                    1. re: Kathryn Callaghan

                      Harmful may be too strong a word. Upsetting may be more accurate. Foods that cause gas can be hard on an immature digestive system, and cause a tummy ache. I've heard that garlic and onions may make the milk taste of garlic and onion. A new nursing mom can certainly eat whatever she wants and if the baby is upset by something she'll know soon enough! I was asked the question about Indian mothers by email. I can only guess that any upset that may occur for those babies will be balanced out by helping them eventually to tolerate what will be a major part of their diets. That's an interesting question. Maybe some of our Indian parents will have an answer. I don't have a medical background, by the way. But I did nurse two kids, now grown, and both really good eaters!

                      1. re: Pat Hammond

                        I ate everything, full of spice and onions and garlic, when I was nursing and my son was just pleased as punch every time he had a seat at the milk bar. I think it really varies from kid to kid.

                        1. re: Jill D

                          You said the magic phrase when it comes to all areas of childrearing: " really varies from kid to kid." And of course you're right! My advice derives from wanting to avoid ANY additional screaming baby syndrome in those early sleep-deprived months that we've all staggered through. Whatever works for the parents and baby is the way to go.