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Freezer-friendly Meals for Busy/New Parents

My friend recently had her second baby and I'd like to bring over a couple of meals that they can store in their freezer and pop in the oven or microwave for easy lunch or suppers. I'm definitely going to include a loaf of banana bread and soup, but would like some other main ideas. The mom is breastfeeding and has a 2 year old toddler as well. I did read through the "gourmet casseroles" and "meals for new moms" but was hoping for some more ideas! Thanks so much!

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  1. Hmmm! Something protein heavy if she's breastfeeding is my suggestion. In the early days I struggled to get enough protein. Perhaps some chili? Maybe a white chili or not overly spiced bean and meat chili. My first was bothered by spicy and tomatoes, my second apparently has an iron stomach and can handle anything.

    Homemade meatballs and sauce? This way they can either make pasta, meatball subs, etc.

    Enchiladas
    Turkey/Chicken tetrazzini

    What about making a homemade marinade or two and buying some fresh chicken breast and freezing the chicken in the marinade so she can thaw and toss in the oven or on the stove? I personally would have loved that.

    Trying to think of stuff I would have appreciated as a mom to a 2-year-old and 5-month-old! Aside from actual food, my favorite gift was from my husband's company - we received a $100 worth of gift cards to restaurants around town that offered takeout. Brilliant as well! No mess, just sent the husband out ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: tiffeecanoe

      Gift cards and menus were great gifts. I appreciated that when the meals in the freezer were finished and I was frazzled.

      Someone brought me a container of homemade granola, several single serve containers of yogurt, and a bag of frozen berries. Loved that.

      If you know what type of meals the toddler likes, make some of those in muffin tins. Quiche (no crust) Mac n cheese, baked ziti all work well. Good for a toddler meal or a snack/light meal for mom

    2. First of all, I would ask. Very specifically. It doesn't accomplish much if you fix something that then sits in the freezer :)

      When our daughter had her baby two years ago, I asked and she answered with "Hazan's Bolognese sauce." I made a 4x or 5x batch, and froze 2cups each in zipping bags. I froze them flat and that way they didn't take up a lot of freezer space. While not a whole meal, almost anyone can handle cooking some pasta or serving it over something else.

      1 Reply
      1. re: c oliver

        Your daughter was well brought up.

      2. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2803...

        also has ideas for freezer meals.

        I would add things that would also be toddler friendly when cut up: Homemade fish sticks, homemade chicken tenders, salisbury steak

        1. following for ideas - I'm a single mom & work form home so pretty busy.

          I know when my dd was little I did a lot of soups & crock pot things - put it on & walk away type stuff that didn't have to be closely watched.

          1 Reply
          1. re: frugalmama

            Just so's ya know :) if you want to follow a discussion without posting, all you have to do is click on the yellow star at the top right. And when/if you no longer are interested, you can "unfollow" by clicking again. This is a new feature and I love it.

          2. I did stuffed shells for a friend of mine.

            However my tips is to get the smaller square pans at the grocery store rather than the 13x9. They won't have to eat the same thing over and over again an they fit better.

            2 Replies
            1. re: melpy

              I'd use disposables so they don't have to return anything.

              1. re: c oliver

                Yes of course but I mean get the smaller aluminum pans not the large.