Top 15 Dairy-Free Freezer Meals For New Moms
There are plenty of things to worry about in the first few months of parenthood, preparing dinner should not be one of them. Most new mothers complain their newborns cry excessively, have colic, are gassy, don't sleep well, suffer from reflux, or aren't pooping regularly. While there are several more detailed reasons, the most common is food related. A newborn's digestive system is not fully mature at birth. It can take more than 6 months for full development to occur, which is one of the main reasons it is recommended that babies exclusively receive breastmilk until 6 months of age.
During the time of digestive development, most newborns struggle with consuming breastmilk (or formula) that contains dairy. Dairy comes from cows, and cow's milk is meant to be ingested and digested by other cows - who have 4 compartments to their stomach, unlike humans. To properly digest dairy, a cow's stomach completes the following process:
- Step 1: Milk enters the Rumen; this is the first part of the cow’s stomach. It helps break down complex plant products like grass.
- Step 2: The Reticulum, where the food mixes with the cow’s saliva and produces cud. Cows burp up the cud into their mouths and chew it to help break it down more. When you see a cow that looks like she is chomping on bubble gum, really she is chewing her cud.
- Step 3: The Omasum, where all the water is absorbed out of the food.
- Step 4: The Abomasum, where the food is finally digested, similar to what happens in a human stomach.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, many mothers choose to take dairy from their diets in preparation for their baby's birth. After complaining a bit, they get use to it!
My husband is in charge of getting all grocery items and the meat from the butcher (we shop local - and as organic as possible), while I prep bags, labels, watch kids, etc. Then we switch. He takes the kids and I get to meal-making. I typically make 16-20 bags full of meals, but only about 6 recipes that I double or triple to make it easy, and then I use different recipes the next month so we don't get bored.
Chicken Wings: Toss them in a ziplock with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. You can thaw them and use the crockpot or the oven to bake them. Once cooked, toss in whatever coating you'd like! They are delicious as is, but man I love them dripping in Frank's buffalo sauce!
Bacon Wrapped Maple Chicken: Definitely pour the "sauce" over the bacon-wrapped chicken before freezing. I make the sides the day of because I don't want everything to be maple-flavored. Also - don't skimp on the bacon!! And boneless chicken thighs stay juicier than breasts in the crockpot.
Pork Tenderloin: Add everything except the water and cornstarch to the freezer bag. I like to add potatoes and carrots to the bag as well.
Meatballs: Precook these and then freeze with or without sauce in the freezer bag. Make sure you add a veggie and a pasta to the grocery list! (you can do meatball subs too)