As a Registered Dietitian and Momma of two, I know how busy the first year with a newborn can be. Life postpartum is beautiful and busy – you’re focused on healing, feeding your little ones, and getting as much sleep as possible. Thinking about what to make for dinner is the last thing you want on your plate. If you’re preparing for the arrival of a little one or are looking to provide new parents with a thoughtful gift – these quick and easy freezer meals are the perfect thing to help stock the family freezer up.
When I was pregnant with Wylder, I remember people telling me there would be days that I wouldn’t eat until 2:00 PM. I thought, “No way – I’m a dietitian, I know the importance of nourishing and energizing my body.” Well… I was wrong and they were right haha.
You learn quickly that kids are unpredictable and as much as you try to create a schedule, there are sleepless nights and days where everything goes sideways. It was in those moments that I appreciated my pre-baby meal prep along with all the easy (and delicious) freezer meals my family and friends dropped off.
What Makes A Good Postpartum Freezer Meal?
A full freezer is one of the greatest gifts you can give to new parents (or, if you’re expecting, your future self). Between feedings and diaper changes, grocery shopping and cooking a meal can be overwhelming.
So what exactly makes a good postpartum meal?
Make Balanced, Nutritious Meals
New moms need nourishing balanced meals to keep them strong and energized – especially in the early newborn stage. I believe that the best postpartum diet includes ALL foods (no restricting or calorie counting). If you’re not exactly sure how to create a balanced meal, use the plate method as a guide – this looks like approximately ½ non-starch veggies, ¼ protein and ¼ carbs + healthy fats.
Keep It Simple & Easy
Think of items that involve little to no prep and don’t require a lot of hands-on attention. For example, stews need to be heated in a pot and stirred occasionally and a lasagne only requires you to preheat the oven and set a timer.
I also recommend including instructions on top of the meal container (even if you made it) so that anyone can prepare it. If you’re making a meal for the expecting family, include the recipe as well so they can make it on their own the next time they batch meal prep.
One Handed Meals
I cannot stress this enough – one handed foods are the MVP in the fourth trimester. If I can eat a nourishing, balanced meal while breastfeeding or carrying my little one, I’m happy. Wraps, paninis, smoothies, granola bars are all great one handed meals.
What Foods Freeze Best
You can honestly freeze anything. Growing up, we would batch prep sandwiches, freeze them and take them out before hitting the ski hill. That being said, there are a few meals that freeze better than others.
Top Freezer Meal Types:
- Oven Items (Enchiladas, Casseroles, Lasagne, and Cabbage Rolls)
- Items with Ground Meat or Veggie Round (Lettuce Wraps, Tacos, Shepherd’s Pie and Meatballs)
- One Pot Items (Pasta Sauces, Chillis, Soups and Stews)
- One Pan Meals (Stir Frys, Curries and Pre-cooked Pastas)
Items to Avoid Freezing (Note: You can add these items to your meal the day of or freeze them and add to smoothies, soups or sauces):
- Uncooked Leafy Greens (Lettuce, Arugula and Spinach)
- Fresh Avocados & Cucumbers
- Fresh Herbs
12+ Freezer Meals for New Moms
I’ve included a variety of different meals including snacks, breakfasts and mains as well as many vegan and vegetarian options or substitutions. Click on the links below to jump to a specific section.
Remember the one-handed foods? Snacks. While many people think of having meals prepped, I often find the daytime to be the most challenging when no one else is home. Having ready to go, nutrition packed snacks on hand is so helpful on keeping your energy up and blood sugars balanced throughout the day (which can also really help with mood, energy or feeling out of control around food).
These are a family favorite and can last up to 3 months in the freezer! They have the perfect combo of PFF (protein, fiber and fats) and will give that burst of energy you need (especially after a sleepless night).
No-bake coconut-lemon energy bites are made with dates, oats and almonds. They are a quick and easy snack – packed full with wholesome, nutritious ingredients for long-lasting energy! Plus they’re vegan and dairy-free.
Warning: These don’t last long, double or triple this recipe for a decadent snack full of protein, fiber and healthy fats that tastes exactly like a Ferrero Rocher. This recipe is also vegan.
Breakfasts & Smoothies
You’ve probably heard people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As a dietitian, I truly believe that every meal and snack is important so that your sugar levels stay level, minimizing cravings and keeping your energy and mood stable. BUT breakfast is our first meal of the day and an opportunity to put some fuel in the tank so you can start your day off right!
When you’re holding a baby for what can sometimes feel like 24/7, eating a salad can feel pretty much impossible. I often find myself craving some greens (and getting iron is still important postpartum!). Enter my favorite green smoothie (you may have tried it before because it’s also an amazing pregnancy smoothie) – packed full of greens with a super fresh flavor. Batch prep these and freeze in a muffin tin for smoothie picks that are literally ready when you are!
These breakfast burritos win the MVP for my fave postpartum breakfast. Not only are they easy to make and can be made with whatever combo of veggies you happen to have at home, they can also be warmed up and eaten with only one hand available. Batch prep, freeze and pop in the toaster oven for a nutriitious grab and go breaky.
