I’ve got babies on the brain.
So do all the other editors, for one reason or another! We all have (or want) children. Some of our contributors are also expecting this year. My baby is due now in 5 weeks, give or take. I can’t believe it is so soon!!
For this reason, we’re going to do a really loose series over the next few months, along with our usual monthly themes. February’s “main” theme is “love and relationships” (guess why). But our series will also focus on Preparing for Baby, and will be network-wide.
Don’t worry. We’re not going to overwhelm you with pregnancy and baby stuff on every site! The majority of the specifically pregnancy-and-baby stuff will be happening over at Modern Alternative Pregnancy, where, I hope, it is expected. The other sister sites will be jumping in with some fun topics that will be helpful to expectant and new moms as well as many others. They will include:
- Modern Alternative Mama: Keeping the home organized during busy seasons, freezer cooking, homeschooling in busy seasons, herbal remedies for mom/baby.
- Modern Alternative Kitchen: Freezer cooking, simple meals, fast snacks.
- Modern Alternative Health: Herbal spotlights, hormone balancing.
So as you see — lots of great stuff that is relevant to our entire audience, and also helpful to new moms. As part of this series, you’ll see a lot of product reviews/giveaways and other great stuff. We’ll be kicking it off with a giveaway from ESP ~ Essential Safe Products on Monday. ESP sells safe food storage, among other things, and we’ll be teaching you about containers to freeze your meals safely for later use!
Today, I’ll be talking about my own plan for freezer cooking and pantry snacks. It’s my pre-baby plan, but could obviously be used by anyone who wanted to make cooking quicker and easier.
Stock-Up Trip and Food List
Last week, I took a trip to Amish country. I do this a few times a year, and have written about it before. This time, I was specifically after several items, some of which I don’t normally buy. These included:
- Wheat berries
- Cane sugar
- Misc. spices
- Real salt
- Coconut oil
- Organic/natural snacks and juices (Larabars, 100% juice bottles and boxes, GF crackers)
That last one isn’t typical. But I knew in this case I would need some easy snack options — anything I can throw in the pantry and grab quickly if we don’t have time to cook, if the kids are on the go (they take snacks to church each week), or once I am starting to get around again a couple weeks postpartum and we are going out but I don’t want to make stuff. Sure, it’s a compromise but sometimes that’s needed.
I also have a long list of food items that I am making before the baby is born (I am partway through this) to make meals and snacks very easy. These include:
- 48+ quarts of soup, pressure canned (vegetable, beef vegetable, chicken rice)
- Chicken nuggets (6 lbs.)
- Pitas (5 doz)
- Tortillas (5 – 6 doz)
- Soaked waffles (4 – 5 doz)
- Soaked English muffins (7 – 8 doz)
- Sandwich buns (3 – 4 doz)
- Crispy nuts (especially walnuts)
- Beef, bean and cheese burritos
- Meringue cookies (super low sugar and a great use for egg whites)
- Shredded cheddar and mozzarella (for quick pita pizzas or quesadillas)
- Taco seasoning
- Soaked and cooked beans (many varieties)
It will be super easy with these to grab lunch and serve with some fruit and cheese, for example. We need quick, healthy foods to feed the kids without resorting to junk. And ourselves, of course.
A lot of this hinges on the soups. We are just venturing into pressure canning, but being able to can our own soups with real bone broth, organic vegetables, etc. will be so helpful. It’s literally a ready-made meal, for cheaper than store-bought soups, and much more nourishing. It will literally be heat-and-eat and can be quickly paired with some fruit for a super quick meal. Nobody will need to “cook” anything!
Other meals will be English muffins or waffles with fruit smoothies (we have a lot of frozen fruit, just pair it with yogurt and the bottled organic juices). We have canned salsa on hand which we can pair with quesadillas. We will also have potatoes for easy oven fries to serve with chicken nuggets. The crispy nuts will largely top homemade (low sugar) ice cream…just because I love that. Crispy nuts are my favorite ice cream topping I’ll never have to give up.
I will also be preparing some home remedies and other items before the baby arrives.
- Postpartum/woman tea
- New baby lotion
- Magnesium lotion
- Cloth diapers (2 doz, 1 each of newborn and small)
- Teething tea (for my toddler, so no one else has to figure out how to mix it!)
- Postpartum herbal bath soak
- Arnica massage lotion/oil (the recipe linked, except I only used the liquid oil)
These things will help ensure that our basic “medical” needs are taken care of in the early days. I want to make sure I am able to heal well and the tea (which is good for really all women, not just postpartum) will help boost me. The arnica oil is just in case my muscles are sore post- birth, which is likely! You’ll see some more of these recipes in the next few weeks.
We’re *almost* ready! Sort of. My plan is to get most of this done over the weekend, and then we’ll just be waiting.