Postpartum Freezer Meal Guide

Homemade electrolyte waters for labor and postpartum: mango, grapefruit, & blood orange juices mixed with coconut water, & a pinch of salt.

Homemade electrolyte waters for labor and postpartum: mango, grapefruit, & blood orange juices mixed with coconut water, & a pinch of salt.

Frankie is 4 months and I don’t know where the time has gone. The first few weeks after her birth were filled with tears (hers and mine), all the snuggles, excitement, and more snuggles. I don’t think I’ve fully come down from the oxytocin high because I’m simultaneously mourning her growing up and thrilled at how each day she becomes more and more fun. It’s been emotionally intense and completely life-changing and I’m not sure my life will ever feel like it’s gone back to normal, nor do I want it to.

When she was 7 weeks old we moved to Seattle. We originally weren’t supposed to move out here until August for my internship but Nate got a job sooner, a job that was too good to turn down so we took it and moved with a 7 week old (something I don’t wish on anyone). It was brutal. When I found out we were leaving early I cried for days, I was hormonal, and high from the most incredible birth experience, and wanting to cling to the amazing community and support I’d built over the past 4 years in Chicago. I wasn’t ready for a new chapter, I loved the one we were in and wanted Frankie to become part of that life. In an adjustment to parenthood support group I went to after moving I remember saying, “it feels unfair to be held accountable to decisions I made before I had frankie”. After all it feels like I am fundamentally a different person now.

I had a relatively easy birth and physically an easy recovery. But the 4th trimester is both a physically and emotionally vulnerable time so saying goodbye to the life we’d built after such a monumental life change was and continues to be so hard. So hard that on multiple occasions I’ve whispered to Nate, “we should have stayed in Chicago”. Admitting it feels embarrassing. I’ve always been one to take big risks but this time it feels like we fell. My transition has not been graceful. I’m not teaching yoga for the first time in a decade, I’m far from having any kind of routine, I’ve barely cooked in the last two months, and I have zero community here. I find myself looking back at photos from my pregnancy daily almost as a reminder that it all actually happened. I feel so distance from it and I wish there was a way I could bridge my before and after. I wish I could have grabbed parts of our former life and brought them with me. It feels like such an extreme starting over.

But we’re here and we’re surviving. And as hard as life has been recently somehow karma has caught up to us and given us the easiest more chill baby on earth. Frankie has slept through the night since she was 2 weeks old. I know, I feel guilty even telling people. We are so lucky and really did nothing to deserve this, we just lucked out. She’s started laughing and smiling and cooing and interacting with us and each day gets more exciting. I have a bit of an addictive personality and that combined with my incredible birth experience, Frankie’s sweet and easy temperament and the fact that I literally walk around constantly high on oxytocin (breastfeeding and snuggles forever!) seemed to have created the perfect storm that’s convinced me to want to bang out at 3 more before I’m 40. I know, I know. The toddler years must be harder than this, but this girl has brought more joy and light to my life than I ever thought possible. I still don’t want to fall asleep because I could stare at her and snuggle her forever. Leaving for work full-time last month was killer.

Although in so many ways our situation failed to honor the fragility of the 4th trimester I was proactive in making a freezing a ridiculous amount of food before she was born and it came in so handy. We literally lived off of homemade frozen meals for 6 weeks, we could barely finish all the food before the move at 7 weeks. My biggest recommendations: food you can eat with one hand while holding a baby. Oats are great for milk production. And protein protein protein. Of everything I made ahead of time, granola bars were the biggest hit. I made a four batches of granola bars (close to 100 granola bars) and ate them all in less than 6 weeks! Especially in those first few days they were all I craved and so convenient for breastfeed and snuggling a tiny one.

Below is a collection of my favorite postpartum, make-ahead meals:

Breaksfast:

Triple Berry and Oat Pancakes  were my biggest obsession during pregnancy. I loved berries before I got pregnant and I still love them now, but while I was pregnant I was constantly ravenous for them. Frankie is probably filled with antioxidants. Anyway, I wrapped 3-4 of these pancakes in tin foil then threw everything into freezer bags and defrosted in the breville toaster.

