Freezing Meals: Healthy and Hassle Free Dining

freezer meals pastaWhen you come home from the hospital with your newborn, the last thing you or your partner will do is take time away from your little one to cook dinner. Fortunately, there are many yummy foods that freeze well, and if you plan ahead, can provide weeks of hassle free dining.

Planning ahead and freezing meals is also a great way to save money. Ordering take-out is easy, but the costs can add up quickly. Also, keep in mind that from a nutritional standpoint, even if you try your best to order the healthiest thing on the take-out menu, the foods you prepare and freeze will probably be better for you. And if you are breastfeeding, they will be better for your baby as well.

If you do decide to freeze some meals before your baby arrives, be sure you have a variety of meals available. It is great to have a freezer full of meals, but if you have only prepared massive quantities of, let's say, your favorite casserole, chances are it won't be your favorite casserole for long!

Below you will find a list of foods that freeze well and are fairly simple to prepare.

Quick and Delicious Frozen Meals

  • Pasta & Sauce
  • Homemade soups & stews (you can control the amount of salt in homemade soup,
    unlike canned soup, which is high in sodium)
  • Casseroles
  • Breaded chicken cutlets
  • Meatballs
  • Chili
  • Breads like banana and zucchini bread (work great for breakfast or dessert!)
  • Lasagna
  • Meatloaf & Gravy
  • Enchiladas
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Fruits (strawberries, bananas, and blueberries)
  • Pies

Foods That Do Not Freeze Well

  • Vegetables that retain a lot of moisture (lettuce, celery, cucumbers)
  • Dairy products (cream cheese, cottage cheese, milk, custards)
  • Fried foods

Avoiding Freezer Burn

Freezer burn can ruin all of your hard work! When moisture accumulates on food stored in the freezer, it can change the taste and texture of your pre-made meals. When preparing foods to be frozen, be sure they are wrapped or sealed tightly. Also, try to get as much air out as you can. Aluminum foil and plastic freezer bags are great for preventing freezer burn.

Thawing Food

The safest way to thaw food is slowly. This can be achieved by removing some of the meals from the freezer and placing them into your refrigerator for a couple of hours. Generally, you should allow meat 8 hours to thaw, vegetables 6 hours, and poultry about 4 hours. You can cut this time down by using the defrost button on your microwave or submerging the meals in the cold (note: not hot) water. Also, keep in mind that when meat defrosts, there is a chance that bacteria that causes food poisoning can grow, so it's best not to let meat defrost on your counter.

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Freezing Meals: Healthy and Hassle Free Dining

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16 comments

  1. INDRA says:

    GETTING READY THESE MEALS IS A MUST MOSTLY WHEN YOU DON’T PLAN TO GET ANY HELP..

  2. LIZ says:

    very good information tnx so much

  3. mommy nhoj says:

    Saves time, money and energy!

  4. Jasmine says:

    love it and am already getting this stuff ready now! I am a mother of two expecting number three, now that our kids are older we have to plan for all of us not just two.

  5. Nat says:

    Milk and cream cheese both freeze great not sure why this article says they don’t?? also real cheeses freeze better if shredded, if you try to freeze them in a block they will get crumbly from loosing moisture.

  6. Tina says:

    This is a great idea,but our freezer isn’t very big. I’m hoping family will be helping us out with meals for a little bit. They said they would, but you never really know until the time comes.

  7. Kimberly says:

    Probably won’t be doing much of this because we just have a regular freezer and very little room. Plus, my sister and her husband will be here to help with the cooking.

  8. whitwhit04 says:

    I won’t be doing this since my mother and grandmother will cook.

  9. I’m not sure if i’ll be doing this I don’t care for frozen food, I like mine fresh

  10. Dominique says:

    really like I will be trying some of this stuff

  11. Jeanetta says:

    Great article, the thawing food tips was most helpful…

  12. marylove says:

    I was just getting ready to say the same thing! If you are on WIC you know that you get way too much milk and the only way to handle all of it is to freeze it! There is nothing wrong with it after it has been frozen!

  13. Kimberly says:

    Actually, milk freezes wonderfully! Just pour out a few inches from the top of the jug to make room for expansion. It does take a long time to thaw though, so I leave it on the counter overnight and it will be about halfway unfrozen in the morning. No taste difference, no texture difference, nothing.

  14. lisa_iowa says:

    I am planning to fill my freezer starting next week. We really want to figure out frozen pre-baked muffins so we can grab a dozen in the morning for breakfast.

  15. McKenzie says:

    These are all great things to know.

  16. Sasha says:

    mmmm … great ideas thanks!

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