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.
Savory Muffins to Freeze Ahead
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.
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.
These work well to make ahead and warm up for an easy lunch or dinner. These taste best served warm.
These soft breakfast egg cups are packed with protein and vitamins—and can be made ahead of time! Add any veggie you like, whether carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, or spinach.
Egg muffins will stick to a muffin tin unless you grease it well with nonstick spray. So try not to skimp on that step!
I like adding the thyme in these for extra flavor, but it’s optional! Be sure to grease your muffin tin well.
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.
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 on in the freezer for a future meal—it’s the same amount of cooking effort, so why not!
With plant-based protein, veggies, and cheese, this soup is a wonderful way to serve up healthy comfort food to the whole family. (Adapted from FamilyFun magazine.)
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.
Serve small portions by the spoonful or in a reusable pouch to babies and toddlers.
Serve this sauce with 1 pound of your family’s favorite pasta for an easy and healthy dinner.
Try this healthy pesto with your favorite pasta or in place of pizza sauce on pizza! It’s a kid-friendly way to serve up kale and you don’t have to worry about it turning brown if you store it.
TIP: I like to freeze soups and sauces like these in quart-size freezer containers, which is a nice portion size for my family of four. Use smaller or larger containers as needed.
Bites and Tots that Freeze Well
Stash these easy meals into the freezer for options to share with older siblings. These all work to make ahead and freeze, then warm up in seconds to minutes.
Fluffy pizza bites are a delicious lunch or dinner option—and you can customize the filling to please your kids! We like these with a little side of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
Be sure to grease your pan well and roll the dough up fairly tightly around the fillings for best results. (But it’s okay if they don’t look perfect when they go into the pan!)
These chicken nuggets have simple ingredients and a pleasantly crispy exterior. Aim to cut the chicken into similarly sized pieces so they bake evenly.
I like to prep the veggies and rice ahead of time so that the process of making the nuggets is a little quicker. You can of course do it all at once though!
Sweet Muffins to Freeze Ahead
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.
These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge to serve. (Post updated October 2019)
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!)
Like a cross between a fluffy blueberry muffin and baked oatmeal, these muffins are moist and packed with yummy nutrition.
For the best flavor and sweeteness, use bananas with a lot of brown spots.
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.
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!
TIP: See all of my healthy muffins here. They can all be frozen!
Meatballs to Stash in the Freezer
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.
With the texture you expect from a traditional meatball, but added nutrition from three types of veggies, your whole family will love these.
Classic Italian meatballs with kale tucked inside to help toddlers eat their greens! (You can of course use the more traditional parsley instead of kale if you prefer.)
Plan to cook your sweet potato ahead of time. See the Notes at the end of the recipe for options!
This will make at least two dinners worth of meatballs, depending on how many people are in your family. I like to freeze half of the batch to use in a future meal.
Serve these mini meatballs with grains and veggies or pasta.
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.
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.
You can double this recipe to cook 2 pounds of dried beans at once. Just increase the water to 12 cups.
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!
TIP: Grains such as rice, quinoa, or farro: Prepare according to package directions and let cool fully. Freeze, the thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
Best Snacks to Make Ahead and Freeze
These are some of my go-to healthy snacks to make ahead and stash for later for both myself and to (sometimes, ha!) share with older kids.
These egg, dairy, and gluten-free cookies are perfect for breakfast, treats, or afternoon snacks for any mama. (And they are great to share with the kids too!)
We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. You can make them plain or choose a flavor to add!
This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges!
You can make these ahead and store in the fridge or freezer and have grab and go snacks on hand for days/weeks!
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.)
Use Sunbutter to make these nut-free. You can cut these into smaller bars if desired. If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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!
- Use any of these in a Meal Train.
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I’d love to hear your favorite freezer meals, so please comment below to share!
This post was first published February 2021.