Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meal Prep With Baby

Meal preparation can be tricky with a baby.

A baby takes up a lot of my mental capacity. Some days, the last thing I want to do is think about what to make for lunch or supper, especially when I want my meals to be healthy.

A baby makes grocery shopping more complicated. If the baby is in a good mood, it can be a fun experience. I get to get out of the house, and my baby gets to see and hear interesting new things. However, if my baby is fussy, it’s a whole different story.

Even after I decide what to make and have the ingredients, putting the food together can take awhile. If my baby is napping during supper prep time, great! If she wants to be held when I need to be chopping vegetables or standing near the stove, it’s not so great.

My solution? When I go grocery shopping, I make sure to buy a green pepper, red onion, mushrooms, and tomato. I chop each of them up when my daughter is napping, and store them in the refrigerator in Ziplock bags. The possibilities for easy meals to make with these ingredients are endless, and most of them require only one hand (because your other hand is busy holding on to your baby, of course).

Lately, I’ve been making pizza. I buy pizza crust from the store, or make my own. I spread pizza sauce over the crust, sprinkle on a layer of cheese, and load it up with the pre-cut veggies. Ten minutes in the oven at 425 degrees, and supper is ready.

My husband likes making omelets with the veggies. He whisks a few eggs with some milk, throws in the veggies, and adds some cheese at the end. Breakfast is served!

An easy choice for lunch is a veggie wrap. I spread a little ranch on a whole wheat tortilla, add the veggies, and maybe add some avocado, lunch meat, and/or cheese.

If you like salads, the pre-cut vegetables liven up a plain romaine lettuce salad.

The next time you are chopping vegetables for a recipe, do yourself a favor and chop more than you need. Having pre-cut vegetables on hand makes meal preparation with a baby a breeze.

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