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Expecting a New Baby? Better Get Cooking!

Before my daughter was born, I would spend hours in the kitchen, preparing batches of extra meals that I could freeze so that when she arrived we’d be as well-fed as before her debut. Now that baby #2 is on his way, I’m at it again. Unfortunately, I don’t have nearly as much free time as I did before my daughter was born (although it certainly didn’t feel like a lot of extra time back then!).

Instead of having the luxury of spending the afternoon in the kitchen, whipping up batches and batches of food, I have to condense my extra cooking into my weeknight repertoire and cook two (or more) meals at once.

This has worked surprisingly well – I either double the recipe of what we’re having that night or make something completely different, either while that night’s dinner is in the oven cooking, or before or after.

There are a variety of meals that can be made ahead of time and freeze quite well. Some of my favorites are lasagna, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf chili and soups and stews that can be doubled and frozen in single- or double servings for later. Bake or buy some fresh bread and throw a salad together, and you’ve got a meal – with little fuss and a lot of flavor!

Another great thing to make ahead and freeze is bread – pumpkin or banana bread makes a nice snack or a healthy breakfast for those days that you just don’t have time to put anything together. Bake them in muffin tins or mini loaves, or bake whole loaves and cut them in half, wrap well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze.

Whatever you freeze, make sure to write the date and any re-heating instructions on the outside.

What are your favorite make-ahead and freeze meals or snacks?

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