Helping people make their lives easier is something that Dini Klein has dedicated much of her life to. As the founder of Prep + Rally, Dini provides recipes and meal prep ideas to help busy moms juggle it all. Before having her third child, Dini took the time to meal prep for her own family. Here she shares her story and tips so other mommas-to-be can enjoy their time with their new baby.
Having a baby is no easy task, but the hard work doesn’t end once the baby is born. It’s just beginning! Trying to get used to sleep deprivation while bonding with your baby and juggling everything else can leave you running on empty.
Add to the mix, with two young girls at home, I knew I had to make sure that meals were prepared and my pantry was stocked. It was going to be one less thing to worry about and would give me more time to spend with my growing family.
Although I never fully take off work because I run a family meal prep service, Prep + Rally, I knew I had to get ahead and batch cook and freeze staples to make life easier. I was happy to be prepared because the pandemic hit soon after I gave birth to Solomon, making things even more hectic.
Here’s a list of things I did to meal prep and make life easier for my maternity leave:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so I had to be prepared. I cooked a bunch of pancakes, banana muffins, and peanut butter granola bars one afternoon and froze them in mini bags. I even made a big batch of fruit smoothies and froze them in containers so I wouldn’t have to pull out the blender on a hectic weekday morning and possibly make noise to wake everyone up. Preparing these helped tremendously with breakfast for my girls post-birth and when my baby would wake up early and I had to tend to him.
I did a huge Costco and grocery stock up so I wouldn’t have to be busy picking up toiletries, snacks, baby necessities, or pantry staples. Some of the items included:
- Frozen rice
- Dried pastas
- Canned tuna
- Dried fruits
Knowing I had plenty of these foods on hand would give me more time to spend with my family.
Cooking and freezing a few different types of soups was a lifesaver! If it was too hectic to cook a whole dinner, I knew I could just defrost a soup and throw some chicken or tofu in the oven and my family would be happy. I made chicken soup (perfect for a post-birth mama), a hearty vegetable soup with barley, and a sweet potato butternut squash soup. These soups were great for a quick lunch for myself or dinner for my family.
Meals to Go
Deciding to batch cook some meals for the first few weeks post-birth made dinner time so much easier. All I had to do was defrost them by reheating them in the oven for an hour or two. I took some chicken bottoms and brown rice and cooked them in the oven in family size portions before freezing them.
I also made sure to marinate some chicken cutlets, bread some fish, and freeze salmon in individual portions. This way, I could throw the chicken or fish in the oven on a sheet pan with some veggies, and I was good to go.
I prepared and froze homemade tomato sauce and pesto so I would have delicious sauces that I could put over pasta or chicken as dinner for my girls. Having these flavorful sauces and marinades really helped elevate a meal I had no time to fuss over.
I made sure to prepare some healthy desserts so I could treat myself after long, tiring days post-birth. I froze some homemade chocolate peanut butter cups, healthy biscotti, and some muffins so I wouldn’t grab candy or chips when I had cravings.
While you can share with the family, don’t forget to prepare things for YOU before you give birth- you’ll be a better mother to your kids and your baby when your cravings are satisfied and you’re not hangry!
Making it Easier
Now that my baby is a bit older, I continue to meal prep because it helps so much. Another thing that helps is having my Nanit smart baby monitor. I can be running around the house working, cooking, cleaning, and have the Nanit app right on my phone to check in with Solomon.
I love that it shows me how long he’s been in bed and that I can talk to him through the monitor to calm him down and extend his nap if possible. Nanit is definitely the perfect addition to my busy lifestyle and it allows me to have a grip on everything going on between running a business and being a wife, and a mom of 3!
I hope these tips help all you mamas or mamas-to-be prepare for an exciting, yet super busy time in your life. For more tips and tricks, check out our blog at prepandrally.com.