Makes: 35 meals
I’ll admit that meal prep is a tedious task that no one likes doing, but for some reason nothing brings me more happiness than knowing my baby is getting a well rounded, healthy meal every day because of my hard work.
I spend a couple hours every other Sunday and plan out two separate meals per day for my baby. Each meal has a wide array of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein, which varies from week to week depending on what I have available in my kitchen. On average I spend around $15 for two weeks worth of meals for my baby, which is a great deal considering prepackaged foods cost anywhere from $0.60 for low quality, single ingredient meals and up to $1.50 per meal for higher quality brands (or more), and they don’t have anywhere near as much variety as mine do.
One of the benefits of my meal prep is that it allows me to use vegetables and fruits that I already have at home, or that I am using in my weekly dinners anyways. For example, I used spinach in this week’s meal, but only used 1/5 of the bunch. I used the rest in a salad, which helps lower the cost on the baby’s per meal price, and gives me the freedom to use a wide variety of food in her meals, as well as ours.
Once the meals are prepped, I like to store them in these cutesy little containers that I bought on Amazon, and then freeze until ready to eat.
When I’m ready to thaw them, I can either place in the refrigerator overnight and give them to the babysitter to heat up during the day. In a pinch you can also place them in cold water for an hour, or as a last resort, move the food to a plate or bowl and defrost in the microwave. My baby loves them, and they can last weeks in the freezer if needed, although she’s eaten them all up before they can last that long.
Most importantly, every baby requires a different diet than another. I’m not saying mine is the best for your baby, it’s just what I feel is the best for my baby. You’ll notice my recipes use lentils and chickpeas this week for her protein, since I choose not to use meat or poultry in her meal prep food (we save this for her third meal with the family). The beauty of this is that you can customize the meals to fit your family and baby’s needs. Coming up with the blends is half the fun!
* Baby Breakfast Ingredients *
- 1 cup Steel Cut Oats
- 1/2 cup uncooked lentils (or black beans)
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- 1 peach
- 1 banana
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 6 strawberries
- 32 oz plain greek yoghurt
- Prepare oats according to directions and set aside to cool.
- Prepare lentils according to directions and set aside to cool.
- Peel and quarter apple, pear, and peach and steam for 5 minutes. Add strawberries, spinach, and blackberries to steamer and leave for additional 2 minutes.
- Add all fruit to blender, along with fresh banana and puree
In the left side of the meal prep container, add a scoop of yoghurt, and a spoonful of the fruit puree. In the right side, add a scoop of oats and another scoop of lentils. Label with today’s date and freeze