Triple Berry and Oat Pancakes were my biggest obsession during pregnancy. I loved berries before I got pregnant and I still love them now, but while I was pregnant I was constantly ravenous for them. Frankie is probably filled with antioxidants. Anyway, I wrapped 3-4 of these pancakes in tin foil then threw everything into freezer bags and defrosted in the breville toaster.

Photo by Megan Gordon.   Cheesy Egg, Farro and Green Chile (Freezer) Breakfast Burritos  by A Sweet Spoonful. I made a double batch of these and we reheated them in the Breville toaster. They were perfect. Next time I might add some black beans.

Photo by Megan Gordon.

Cheesy Egg, Farro and Green Chile (Freezer) Breakfast Burritos by A Sweet Spoonful. I made a double batch of these and we reheated them in the Breville toaster. They were perfect. Next time I might add some black beans.

Snacks:

Pistachio Lemon Granola Bars  I made a double batch of these, sliced them, and individually wrapped them in plastic wrap then threw them in a freezer bag. Oats = milk.

Pistachio Lemon Granola Bars I made a double batch of these, sliced them, and individually wrapped them in plastic wrap then threw them in a freezer bag. Oats = milk.

Photo by Bakerita.   Nutty Coconut Fat Bombs  make the perfect snack or, if you eat a handful of them, breakfast. I made them, placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer until they set, and then threw them in a freezer bag.

Photo by Bakerita.

Nutty Coconut Fat Bombs make the perfect snack or, if you eat a handful of them, breakfast. I made them, placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the freezer until they set, and then threw them in a freezer bag.

Date Almond Breakfast Bars from the  Smitten Kitchen Cookbook  are the perfect way to use all those leftover dates you’ve been eating. I alternated between these and the lemon pistachio ones throughout the day.

Date Almond Breakfast Bars from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook are the perfect way to use all those leftover dates you’ve been eating. I alternated between these and the lemon pistachio ones throughout the day.

Photo by Cookie and Kate   Healthy Pumpkin Muffins  were perfect for a snack or breakfast.

Photo by Cookie and Kate

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins were perfect for a snack or breakfast.

Lunch/Dinner:

Photo by With Food + Love   Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Wilted Greens  are ready in under 30 minutes and filled with literally all of my favorite things. I froze individual portions in mason jars.

Photo by With Food + Love

Coconut Curried Chickpeas with Wilted Greens are ready in under 30 minutes and filled with literally all of my favorite things. I froze individual portions in mason jars.

Photo by Sprouted Kitchen   Butternut + Green Chile Enchiladas  I made (you guessed it) a double batch of these. Cooked them completely, let them cool, then wrapped them in packs of 2 in tin foil and put them in a freezer bag.

Photo by Sprouted Kitchen

Butternut + Green Chile Enchiladas I made (you guessed it) a double batch of these. Cooked them completely, let them cool, then wrapped them in packs of 2 in tin foil and put them in a freezer bag.

Photo by  Emma Christensen    Best Ever Veggie Burger  from The Kitchn. I’ve been making these for years. I made a double batch, cooked them, then individually wrapped them in tin foil and through them in a freezer bag. You really don’t even need buns for these if you don’t have them. They are great topped with avocado.

Photo by Emma Christensen

Best Ever Veggie Burger from The Kitchn. I’ve been making these for years. I made a double batch, cooked them, then individually wrapped them in tin foil and through them in a freezer bag. You really don’t even need buns for these if you don’t have them. They are great topped with avocado.

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup  was perfect for reheating during an abnormally cold spring. This is one of the most flavor-packed soups I’ve ever made. I froze it in individual servings in mason jars.

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup was perfect for reheating during an abnormally cold spring. This is one of the most flavor-packed soups I’ve ever made. I froze it in individual servings in mason jars.