Cooking is a huge part of mothering. When mothers don’t feel empowered in the kitchen it can put a strain on the quality of how we feel in our spirit and how we show up as nurturers at home. While mothering my children aged 10, 7 and 4, I have cooked pretty much every day.
I’ve experimented with a lot of ways to find a routine that best streamlines for me, the process of purchasing in bulk good quality whole food from markets that everyone likes, to preparing and cooking the meals to freeze.
This monthly-ish ritual has been one of my main pillars of success in my mothering. It not only supports my busy lifestyle, but it also allows me to bend time to spend more quality time with my kids, and when I need it most – on myself!
On the days I can’t be bothered to cook when someone is sick, or if work eats into my time, It relieves my anxiety and overwhelms big time knowing that I have real meals available at home.
Growing up my beautiful mum would cook homemade Italian food. I really want my kids to eat real whole food too. So ladies, honour you and give yourself the gift of supporting yourself too, by planning ahead with freezer meals.
Rid yourself from worrying about what to cook when you’re either managing pregnancy or adjusting to your new routine with a baby. It may feel overwhelming if doing this for the first time. But don’t let that stop you!
Instead, think of how much more relaxed you will feel on the days you have a nutritious meal ready to go and the money you will save from shopping in bulk!
Don’t discount your health either. Having good health is what will give us the longevity and energy to play with and watch our kids grow.
Feeling nauseous in pregnancy will most definitely turn you right of cooking, so ask for some help. We women know what it’s like and we are all in this together so support yourself and get creative in how you can make this happen.
I would spend a day to buy everything at the butcher, fishmonger and grocer and then spend a weekend to cook, pack and freeze.
Here are some whole food meals I cook and then package for the freezer. These also accommodate fussy eaters.
- Lentil and Vegetable Soup
- Chicken and Vegetable Sausage Rolls
- Pork Sausage and Vegetable Slow Cooker Stew
- Homemade Pizzas
- Pasta Bolognaise (cook pasta just before al dente as it will soften when reheating)
- Veal / Chicken / Pork Schnitzels
- Bacon and Vegetable Quiche
- Italian Meatballs and Napoli Sauce
- Carrot, Banana, and Greek Yoghurt Breakfast Loaf
- Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
From your cooked family meals, take a portion and puree it and freeze into ice block trays.
Doing this is a great way for baby to get familiar with the taste of ‘home cooked family food’.
With bulk batches of meats, marinate and freeze into portions such as stir-fry beef strips, lamb strips and chicken thighs. With fish, I portion up squid rings and fish fillets. When defrosted put fish in a freezer bag and toss with flour, salt and pepper and lightly fry.
Below are ingredients to have handy to just throw into dishes such as the odd stir-fry, slow cooker casserole, stew, soup, pasta or a sautéed vegetable side.
• Chopped up batches of veggies for example carrot, kale, celery, spinach and herbs, package into portions.
• Boil pots of beans and legumes and portion up for the freezer. Such as lentils, barley, split peas soya beans, chickpeas and black eye beans.
• Do a big Napoli sauce variation with meatballs and portion them up. In my sauce, I sauté onion, garlic, grated carrot, zucchini and then add the passata. I blend this up before I add the meatballs to cook.
When I make pizza dough, I make extra dough, portion and freeze it.
It tastes better to add freshly cooked rice or quinoa when reheating the frozen stews and soups.
Packaging, Storing and Defrosting
I use mainly zip lock bags. For crumbed schnitzel, I lay them flat and then for ease of later separation, I put a sheet of baking paper in between each layer of schnitzel.
For pasta meals, I use aluminium trays and seal with foil and a plastic bag to avoid spills.
Label and date each item. I’d advise you research what the recommended time spans are in regards to freezing certain foods.
Consider purchasing a separate deep freezer to free up room in your freezer.
When defrosting, take food out the night before and leave in the fridge. If you forget, allow for longer cooking times if it is straight from the freezer.
More on our guest author – Melissa!
Melissa Cuzzilla is a Certified Intuitive Strategist, Co-Author, Graphic Designer and above all else, a devoted Mother of three and Wife.
Melissa has a beautiful sweet luminous energy in her heart for mothers who currently feel disconnected.
She’s walked the path many mothers are now on, and has made it through the moments of disharmony.
Melissa offers her compassion and guidance to help illuminate transformation. Many mothers can feel disconnected and as if there’s something more out there…that there is something for them to find that which will help them move upwards and in deeper connection within themselves and as mothers. Melissa loves to offer support energetically with her Intuitive Healing and Supportive abilities from the heart.
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