Wedding Woes

Freezer meals?

My mom, sister, and I are getting together to do a freezer meal cooking for my SIL.  We sort of thought that was a good way to help when we aren't there day to day.  I have a decent list from Pinterest and Seven Sisters stuff, but I'm always looking for more.  Does anyone have one they love? 

Re: Freezer meals?

  • No real advice on websites.

    My suggestion: looking up some overall guidelines for chemotherapy meal planning. That might help you create a shortlist or create some ideas

    Depending on the regimen, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can frequently happen and GI tracts will go on the rampage, so maximizing nutritional bang for your buck is a very good thing to do. Ditto with having a few calorically dense options on hand with little/no prep. Soup and cold items are winners.

    Breakfasts! Make sure to include that in your freezer meals or shelf stable meals. Not a lot of people make meals for that time of the day. And I personally detest making food in the morning, so anything that's less effort in the morning is much appreciated.

    Also, some of the more aggressive regimens will make the patient VERY susceptible to infections. So make sure food gets cooked completely (avoid raw food).
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  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper

    Hmmm.  The meals I had in mind were ones you put in the crockpot in the morning so I'm not sure if avoiding raw is still necessary.  Some things would all be precooked though. We won't really be seeing them daily or weekly so the idea was to send 5-10 meals they could put in the freezer and pull out as the schedule needed. 

    I do have a breakfast casserole marked for them, but maybe little quiches or muffins would be a nice addition.

     

  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    Can you also do stuff that's 'snacky' but not crap?
    THis could be absolute crap advice, because I don't know what they like/normally do, but, if you got them handy shelf-stable stuff, that could be useful.  I don't mean a box of MREs as much as say 'subscribe and save' for amazon to have trail mix/granola/dried fruit/nonperishables (esp if they'll be individually packaged so easy to grab) delivered, they'll have stuff to grab while running that can be eaten w/o cooking.
    may or may not want to include the stupid shelf-stable stuff that takes up space  (pudding cups, the boxes of almond milk, juice boxes, instant oatmeal type crap)

    The mini muffins would be awesome--I do the make ahead ones that I freeze for my family (more or less thishttp://www.shanty-2-chic.com/sausage-egg-and-cheese-breakfast-muffins
    or http://www.thekitchenwitchblog.com/2012/04/10/impossible-egg-muffins/), because I totally am NOT making breakfast every day--but I am willing to make them once a month and have people snag and microwave them on the fly--I eat them for dinner when the day went to shit and I want food w/o effort.
    For breakfasty stuff, there are also pancake muffins (like this: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2014/03/pancake-mini-muffins/)

    For traditional freeze ahead stuff, I like lasagna rolls, kinda like these: http://www.ivillage.com/chicken-and-cheese-lasagna-roll-ups/3-r-60638
    (I am obligated to say that my mom would make them a 'spaghetti pizza', but the jury is out on whether or not that's a good idea)

    Also, I FINALLY got around to making Taw's granola and I think I'll have to make it more often to have on hand.  I reccomend that just as filler.

    And this is absolutely an awesome idea.
    VarunaTT
  • dharmabunnydharmabunny member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited June 2014
    Oh wait, I do have a recipe for baked oatmeal. You can cut it up and wrap/freeze individually. I made it for someone else's freezer meals, wish I had enough to keep at the house

    http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/recipes/r-penzeysBakedOatmeal.html
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  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper

    Oatmeal and egg muffins will be added.  I might make the oatmeal for us too.

    I'll ask about the snack stuff.  They have a lot of family support local.  SIL was the first to "move away." She moved to the North side.  I know my brother is going to be sending fruit arrangements and snack towers too.

  • you could do breakfast burritos - precook everything, roll in saran wrap and foil and freeze. They'll defrost in a microwave in ~2 minutes on medium. 

    I've done turkey sausage, eggs, veggies, cheese, and potato. If she's allowed (and up for it) she could add in some sour cream or salsa. 

    I don't know know about diet restrictions for cancer patients, but I could recommend some things that I pre-make and freeze on a regular basis. 

    make sure she has sufficient storage space for everything that you guys send. I bought a chest freezer because I pre-make a lot of meals, but if I didn't have that, I probably wouldn't have much swing space in my freezer. 
  • lovemyrunnerlovemyrunner Nebraska member
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I'm an oncology nurse.  The no raw foods thing is only applicable if she's neutropenic, meaning she has a low white blood cell count.  If this is the case, her support team (Dr., nurse, etc) should warn her about that and educate her on dietary restrictions, however, at this point the research really doesn't support the efficacy of the neutropenic diet, so they may not push it.

    Another awesome thing you could do for her is get her a gift card to Sonic (or anyplace in her area that serves slushies).  Lots of chemo regimens can lead to mouth sores (mucositis) and one way we combat this is with cryotherapy, having something cold to eat or drink before, during and after the infusion.  Keeping something cold in the mouth constricts the blood vessels, so not as much chemo is absorbed in those local cells and side effects are improved.  Other advice we give to those with nausea and vomiting after chemo is to eat bland, soft foods, try to eat foods without strong smells, and never eat your favorite foods.  If you eat your faves and then get sick, odds are, you'll never want to eat them again.  If she's having trouble eating enough calories, Ensure makes a clear juice drink that comes in apple and berry flavors.  Most people find this more appealing than the traditional ensure shakes.  Also, if she can handle full liquids, we often mix carnation instant breakfast with milk and ice cream to make a 'calorie bomb' milk shake for our cancer patients.  They don't have to eat as much, but they still get plenty of calories that way.
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  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper

    oooh, I like the gift card for slushies idea too.  We might need to tuck that in, or pass it on to brother sending the fruit. 

    While we are trying to meet her needs are also trying make sure the kids get food too. We kind of thought it would be easier for locals to handle changing feelings and restrictions.

    @Barbie- they have a chest freezer and we will make sure they know this is coming. 

  • lovemyrunnerlovemyrunner Nebraska member
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    @6fsn: Good thinking, not everyone has the same side effects, so no need to plan for all that now.  I'm sure your sister will be happy just to know the kids' meals are taken care of so that she can take care of herself.  You're an awesome support system!
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