When people talk about caring for a new born they tend to tell stores about extreme sleep deprivation and frayed tempers. Although we have now been on the treadmill of feeding, changing and getting a baby to sleep for some time now we are both actually pretty well rested.
One of the keys to our success has been this humble appliance.
It is a chest freezer that we actually purchased specially before our daughter Zoe's birth. We bought it and then filled it with food. Well, we partially filled. A lot of it's contents came from family members keen to help us out.
Specifically, we packed it full of meals that simply needed to be microwaved before being eaten. No complex preparation, no chopping ingredients, no fresh ingredients to run out of, just heat and eat.
The time saving that comes from sticking a plastic tub into the microwave and then emptying the contents onto two plates or into two bowls is immense. No shopping, very little washing up, you can just start the microwave and walk away. Its incredibly handy.
The only downside is the lack of fresh vegetables. Frozen then microwaved vegetables have a super mushy consistency that isn't super appetizing. We rapidly started fantasizing about fresh green salads and crispy roast vegetables.
This was partly resolved by acquiring some big bags of fruit. In our case mostly apples and some plums. These are easy to eat, one handed if necessary, have a decent shelf life and provide a dose of freshness.
Occasionally I would also dart out to the supermarket and buy a couple of bagged pre-made salads to pair with a frozen lasagna or similar. Sticking to the pre-made salads meant no chopping, no preparation, just open the bag and put it on the plate.
Despite the limitations having a freezer full of meals that are ready to go has been incredibly helpful. Deciding what to have for dinner consists of ten seconds spent digging around in the freezer. Preparing it consists of putting the tub in the microwave and getting out plates and cutlery. It really couldn't be any easier or any faster.
Bonus tip You can purchase plastic takeaway containers online very cheaply. We bought one hundred rectangular ones. We put our frozen meals in them as well distributing empty containers to any family members who wanted to contribute food. That way everything stacks nicely in the freezer. No more balancing mismatched and differently shaped containers.