Healthy Pregnancy: Planning Ahead in the Kitchen

Even after the baby arrives, it’s still important for moms to get extra calories so they can keep their energy high, heal from delivery and have fuel for breastfeeding. These recipes will keep my family covered during those first few hectic weeks.
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I’m due in a few short weeks. Once my baby arrives, most of my time and energy will go to him or her -- at least until we get into a routine. To spare my husband and me endless nights of takeout, I’m planning ahead by stocking my fridge and freezer with some delicious and healthy foods. Here’s what’s cooking.

The Plan

Even after the baby arrives, it’s still important for moms to get extra calories so they can keep their energy high, heal from delivery and have fuel for breastfeeding. These recipes will keep my family covered.

Muffins

Muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast or midnight snack (new moms will inevitably be up) -- add a nonfat yogurt or a piece of fresh fruit and you’ve got a meal. Store a baked batch in the freezer and give a quick zap in the microwave to defrost.

    Recipes to try:
Chicken Stock

I could buy the canned or boxed stock, but the homemade version tastes so much better. Stocks are great for quick soups or as a flavored, cooking liquid for rice, risotto or couscous.

    Recipes to try:
Soup & Chili

These are a perfect heat-and-eat dinner for cool fall and winter nights. Make a fresh salad, heat some up on the stove and dinner’s ready.

    Recipes to try:
Tomato Sauce

In my Italian family, tomato sauce is good for just about anything. My go-to recipes are classic pasta dishes tossed with veggies or meatballs or easy pizzas.

    Recipes to try:
Freezer to Oven

If you're pressed for time, these dishes (and many of the ones above) can go right from the freezer to the oven. For faster cooking, remember to take them out the night before to defrost in the fridge.

    Recipes to try:
Sweet Treats

Don’t forget about dessert! These plan-ahead sweets are perfect when a craving strikes or unexpected guests stop by to meet the baby -- they all freeze and defrost beautifully.

    Recipes to try:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Healthy Pregnancy: Staying Hydrated

Eating healthy foods isn’t the only thing you have to do when pregnant. Along with more calories, you need more fluids to keep everything running smoothly.

Healthy Pregnancy: Judgment Calls

There are a few schools of thought about avoiding caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners while prego. Some experts say that small amounts of these things are fine, others say pass; here’s my take.

Healthy Pregnancy: Foods to Avoid

What can't I eat now? That's one of the first questions that pops into your mind when you find out you're pregnant. Sure, you cut out the alcohol and avoid caffeine, but what about those foods that might have lurking bacteria? Here are some of the foods I skip to cut back the risks.

Healthy Pregnancy: Getting Some Exercise

When you're pregnant, it’s important to take care of your body -- that means getting exercise as well as following a healthy diet. So get out those comfortable workout clothes, lace up a pair of supportive sneakers and get moving.

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