These one bowl breakfast power cookies will be your prep ahead best friend. They are ready for you when you wake up, delicious with a warm cup of coffee or tea and if your digestion has been a bit sluggish– they’re packed with fiber and other gut-friendly ingredients to start the day light and energized!
This recipe combines two breakfast favorites, pancakes and oatmeal! Store them in a freezer safe container and toss in the toaster or pan for a delicious breakfast in 5 minutes or less.
I love these high protein mini quiches. Not only can you mix them up with any vegetables you like they’re also a great one handed breakfast you can enjoy throughout the week.
These nutritious coconut carrot cake muffins are moist, fluffy, and packed full of wholesome ingredients like shredded carrot, applesauce, ground flax and whole wheat flour. Pop in the toaster oven for an easy one-handed breakfast.
These Chocolate Chip Banana Zucchini Muffins are a staple in our house. They double as a breakfast or snack. Enjoy on their own or with an egg or cup of Greek yogurt for a balanced, nutritious start to your day.
Every single one of these recipes can be warmed up and enjoyed in 15 minutes or less and packed full of protein, fiber and healthy fats – guaranteed to keep you going even on the busiest of days.
With both protein from the ground beef (or any ground meat of choice) and carbs from fiber rich brown rice, this meal has all of the components for a filling, satiating meal! All you need to do is preheat in a skillet and serve with romaine.
Double or triple this 30 minute recipe for an easy, toddler-approved dinner. Freeze in family-size portions, heat in the microwave or skillet and enjoy! Bonus: These are kid and adult approved! You can sub the chicken for another protein like prawns, tofu or steak.
This one requires minimal day of prep and is packed full of fresh veggies! I usually make a big batch of the tempeh mix and freeze. When I’m ready to enjoy, I prepare the fresh ingredients while the tempeh mix is heating.
This Spicy Italian “Sausage” Pasta is a plant-based, delicious dinner. You can freeze the sauce solo or freeze cooked pasta with sauce in individual portions for a quick “microwave” dinner.
Pre-make these in family sized oven dishes and freeze! Take out the night before to defrost and heat it up in the microwave or a skillet when your ready to enjoy. I like to top with chicken or prawns for a delicious plate-method dinner.
Homemade Wonton Soup is my ultimate comfort food. Packed full of protein, these can be enjoyed in a veggie and broth soup or on their own. These are my go-to on a cold day while the baby is napping.
A warm and cozy balanced meal. Steel cut oats add a surprisingly delicious texture while adding fiber and iron. Perfect for a weekday lunch on a rainy day.
If you enjoy any of the recipes, it would make my day if you would leave a comment and/or star rating below. I love hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @lindsaypleskot so I can see your versions! It makes me so happy to see these recipes come to life in your kitchens! xoPrint
This plant-based version of my mom’s famous Italian sausage penne pasta is made with tempeh for a boost of plant protein. Vegan.
Spicy Tempeh “Sausage”
- 1 x 200g package of Tempea tempeh
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tbsp Italian Spice blend
- 1 tsp fennel, ground
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp. Chili peppers (flakes), dried (adjust or omit if you don’t like spice)
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup soy sauce
Sauce (or replace for your favorite store bought sauce)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 plum tomatoes, cut into 8 pieces each (quartered and then halved again)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ of a medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cups water
- Coarse salt and freshly-cracked pepper to taste (approx ⅛ tsp each and increase to taste)
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Combine all tempeh sausage ingredients (except tempeh) into a small bowl. Whisk together with a fork and set aside.
- Cut your block of tempeh into 4 strips, lengthwise. Next, on a diagonal, cut each strip into bite sized pieces (like you would slicing up a sausage into oblong coin-like pieces).
- Start cooking your pasta, according to package directions. Drain and set aside. If it starts to clump together before you mix with the sauce, run hot water over it to separate the noodles right before mixing with your sauce.
- Next, over medium high heat, add your tempeh and sauce to a large frying pan. Cover with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a high simmer and allow all liquid to boil off, approximately 20-30 minutes.
- (If you’re using a store bought sauce, skip steps 6 and 7) Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium high heat. Once heated, add your onion and saute for about 2 mintues. Add your garlic and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until both garlic and onion are translucent and fragrant.
- Next add tomatoes to the olive oil and reduce to a simmer to cook down, approx 10-15 minutes. You want this to cook down into a chunky sauce.
- When your sauce is the desired consistency, add the tempeh sausage to the sauce. Finish with the fresh basil and adjust the flavor with any extra salt, pepper or chili flakes if needed.
- Finish by tossing the noodles in the sauce, stir to combine well and serve!
You can freeze this with the pasta or the sauce on its own
I always find it confusing when pasta is listed in grams so I find this method much easier! This will cook up to approx 3 cups cooked pasta so if you’d like bigger servings, increase accordingly!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Plant Based Protein, Family Recipes