When Mom's Away... Just Follow Mommy's Directions

My mom brought this over when she came to watch the boys
Most moms probably agree that sometimes it's more work than it's worth to go out without the baby, even if for just a few hours. For nursing moms, it involves pumping milk and prepping bottles and even if your kids are a little older, it's prepping food and briefing whoever is caring for the kids. Let alone any of the potential stress that comes with leaving your child for the first time.

Schedule, Reminders and Menu Options
Even though I'm pretty comfortable leaving the kids with Dave, my mom or Jessica for a few hours, I know how much work the boys can be so I try to do everything I can beforehand to make it as easy as possible. So when I was preparing for my trip to Mexico, I knew I had to leave some food for the babies -- while they eat practically everything when we go out, I wasn't expecting them to eat every meal out and wanted to make sure they were still eating somewhat healthy so I made a list of proteins, carbs and vegetable dishes that could keep in the fridge or be frozen. I didn't want to plan each meal out for the caregiver, but wanted to make it easy for them to put together a balanced meal when they had two hungry boys pulling at their legs.

I spent a few hours a day for several days before leaving for Mexico cooking food for the babies. A lot of it was stuff I've made before that I knew they liked (much of it featured here, here or here), but I found some new recipes to test out too. They ended up with enough food for a month!



Though I already had a few things made and stored in the freezer, I'll just detail out what I prepared this time around, or what I specifically bought for while I was away.

Meat/Protein:
  • lamb meatballs (I had a few of these leftover from this dinner we had last week)
  • salmon (froze a small piece of leftover cooked salmon I had last week)
  • chicken apple sausage, diced and grilled up, then frozen in a single layer so it didn't all freeze in one big chunk
  • black bean burgers (from Three Ladies and Their Gent recipe here, I doubled the recipe this time)
  • lentil chickpea burgers (recipe here, substituted zucchini for carrot)
  • falafel (recipe here, I made with canned chickpeas)
  • tofu, I made 2 cartons of tofu, diced it up and cooked over medium-high heat with a little soy sauce). Can last in the fridge for a while so I didn't even freeze this and it was gone by Sunday night (all of it!)

Vegetables:
  • roasted up a bunch of farmer's market carrots and zucchini with a little olive oil
  • already had cauliflower patties and sweet potato falafel frozen from before 
  • also had some frozen veggies on hand like green beans and peas

Carbs:
  • tortilla, pita, tortellini, ravioli and gnocchi, all from Trader Joe's, were on hand, as was a roll of their polenta which can be sliced and grilled up in a little olive oil
  • crispy quinoa patties (recipe here)

So what did they eat while I was away? A lot of tofu, at least several grilled cheeses and probably a bit of the other stuff. Which is totally fine. Now I have a nice stockpile to pull from for their meals, which is especially convenient when Dave is out of town and I haven't prepared a full dinner for us so there aren't any leftovers for the babies.

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