It’s a good idea to start thinking about filling up the freezer before you have your baby. I can’t imagine coming home to bare cupboards. I ate like a pig for weeks after birth and I would like to share my tips.
1) When you go in to labour, ask a friend or parent to order a good supply to fill your fridge with fresh milk, eggs, cheese and a good loaf of bread etc. Most delivery companies like Tesco and Ocado will give you a delivery slot so there’s not much waiting around.
2) Make a large batch of your favourite soup and when it’s cooled, ladle single portions into small freezer bags and lie them flat in the freezer. This is a Jamie Oliver trick and it really works! When you’re ready to eat, take it out and pop the freezer bag in a pot of warm water and it defrosts within seconds. I love making butternut squash soup and it takes minutes. Fry an onion in generous glug of oil, add the peeled chunks of squash and fry together for a few minutes. Pour a couple of pints of water on top with a stock cube and leave on the hob until tender. Set aside and blend when it’s cooled. So easy and really delicious. Children tend to love this one too.
3) Daylesford Organic and The Grocer on Kings do brilliant ready meals and are very easy to serve. Daylesford have a big selection on Ocado and also do good soups and vegi options. My kids go mad for the meat balls in a tomato sauce. All you have to do is boil up some pasta!
4) A great option for Winter days are Charlie Bingham pies. They often come out with new recipees but their Chicken and Ham is better then my home made one! All men can make mashed potato, so make sure there’s a bag in a dark cupboard and get them to do the mash while you pop the pie in the oven. They come in dear little white china pots which I reuse for plants, sweets, berries and much more.
5) If you have children already, you have to think about easy options for them. My children tend to eat what I eat but if that’s not an option, stock up on Ella’s Kitchen pouches, Plum Fromage Frais, fresh fruit, raisin snack packs and for drink, I’m loving Pip Organic juice pouches. I’m a keen cook so I made a few batches from Annabel Karmel’s app and they lasted until I felt able to get back in the kitchen. She has great recipees for all ages and they’re all pretty quick to make and most are suitable for freezing.
6) My mother used to let me make cakes when I was little and I’ll never forgot those delicious disks of rice paper that went on top of the icing. Older children can get quite jealous when a new addition arrives home so I had a few boxes of cup cake mixers which my husband made with my son and that put a smile back on both their faces. Rice Crispy cakes are also an easy option.
7) If all else fails, be sure to have a few tins of Campbell’s Tomato Soup in the cupboard. Nothing beats a comforting bowl with a chunk of bread and butter.