my postpartum meal survival guide


postpartum meal survival guide

weeks 1-2: the meals everyone brought us

I don’t think I cooked anything for at least the first week and a half to two weeks that we were home.  Family and friends were so good about bringing us food.  My parents bought us an anniversary dinner for our first night home (since we missed our actual anniversary date seeing as how Evelyn was being born).  Gerrit’s parents brought us burgers and Chick-fil-a and friends of our brought us Mexican.  Our church brought us meals from the freezer.  My grandmother and great-aunt brought us a big pan of baked chicken.

I’m telling you, we were set.

week 3: meals from my freezer

In the weeks leading up to Evelyn’s birth, I made several meals that I put in my freezer.  I would make double batches of some favorites and and freeze half of it in disposable pans with labels on the top (and eat the other half that night).  It was so great to be able to pull something out of the freezer in the morning, stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes or so in the evening, and have dinner ready.  The most I had to do in addition to this was sometimes put some rice in the rice maker or some frozen sweet potato fries in the oven.  And since some of these meals were big portions, many times we had leftovers for the next night or lunch the next day.

My freezer meals included:
mushroom lasagna
white chicken lasagna with sun-dried tomatoes
chicken poppy seed casserole
pizza pasta

Some other ideas that I didn’t have time to get in my freezer:
sweet corn and mascarpone lasagna
pesto lasagna
baked rigatoni with tiny meatballs

weeks 4-6: cooking easy dinners

By about week four postpartum I felt ready to get back into the kitchen again a bit.  We were finally starting to get a semi-decent amount of sleep and were slowly finding our rhythm.  So I made a list of quick and easy meals that require very little prep time.  We rotated through several of these meals, mixed in with occasionally grabbing take out and going to eat at our families’ houses every once in awhile.

{1} baked chicken thighs (olive oil, salt, pepper, seasonings, 40 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F), sauteed zucchini with almonds, rice

{2} fried rice (made with leftover rice)

{3} baked potatoes

{4} asian marinated salmon, almond green beans, cous-cous (probably the most involved meal on this list)

{5} chickpea pasta, baked frozen sweet potato fries

{6} store-bought rotisserie chicken, garlic bread with a store-bought baguette, a roasted vegetable

{7} chicken pesto panini, baked frozen sweet potato fries (again)

weeks 7+

Now that Evelyn is 7 weeks old, I’m almost fully back in the kitchen, cooking normal meals (although I still rely on easy favorites for many nights).  It takes some juggling…I need Gerrit to be home from work in time to take care of Evelyn while I make dinner, I need to feel up to it (and to be honest some nights I haven’t and we’ve scrapped dinner and gone to grab Chick-fil-a).  But it feels good to be cooking and planning meals again.

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