Here are some tips on how to make your own healthy freezer meals before surgery! Preparing for surgery can be a daunting task. You have to keep up with doctor’s appointments and make sure you’re following all the instructions for pre-op care. On top of that, you may have to take time off work and arrange for help with your children or other responsibilities.
One way to make the process easier is by preparing a few easy freezer meals before surgery. By making meals ahead, you won’t have to worry about cooking while you recover. You can just thaw your meatballs or cheesy chicken casserole, put them in your slow cooker or Instant Pot, and have healthy, nourishing meals without the fuss. Here are some tips on how to make your own healthy freezer meals before surgery.
Identifying Nutritious Ingredients
The first step in making healthy make-ahead freezer meals before surgery is identifying nutritious ingredients that provide plenty of energy and sustenance during recovery. The better your nutrition, the faster you will recovery. Consider incorporating nutrient-dense foods into your meals:
- Lean proteins like chicken breasts or fish are packed with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids that help promote healing.
- Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals, while legumes offer protein and fiber.
- Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help support immunity during recovery.
Planning Ahead: Before Surgery
Once you have identified nutritious ingredients you want to center your meals on, it’s time to start planning what dishes you want to make ahead of surgery. Consider making meals that can easily be portioned into individual servings for ease of use. Individual chicken pot pies or burritos are a great idea. Make sure to select recipes that require minimal effort when reheating since you won’t want to be too ambitious while recovering from surgery!
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When it comes time to shop for ingredients for your healthy freezer meals before surgery, it pays off to shop smartly! Look out for sales on fresh produce or meats to save money while still getting nutritious meal ingredients. It may also be helpful to buy pre-cut vegetables or meats to reduce chopping or slicing at home when preparing the dishes. You may also consider purchasing frozen fruits or vegetables. All of these options can save you time and money.
Meal Prep: Prepping & Freezing Meals
Once you have all the necessary ingredients on hand, it’s time to start prepping your meals and stock your freezer! Prepare each dish according to its recipe instructions, then portion them out into individual servings before freezing them. For the best freezer meals, make sure to use high-quality freezer bags or airtight containers; this will prevent any food from going bad during storage in the freezer!
Don’t forget to include the date they were prepared so you can eat them before they expire. I recommend printing these labels on computer paper or water-resistant stickers and taping/attaching them to your bags PRIOR to meal prep.
To ensure the best results when reheating later on down the line, label each container with the name of the dish and reheating instructions so that there is no guesswork involved later on!
Defrosting & Reheating Meals
When it comes time for eating after surgery, thaw out the desired meal overnight in the refrigerator, then follow its reheating instructions when ready!
I suggest thawing your meals in the fridge overnight, under cold water for a few minutes or putting them in a pot and giving them a quick cold-water bath. If you’re low on time or you have no issues getting your entire meal into your Instant Pot, then feel free to cook it frozen. Just remember that your meal will take a little more time to cook if it hasn’t been thawed. When it comes to Crockpot, always thaw our freezer meal before cooking it. Cooking frozen food in the Crockpot can lead to growing bacteria in your food or even breaking your Pot.
If no specific reheating instructions are listed on the container, simply warm up in a microwave-safe dish in 30-second intervals until thoroughly heated! Make sure not to overcook or burn any food, as this could lead to an unpleasant eating experience after recovery from surgery!
Storing Leftovers Properly
If there are any leftovers after eating a meal, store them in an airtight container in the fridge! Leftovers stored in a refrigerator should typically be consumed within three days.
Making healthy freezer meals before surgery is an excellent way of ensuring nutrition during recovery without having too much work involved afterward! By following these simple tips, you can easily prepare a few hearty and nutritious dishes ahead of their procedure, so you don’t have anything else they need to worry about post-surgery except resting up and getting better soon.