Friday, January 29, 2016

How I Prepared to Feed My Family After the Baby Arrived

When I am a postpartum mom, I can overlook the vacuuming.  I can take five minutes to clean the bathroom or ask one of my kids to do it.  I can let the (clean) laundry pile up or attempt to fold it one-handed. All of those things can be accomplished as I have time and I choose to not guilt myself about what gets neglected.

Feeding my family can't be compromised.  They (and I) need to eat three meals a day whether a new baby is in the house or not! 
food from friends

This is how I prepared to feed my family once Baby #6 made her arrival:
  • I taught each of the three oldest kids how to made a main dish on their own.  My kids, especially Maddie (11) and Owen (9) know kitchen basics, but I wanted them be able to cook an entire meal without assistance.  Gavin (13) learned to make a 1-pan skillet pasta.  Maddie perfected a dish of sausages, potatoes, and onion drizzled with olive oil and flavored with seasonings.  Owen learned to cook taco soup.  They also know how to assemble a salad, put ingredients in the bread machine, make grilled cheese, and bake muffins.
  • I browned several pounds of ground beef and flavored it with taco seasoning.  I froze the meat in meal-sized portions for tacos or salads.  Both are easy choices that my husband or kids can pull together in less than a half hour. I also had Maddie replenish the container of homemade taco seasoning by mixing up a  double batch.
  • After cooking a ham around Christmas, I cubed and froze some of the leftovers to mix into scrambled eggs or to top salads or pizza.
  • I assembled  three soup kits-- bags of veggies, pre-chopped for our favorite soups.
  • I  diced and froze quite a few onions so they can be easily added to casseroles or soups.
  • On a grocery trip in January, Brian and I stocked up on a few convenience foods like cereal, crackers, and canned vegetables.  We also bought a jumbo sized pack of Styrofoam plates.  
  • I pulled a small stack of simple slow cooker recipes out of my recipe binder for easy reference-- for me or for my family.

    There were a few things I didn't get around to doing since Macie arrived more than two weeks before her due date.

    I had intended to cook and dice 4-5 pounds of chicken and freeze it in portions for soups or casseroles.  I had also planned to make a double recipe of The Pioneer Woman's chili and pop that in the freezer, too. Since I bought the meat the evening before my water broke and I needed to use it before it spoiled, when I returned home from the hospital, I recruited Maddie and Ben (7) to help me assemble the chili.  

    chili chef
    We have been blessed with a steady stream of meal delivery from our family and friends from church.  That is a tremendous blessing to any new mom!  It is reassuring to know my family is being fed well now... and with my preparation, will continue to eat nourishing foods for weeks to come.

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