Babyproof Your Homeschool {Week 1}

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Week 1 – Meals

This course is all about setting the foundation in your home in order for your family, and specifically your homeschool, to have a smooth transition to a new baby joining the ranks. I want to help you lay down sturdy rails for your family life to run on and that require little physical adjustment while you continue to recover. This is my goal and your feedback will aid in that endeavor! Also as an encouragement to others, if you are on Instagram I’d love to follow along with your progress in this course and cheer you on, just use #babyproofyourhomeschool. You can. learn more about this course in our overview post here.

That being said, uncertainty regarding meals has been one of the quickest ways to throw off our school days in the past. That is why this first week will focus on preparations for feeding your family and some of the methods to start in the third trimester that I’ve found to streamline this daily necessity.

Getting “Mise en Place”

In French culinary studies there is a practice called “Mise en Place”, which roughly means “everything in its place.” This practice can be applied to many parts of home life leading up to the addition of a new baby, but especially in its intended locale of the kitchen.

It is not unheard of for families to make freezer meals for the newborn days, but I’ve found that taking a few other steps first helps all the more. You can find several printable worksheets to help you walk through these suggestions below. This is my latest method:

  • Clean out the refrigerator and take inventory of your family’s usual staples. If it’s out of date or your family doesn’t eat it, go ahead and toss it. You can use the space for something useful. As my mom is fond of saying, “When in doubt, throw it out!” It is better to lose a couple dollars than have to deal with multiple ill family members.

  • Clean out the pantry and take inventory of your family’s usual staples. Same protocol as with the refrigerator.

  • Make bulk batches of shelf stable snacks like granola and trail mix.

  • Make an accessible snack foraging station. Individual bags labeled with each child’s name may be a good idea if they need guidance with rationing.

  • Brainstorm ideas for easy and make-ahead/freezer meals that your family enjoys. Include options for all meals of the day and snacks.

  • Save up a little extra grocery money a month or two before baby’s expected arrival and make a giant stock up trip to the store for all the staples and your intended meals. Don’t forget all the disposable products like paper plates, paper towels and toilet paper. 

  • Plan a day to prepare your make-ahead/freezer meals.

  • Mix up baking mixes that contain all the dry ingredients needed in zip-lock bags.  Write all the missing wet ingredients and baking instructions with sharpie on the bag. These are great if you have an available husband or outside help postpartum.

  • Compose a weekly meal plan with the frozen meals and dry staples you prepared.

Some of our go-to freezable foods:

  • Biscuits

  • Bags of fruit, yogurt, and other add-ins for smoothies

  • Pancakes – a variety of flavors

  • Muffins – a variety of flavors

  • Waffles – a variety of flavors

  • Egg Muffins – eggs, cheese, sausage, and shredded potato baked in muffin tins

  • Baked Oatmeal

  • Sandwiches by the loaf – Peanut butter and jelly, meat and cheese

  • Soups

  • Chili

  • Pasta bakes

  • Taco meat

  • Fajita meat

  • Spaghetti sauce

  • Please feel free to share your go-to freeze meals in the comments!

Some ideas for other easy meal ingredients to have at the ready:

  • Ground Beef (cooked and frozen)- in addition to pre-frozen taco meat and spaghetti sauce, basically seasoned cooked ground beef is an simple add in for recipes like crock-pot lasagna, chili, goulash, sloppy joes, etc.

  • Grilled Chicken (frozen) – grilled chicken is incredibly versatile. It can go on salads, be shredded for quesadillas or nachos, chopped for chicken salad, and a huge host of other scrumptious options we can get into more detail on in the course Facebook group (send me an email through the contact page if you would like to join us there).

  • Frozen or Canned Vegetables – This type of convenience food is great for making sure your newborn streamlined meals are still balanced. We’ve had good look with the store brand steamable bags of vegetables. They are very economical as well.

  • Tortillas – down here in the south we could eat tortillas with every meal. Besides the well known Mexican food options, you can use a tortilla and one of the egg muffins mentioned above to make a quick breakfast burrito, use them for a chicken, egg, or tuna salad wrap, ect.

Blessings until next Wednesday,

 

6 Worksheets for Week 1:

(just click on the photos to download)

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