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One of the best things you can get organized for yourself before your twins arrive is to fill your freezer full of nutritious, easy to heat, easy to eat meals that you can use during those first few weeks once your babies come home.
You will be eating at all times of the day or night and the last thing you will feel like doing is cooking a meal, so spend the last few weeks of your pregnancy preparing easy to heat and eat meals that you can just whip out and eat any time you feel the need.
Whether your twins are your first babies or not, new editions to the house mean parents lack the time and energy to cook dinner at the end of the day. That can mean you grab for the nearest and most convenient meal, which will not always be the most nutritious.
It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet regardless of how old your kids are, but it is even more important in those early months. So, I have the answer to your time, energy and nutrition dilemma… freezer meals!
Yep, freezer meals are exactly as they sound.
They are ready-cooked meals that you freeze, ready to be defrosted and reheated when you need. They are so good because you can make a few big batches of your favorite foods before the babies are due, package them up and put them in the freezer. You might even have amazing friends and family who will bring you meals to freeze.
No matter who makes them, you want to make sure that your painstakingly created meals survive the defrosting and reheating process. So, let’s look at some delicious freezer meals that will taste just as good as eating them as freshly made.
What Makes a Good Freezer Meal?
The best kind of freezer meal is one that has everything for a balanced meal in the one package. Then you can bang it in the oven or microwave and be all set to eat when the timer goes off. Often you will find that you need to add a few fresh elements on the side, like vegetables or a salad. But at least the lion’s share of the meal prep is done already, especially if you cut, portion and freeze some vegetables too.
Most foods will freeze well and keep safely for between 3 and 6 months. Rotate through your freezer items and eat the oldest ones first to prevent wastage. Most of all, make sure everything is wrapped and packaged well to guard against freezer burn.
There are some things that don’t freeze well, so we would avoid freezing these foods: cooked eggs, jams and jellies, salad, yogurt, baked goods with icing, unwhipped cream, mayonnaise, and low-fat dairy products.
Our Favourite Freezer Meals
We asked and you answered with some of your favourite all-time freezer meal recipes. They are…
- Lasagne – Mince/Chicken/Vegetarian
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Banana Cake
- Muffins – Vegetable/Sweet/Breakfast
- Devilled Sausages
- Pasta Bakes
- Bacon and Egg Pie
- Meat Pie
- Beef Bourguignon
- Butter Chicken
- Bolognaise Sauce
- Mild Curries – Vegetable or Meat
- Sausage Rolls – Meat or Vegetable
- Stroganoff – Beef or Mushroom
- Stews – Lentil or Meat
Defrosting and Reheating
It is best to defrost your meals in the fridge, especially if they contain meat. Leave them overnight to ensure they are defrosted right through before cooking.
There are even some foods you don’t even need to defrost before heating. Pretty much anything saucy can be reheated in a pot on the stovetop, or in the oven (with a lid on). Start with gentle heat and then turn it up towards to end to ensure the food is heated all the way through. Frozen fresh pasta can go straight into a pot of boiling water, and pies can be reheated wrapped in foil.
Never cook joints of meat or poultry from frozen though.
Crock Pot Dump Meals
Dump and Go Crock Pot Meals are the gold star of meal prep because you don’t have to cook anything first. You simply pack up all of your ingredients – meat, veg, sauce, herbs, spices – put them in a freezer-safe bag, label and freeze them. Then, you simply select which meal you want, defrost it, dump it all in your slow cooker, turn it on and walk away. How awesome is that?
Fast forward to dinner time and you have a full meal ready to go. These meals are not only perfect for when you have newborns and toddlers, but also after a long day at work, or after sports practices finish.
Check out this amazing list of 19 Dump and Go Slow Cooker Recipes from The Recipe Rebel.