Maternity Prep: 5 to Get Your Food Act Together for Maternity Leave
We’re on the home stretch until the big due date! Originally I thought I’d go early, but I’m thinking I’ll be closer to the due date and possibly late. Surprisingly, I’m okay with this! I like to be as prepared as I can be for any event in life, and between moving, 10 days out of our house with broken air conditioning, Jacob traveling, and not having my usual energy, I haven’t been able to feel 100% ready to go yet. We’re getting there- we’ll probably even have the car seat so they’ll let us keep him soon. However, there are the essential things and the go the extra-mile prep things that I’m trying to tackle simultaneously! Surprisingly, it’s those extra-mile things that have me feeling more and more ready, and not so surprisingly, I’m realizing they are all about food!
Having food and being prepared= calm and can-do attitudes. Empty cupboards and a lack of plan= out-of-control feelings. I’m happy I know this about myself, and to know one of the best things I can do to prep is to get food in order!
Here’s five things we’re doing to get our food-act together and make sure we’re extra prepared for baby:
1. Meal planning
We try to eat clean whenever we can, and sometimes when busy seasons hit us we find ourselves in the trap of going out too much, and eating a lot of unhealthy stuff. Food typically falls to me as a home responsibility since I’m more creative with ingredients/meal ideas and budgeting, but that doesn’t mean Jacob doesn’t help cook/clean/and shop. He always lets me know he’ll do whatever, so long as he doesn’t have to plan it. I know if I have my act together with several weeks planned out, a doc made, and shopping lists ready, he’ll gladly take care of all he can if I’m down for a while after the baby.
2. Keeping Food Simple
We both love to cook, we love to make gourmet stuff, but we’re accepting we’ll forgo that for a while during the baby transition. Simple meals with ingredients we typically have on hand are making up the bulk of the meal plan. I’m loving articles like this one, to beat the dinner rush with 5 ingredients or less!
3. Stocking the Pantry
There are things we buy almost every week- canned green chili, limes, tomato sauce, salsa- we just know we’ll use these things for at least one recipe every week. Some things we buy fresh, but anything canned or with a shelf life of at least a couple weeks, we’re stocking up on and making sure we’re extra prepped to cut out those last-minute runs to the store that we know will be much harder with a newborn.
4. Having Breakfasts and Lunches on Hand
We’re pretty used to grabbing whatever for breakfast, and both eat out a lot at work. I’ll be home for three months ready to eat healthy and still get plenty to keep the little person alive. Jacob will be around for about a week, and I know we’ll have family in-and-out for a few weeks after, who will likely also need to eat. We’re making sure we think about the meals we don’t typically plan for- breakfast and lunch. I’m loving these ideas for busy morning breakfasts to help us think outside of the box!
5. Freezer Meals
This one seems obvious, but it really is amazing to know you’ll have a great meal without any effort aside from pre-heating the oven or crockpot. I’ve been doubling a few of our meals this week and slowly stalking the freezer. This weekend I’ll spend several hours with my mom and sisters making several crockpot freezer meals in hopes I won’t have to make dinner for the first few weeks. We’re using a combination of these meals, these meals, and a few family favorites I’m adapting for crockpot use. If they turn out great, I’ll be sure to share them!
Any other tips you have us getting our food act together? Any favorite simple recipes or freezer meal recipes you can’t keep to yourself? We’d love to hear!
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I'm right behind you at 34 weeks, and have been on a mission to stock our freezer as well. This is baby #2 for us, so I know what those first few weeks are like, and you definitely won't want to be cooking! My plan of attack has been to double 1-2 meals each week, and also with things like soup or pasta I'll freeze individual portions that were leftover even after we had some for lunch the next day. I've also made an effort to get a few easy side dishes frozen for nights that I can have my husband just grill some hamburgers or chicken. I have a toddler to think about this time around, so I've made easy breakfast and lunch items for the both of us, like pancakes, muffins, rolls ups/calzones, etc. Finally, if you plan on breastfeeding, try to stock up or make lots of health snacks you can eat one-handed. Nursing will make you RAVENOUS so it's good to have things to munch on… all the time. haha