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Preparation for baby's arrival

So in a little less than a week, my husband and I will become parents. I've been stocking my freezer for the past few weeks with stews, chili, sauces and pot pies since I'm sure dinner will be the least of our priorities for a while. But I'm also going to try to get some last grocery shopping trips and wondering if anyone has any tips for things that would be great to have on hand that might make for simple "grab and go" type snacks without living on granola bars and pb&J sandwiches.

Especially if you have any tips on how to make sure we are still getting our veggies, since most of the reheat plan from the freezer doesn't contain much in the way of leafy greens. Thanks!

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  1. If you have access to bagged arugula, keep one in the fridge at all times. You can throw a handful or two into anything--stews, chili, pasta--for a nice hit of dark greens. It almost disappears but never get slimy.

    1. You want things you can eat with one hand. I recommend Amy's frozen burritos. Also some kind of energy bar you can keep in your bag for when you just don't get a chance to eat--I almost fainted in Target once, and was very glad to have my emergency Clif bar. Also, some little treats to give yourself--tubs of Trader Joe's cookies or something you can grab whenever you walk by. Congratulations and good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: sciencediet

        You are so smart to do this for yourself ahead of time. Look at the Pregnancy Cookbook by Hope Ricciotti, MD and Vincent Connelly. they have excellent recipes for pre- and post partum moms.

      2. Congratulations! What a super question. I remember having all of these great plans to get organized before my daughter was born -- only she came a month early. Ah well. Here are some ideas to get the discussion going. First, consider asking friends/family to bring a salad when they visit instead of yet another onesie or baby blanket. Better yet, have a tech-savvy friend set up a salad brigade so you have fresh fruits and veggies delivered to your house 2 or 3 times a week. People want to help -- they just need ideas about how! Second, consider buying frozen spinach. Reheated, with olive oil and pine nuts and raisins, it can be tasty & quick (and you can even toss it with chick peas & noodles to make a complete meal.) In terms of general shopping, I also bought a bunch of different tapenades/bruschetta toppings -- olive, red pepper, artichoke. Very tasty on toasted baguette. I had friends who went to the salad bar in grocery stores and bought that -- a bit more expensive, but everything was already chopped up. What soups did you make? I've had good success with freezing minestrone -- and you can put lots of veg in that. What are your eating preferences? If you eat meat, consider freezing sausages and/or meatballs. I applaud you for looking out for your veggies, and you definitely need them, but if you are nursing you may really crave protein like I did. (And water! Drink lots of water!) Finally, depending on your neighborhood and your local weather, you may want to take your little one for a walk right away. I used my ergo carrier from week 2 (and my daughter was pretty tiny). We just wrapped her in a couple of blankets, used the infant insert and I could get out of the house to the store! Even for just 20 minutes, it felt really good to stretch my legs. Good luck!

        1. One more idea: I've heard of green smoothies that are spinach based with fruits and fruit juices blended in. I've never had one, but I've got friends who swear by them. It's nice to drink while you are nursing/feeding -- so maybe that's a solution too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jessinEC

            YES! Great idea. They're delicious and SO healthy for post-baby digestive issues. There are a couple of threads with lots of green smoothie ideas here too.

          2. congrats on your impending arrival! Sounds like you are planning well. If you like nuts, keeping the flavored almonds around for a quick snack may work for you. Raisins, dried cranberries, any dried fruits really, are good for one-handed eating when you realize you'll fall over without a little hit of sugar in your blood (been there!)
            Also consider what you like to drink - I remember being very thirsty after all of my kids were born, and kept a pitcher of cold water available at all times. A cucumber or lemon in the water adds a bit of flavor without sugar, caffeine, or artificial sweeteners.
            Even if you normally pass right by them, consider the pre-chopped veggies at the store. You may be grateful for a handful of baby carrots or celery stalks without having to prep them. Same goes for the bagged or clamshell salads. They may not be as good as a prepared-from-the-ground-up salads, but you may be more likely to actually have it available when you have a minute to eat.

            1. It's not as hard as you might think to get cooking done when your baby is really little, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Better to have things on hand for once your baby starts crawling. Up until about 3 years old :P

              3 Replies
              1. re: sarahcooks

                Shhh, sarahcooks, don't tell her about toddler-hood YET!

                1. re: sarahcooks

                  My nieces both loved to be in the sling while I was in the kitchen, even in the crawling and toddler phases (and beyond). They were so happy and content being part of the action -- so I could cook and clean and set the table with both hands free and they would just contentedly hang out on my hip! I loved it so much that I can't imagine how moms get anything done without a wrap or sling.

