I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the biggest challenges of being a new mom is not waking up for the 2 A.M. feeding, wiping a dirty tushie, or soothing your crying babe. The hardest part of being a new parent is having no time to get a homemade meal on the dinner table.
Hopefully your friends and family will help with mealtime by dropping off pre-made dishes for you to reheat when baby is born. But when the deliveries and offers to help stop, you don’t want to be slaving over the stove when you should be resting or tending to your newborn.
There are a few alternative ways to serve your family healthy meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
Meal Assembly Stores – Take advantage of meal assembly stores, like Dream Dinners, who do all the work for you including menu planning and prep work. You’ll spend an hour or two at the store assembling meals (with their instructions) and all you have to do is store them in your freezer at home, defrost when you are ready to eat and follow the cooking instructions. You’ll get about a month’s worth of dinners out of your efforts, just be prepared to pay for all your meals upfront.
Online Menu Planners – There are a lot of online services where you can pay a small fee to download a monthly meal plan, like 5Dinnersin1Hour. Unlike the meal assembly stores, you shop for all of the ingredients yourself and spend an hour each week in your own kitchen prepping the meals. This type of service is a bit more hands on as it requires you to shop (but you can easily use Peapod to do the shopping for you). However this type of meal planning is a bit more affordable, as you are only paying for the menu and cooking instructions and can cost compare ingredients yourself.
Meal Delivery Services – These are typically local services that will do all of the prep and cooking for you. These types of services deliver a cooler packed with prepared fresh meals directly to your door. You just follow the step-by-step cooking instructions and dinner is on the table as easy as 1-2-3.
Plan Ahead – There’s no reason you can’t make a night’s meal last for two nights, or repurpose leftovers into another meal. Also, consider taking 2 hours each Sunday to prepare all your meals for the week. A little upfront organization can shave hours off your meal prep time each week.
Now if only you could find someone to deal with all that laundry piling up.