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.
Related To:

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

Robin's Healthy Take: Chili, Three Ways

When it's cold outside, nothing warms you up like a bowl of hot chili. Try Robin Miller's recipes for beef chili, turkey chili or vegetarian chili.

Healthy Two-Bean Chili That's Easy Enough for a Weeknight — Meatless Monday

Since Food Network Kitchen's good-for-you chili can be on the table in only 30 minutes, it's a go-to pick on hectic nights when supper can't come soon enough.

Best 5 Chili Recipes for Fall

Check out our top five chili recipes below to find the best of what beans, veggies and spices can make.

Chili-Corn Casserole — Recipe of the Day

Use store-bought or leftover chili to create a corn and cheese casserole that can keep in the freezer until you're ready to eat.

Red or White Chili: Which Do You Prefer?

Food Network Magazine wants to know which side you’re on. Vote in the poll below and tell FN Dish whether you prefer red or white chili.

Hot Spots: Three Unique American Chilis

Warm up with three regional chilis and see why each has a cult following. The experts share their recipes with Food Network Magazine.