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Prep for the arrival of a baby—whether the first or a subsequent one—with these easy freezer meals for new moms and dads. These are great to stock your own freezer, or to send to a friend or family member to make for you!
Freezer Meals for New Moms and Dads
Preparing for the arrival of a new little one is so emotional in so many different ways—and being somewhat prepared for life after baby comes home can be so helpful. And while you can’t ever really prepare for the sleepless nights and hormonal rollercoaster (or the overwhelming sweetness of the newborn phase), you can get a few meals ready and waiting in the freezer!
This post contains all of my favorite easy meals to make-ahead and freeze. They can be shared with a toddler or big kid if you have an older sibling at home too!
TIP: These are great options to include in a Meal Train for a friend or loved one.
These muffins are easy to make, have a nice dose of veggies, and freeze and thaw really well. I like to thaw frozen muffins overnight in the fridge or more quickly at room temperature, and heat in 15 second increments in the fridge. I love these as a parent since they are nutritious, but also easy to eat with one hand.
Easy Veggie Muffins
I like to grate the carrot on a box grater and cut the top of each broccoli floret off and finely dice with a knife. Avoid the stems since they won’t blend into the batter as well.
I like adding the thyme in these for extra flavor, but it's optional! Be sure to grease your muffin tin well with nonstick spray to help prevent these from sticking to the pan. A nonstick mini muffin pan works best here.
TIP: Add a side of fruit (or applesauce) and call it an easy meal!
Soups, Stews, and Sauces to Freeze Ahead
Veggie packed and easy to make, these make-ahead soups, stews, and sauces make pulling together meals easy in future weeks and months.
Easy Ratatouille with Pasta
This recipe makes enough for two meals. You can cut it in half if desired, but I like to make the larger batch and keep half in the freezer for a future meal—it's the same amount of cooking effort, so why not!
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (with Instant Pot Option)
The addition of grains helps to thicken the soup to a nice consistency for little eaters, so don't be worried if it's pretty thin before you add them in before serving. (This post was updated and the recipe was streamlined November 2020. You can get the original recipe here.)
I like our lentil soup with the veggies pretty blended in, which is why I chop them finely in a blender or food processor. You can also just chop them with a knife. (Recipe updated August 2020 to saute the veggies before simmering to ensure that there’s no raw onion flavor.)
When serving this to a little one, I like to drain off much of the broth. This makes it a little easier (and less messy) for them to eat. If your family likes spice, add in a dash or two of cayenne pepper.
Muffins are perfect for easy breakfasts and snacks, or as a side for a dinner. Each of these is packed with nutrients and is a simple meal for a parent or older sibling.
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
These healthy muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.
Be sure to use very ripe bananas (with lots of brown spots!) for the best flavor and natural sweetness. (I updated this recipe December 2020 to ensure the most reliable results. The original version of this recipe is the “Egg-free” option in the Notes if you loved that. In the main recipe, I reduced the oil, added an egg, increased the baking soda a smidge, and reduced the baking time. They’re great!)
These store well in the fridge so you can make them a day or two ahead if you prefer—or bake and serve warm from the oven. These taste like a cross between baked oatmeal and a traditional pumpkin muffin (they don’t have any flour, so they’re a little denser than a traditional muffin, but still super moist!).
Plan to prepare the sweet potatoes at least an hour—and up to 3 days ahead—before you start making the muffins so it has time to cool. See the Notes for options for the sweet potato. These are very lightly sweet. Add ¼ cup brown sugar if desired to make them sweeter.
Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins (Little Bites Copycat)
Moist tender Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins that taste as good as store bought, but have a little extra nutrition? Sign. Me. Up. These muffins are seriously delicious and are a must-make if you have fans of Little Bites in your house!
Meatballs, which I love over salads, grain bowls, pasta, in sandwiches, or in broth, are one of my favorite meal components to make ahead and freeze in almost any phase of life, but especially the postpartum phase.
Healthy Meatballs (with Hidden Vegetables)
With the texture you expect from a traditional meatball, but added nutrition from three types of veggies, your whole family will love these.
TIP: You can simmer frozen meatballs in pasta sauce or broth to thaw, or thaw overnight in the fridge and warm in short 15-30 second increments in the microwave.
Grains and Beans to Make-Ahead and Freeze
Grains like rice and quinoa, and beans are staples in what I feed my family so I always batch-cook them and freeze them for future meals. This is great for post baby since you can pull them out and put together super simple, yet nourishing meals.
Easiest Homemade Refried Beans
This recipe makes enough for 2-3 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. See below for storage information!
This recipe makes enough for 4-5 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. I make one batch about every 4-6 weeks and freeze the beans in meal-size portions until we’re ready to enjoy them. You can also use just 1 pound of beans if desired and cook them as directed—just cut the seasoning in half as well.
Make this without the optional flavors for a simple, yet yummy side dish that’s easy for your little ones to eat since the grains hold together well. Add just ginger, or add ginger and the optional spices at the end for more flavor. We like adding raisins to the mix when we add the extra spices!
This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges. Plus, find an option to make it without added sugar id desired.
These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers) and it works really well. (Recipe updated slightly in June 2021 to ensure the best texture.)
The easiest meals to freezer after having a baby are any leftovers that you can freeze in meal-size portions so you can pull one out and have a meal for yourself (or an older child) ready to go. You can also freeze meals that people drop off including chili, stews, soups, muffins, and some meats like meatballs and shredded meat.
What is a good meal to take to a new mom?
Any and all! In all seriousness though, a meal that’s satisfying, easy to reheat, and has components to feed the rest of her family as needed are perfect. My favorite meals to drop off are soup with muffins and fruit, Pizza Rolls with salad and dressing, or Cheesy Meat Buns with fruit.
Fresh veggies don’t freeze well if you want to eat them fresh, and sometimes dairy-based foods can separate.
When should you make freezer meals before baby?
Anytime in the third trimester is a perfect time to make freezer meals. Just watch yourself if you get super excited about doing it—make a variety to ensure you’ll actually eat what you make, rather than making a ton of one specific type of recipe!
Best Tips for Freezer Meals
Here are some of my best tips for freezer meals to enjoy once baby is here.
Let any food you plan to freeze cool fully first.
Store in containers meant for the freezer including freezer storage containers and freezer zip top bags.
Remove as much air as possible to reduce the chances of freezer burn.
Label and date all food so you know what it is.
If you freeze food that someone dropped off to you, be sure to label it with reheating info so you remember what it is and how to prepare it.
Think through whether you’ll want a large portion of a food or if you would rather have smaller portions to grab individual meals for yourself.
Freeze some foods for older siblings so you have snacks and meal components ready to go.
Freeze any of the foods in this post for 3-6 months.
Send recipe links to friends or family to cook for you!