                  1. re: sarahcooks

                    Agreed; I had newborn, a 18 month toddler & a four year old all at the same time and was able to cook & clean. Since the OP's got most of her proteins, etc. stocked, throwing veggies on the stove will be a breeze and it only takes minutes for the most part. Organization is the key. Congratulations.

                  2. Congratulations!! You are doing great. You sound like you're nesting. :-) I loved cooking while on both of my maternity leaves (and one of mine had horrible colic). I dumped the baby on hubby when he walked in the door and cooked dinner in my own zone! If you're on this website you probably feel the same way about cooking. It's also very easy to get out with a newborn to the grocery store if you time it around feedings. I tried to plan one outing per day so we went to the grocery store and/ or market A LOT! Have fun.

                    1. Thanks for all the advice! My sister has offered to try to arrange a "food" brigade, so I might suggest fruit and salads. And the smoothie idea is great, I hadn't thought of that. Might be a good time to dust off the blender.

                      1. My daughter is 10 weeks old (wow, double digits!! :)) and she was 2 weeks late, so we ended up eating some of our stash before she arrived. But we had people bring us hot meals, which was awesome - a lasagna, pot roast with carrots, etc. I would take walks from about day 10 to the store (we live in NYC) to get fresh fruit and veggies - the fresh air was nice and it was great to get out for just a quick trip. My husband or mom would usually watch the baby for this. But I agree with the other poster who said pre-cut things, which I would normally never touch, became a godsend. If you're BFing, I suggest oatmeal packets, too. I got the plain (unsweetened, unflavored) kind and mix up a bowl every morning with some raisins and a banana. It helps with the supply and is tasty, quick and filing. Good luck to you - it's amazing!!

                        1. I recently toasted up some pecans, walnuts, and cashews. Tossed them with dried cranberries, cherries, and strawberries. It makes a healthy snack to have on hand, I purchased the large bags of nuts and fruits at Costco so I could make a huge batch. Enjoy your new life with baby!

                          1. Congratulations! What an exciting time:-) I've been battling an illness and so I have also had difficulty with getting into the kitchen and preparing things more complicated than a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich. One thing I found got some greens into my diet easily was making my mom's spinach bars. They are like a cross between quiche/spinach souffle and you can make them ahead and freeze them. When you are ready to eat, just pull a few out and heat them in the microwave or toaster oven.

                            Spinach Cheese Bars

                            2 packages chopped spinach, thawed and drained

                            4 tbs. butter

                            3 eggs

                            1 cup milk

                            1 cup flour

                            1 tsp. salt

                            1 tsp. baking powder

                            8 oz.. Monterey Jack cheese

                            Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

                            Melt butter in the oven in a 9x13x2 pan.

                            Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat eggs. Add flour, milk, salt & baking powder, and mix well. Stir in cheese and spinach,then pour in pan.

                            Bake for 35 minutes.

                            If you want to reduce the fat, I've had success in making these with egg whites and reduced fat cheese.

                            Another idea might be to make some soups ahead of time that when you reheat you can throw in some fresh spinach.

                            1. If you end up having a c-section (and they do happen, even if you aren't in the mood for one), be careful of foods that might, so to speak "gum things up" down there.. your tummy area isn't in the best shape already, and you'll be riding the Percoset Pony which, well, you can read about the symptoms..

                              Don't forget takeout.....

                              AND - Get a BUNCH of bars and put them in a basket next to wherever you'll be breastfeeding.. you tend to get anchored there a lot, so having a nearby snack is key.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: grant.cook

                                So true, I had an emergency c-section. Be careful of vegetables (esp broccoli), as some foods cause gas and keep the baby up all night (if breastfeeding) There's lot's of time to get healthy, but when you have a new baby and are breastfeeding, sleep is so important!

                              2. 5 years ago, I was in the same boat and made a freezer full of stuff for dinners but failed to think of lunches and snacks...great idea to ask here. I had made some homemade granola which I loved with yogurt and fruit. Made me feel so good...And I did some great stock and froze it and just added fresh veggies for soup.

                                One thing that tasted good during this time was a "platter" of fresh veggies that I cut up once every few days and put in a zip bag and then made a quick hummas and that was a great lunch.

                                Good luck to you and don't forget to schedule a date night as soon as the baby is born (we did it at 6 weeks) and then we would plan and talk about that dinner. It was something fun to look forward to.

                                Good luck and happy eating and parenting.