I don’t know about you, but with summer in full swing, for us, every day is different. Some days, especially when the weather is gorgeous outside, or we are busy running in a million different directions, the last thing I have time to do is spend all day in the kitchen prepping and cooking meals. Other days, I get hit with the cooking bug, and find myself with extra time that allows me to do a bunch of healthy family meal prep. That is what is so amazing about freezer cooking! You can prepare a bunch of healthy freezer friendly baby led weaning recipes for the times when you need an easy family dinner that is baby friendly.
Nothing makes me happier than having a fully-stocked freezer. That way, on especially busy or hectic days, I know that I can just take out a few items from the freezer, and have a tasty, healthy snack or meal ready in no-time flat.
Another great reason to utilize is your freezer is that it is super economical! You can buy more items in bulk or when they’re on special, or when they’re less expensive and in-season, and then use them as you need them. Or, if you only need a small amount of an ingredient for a recipe – such as fresh herbs, or produce – you can freeze the rest for a later time, thus saving money and preventing waste!
Believe it or not, it is actually pretty easy to build up your freezer stash. One way is to double (or triple!) a recipe when you’re making it. Serve half of it to the family, and freeze the rest for a quick healthy meal later. Another way is to just pick a day or two (if you can!) and have a marathon cooking session, and make a few healthy freezer friendly baby led weaning recipes for the freezer. Invite a friend or two over, and make a day of it! The kiddos also love to get involved and help, so I like to come up with a few fun food ideas for the kids to make too. It’s a fun family activity and they’re always excited to eat the food they’ve helped make.
And as a bonus – when your freezer is filled, you’ll have more room in your fridge for fresh ingredients! It’s truly win-win.
As a busy Mum, I know how overwhelming it can seem to get started. But I promise, once you start freezing healthy family meals, you’ll wonder why didn’t do this sooner. It’s such a life-saver for busy days. To help you get started, I’ve put together a few tips that I’ve found helpful for freezer friendly family cooking.
5 Simple Tips for Freezer Cooking:
- Have your supplies ready!
When I’m cooking for the freezer, I do not like to tie up my “good” dishes. Instead, I use disposable or reusable containers, so that my regular baking dishes are available when I need them. I like to use both freezer bags or disposable containers (which I can still wash after use, making them last longer!).
- Flatten Bags before storing:
When storing soup or sauces, pour into a freezer bag, and then lay flat to freeze. This will make defrosting a snap, and the bag will not take up nearly as much room.
- Mark clearly with date and contents of the bag (as well as cooking instructions)
There’s nothing worse than having your time and food go to waste because you do not remember when you made it, or even worse, can’t identify what it is after it has been frozen! Mark the items clearly with the contents, date, and if applicable, cooking or heating directions.
- “Flash Freezing” is your friend!
For items that you do not want to “clump” together, such as berries, pancakes or chicken breasts, flash freeze before transferring to a storage container or storage bag. To do so, place on a baking sheet and stick in the freezer for an hour or two. After the items have frozen, you can transfer to your container or freezer bag.
- Freeze fresh items as they’re in season, so you have them all year long!
In the summer, when you have an abundance of fresh produce in season, it is super duper easy and inexpensive to buy lots of produce, to use throughout the year when fresh produce may not be as readily available. Not all produce freezes well, however, so make sure to avoid foods with high-water content, such as cucumber, melon, and lettuce.
Easy Items to Freeze:
While I do have a bunch of recipes that I like to make-ahead and freeze, I do also like to prep a few ingredients, so that I always have them on hand for easy, quick meals. Here’s a few of my favourites:
Chicken Breasts – I like to marinate my chicken breasts, then full cook on the bbq. I will separate them into labeled packaged of either 2 or 4 breasts, and then just pull out what I need for quick lunches or dinners. Defrosted, cooked chicken breasts are just perfect for:
Baby Led Weaning Quesildas or Crepesadillas
Cut up chicken strips served with a lightly-steamed veggies for a quick lunch
Served on top of a salad
Minced Beef – this is just the perfect blank canvas ingredient to have in your freezer. Brown up a couple of pounds, and you can quickly make sauce, soups, and tacos for a quick family dinner. The possibilities are endless!
Baby Led Weaning Muffins – Nothing says freezer friendly baby led weaning like mini muffins! Flash freeze, then store in a freezer bag. Take out a few for a quick breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack.
Baby Pancakes: Another perfect freezer food, you can make a double batch, and freeze any leftovers. Perfect for a quick breakfast, or toddler snacks on the go, just take out of the freezer before you head out and they usually thaw within an hour or two.
And finally, here’s a few of my favorite freezer friendly baby led weaning recipes:
Lemon Sorbet Amazeballs
These lemon sorbet amazeballs are, well, amazing! Tasty and super easy to make, these store super well in the freezer (although I rarely have any left over to freeze – they’re THAT good). Make a couple of batches, and store in the freezer for a quick, toddler snack on the go.
Find the Recipe here: Lemon Sorbet Baby Amazeballs
Moroccan Turkey Meatballs
Turkey meatballs are a great freezer friendly baby led weaning food. Bite-sized for little hands, these turkey meatballs have a soft texture that is great for little ones just learning how to feed. Jam-packed with flavour, it’s a recipe that the whole family will adore.
Find the Recipe here: Moroccan Turkey Meatballs
Buckwheat Raspberry Pancakes
One of the most delicious pancakes you’ve ever tasted! These buckwheat pancakes are a great first food for baby led feeding. Their soft texture and size make them perfect for little ones.
Find the Recipe here: Buckwheat Raspberry Pancakes
Super Healthy Pizza Muffins
I don’t know about you, but my kiddos just love pizza. These mini pizza muffins are made with wholesome ingredients and are perfect for babies, toddlers and older kiddos! They freeze really well – just pop in a freezer bag, and have them on hand for whenever you need them!
Find the Recipe here: Super Healthy Pizza Muffins
Mexican Quinoa Bites
Make a bunch of these to keep in your freezer! Protein packed and filled with yummy ingredients, you can just defrost and serve at room temperature. These Mexican Quinoa bites are a huge hit in my house. This is yet another healthy freezer friendly baby led weaning recipe that is absolutely perfect for little hands.
Find the Recipe here: Mexican Quinoa Bites
Let me know your favourite freezer-friendly meals or tips in the comments!