Whether you’ve just had a baby or are preparing for the magical time when your precious little one finally arrives, it’s never too early to start thinking about your postpartum meals. Having a baby is one of the most exciting and rewarding times in your life. Those first few months after birth, also known as the fourth trimester, are filled with cuddles and coos. But, they are also filled with a lot of hard work, especially for the moms.
As a postpartum mama, you are spending all of your time, energy, and focus on your precious little miracle, which leaves very little room for preparing and cooking meals. Today, we’re going to be sharing why it’s so important to prioritize eating and some tips and tricks for easy, delectable, and healthy meals for postpartum moms.
3 Reasons to Prioritize Eating Healthy Postpartum
It is always important to eat healthy, but it is especially important when you have recently had a baby! Here are our three reasons why you should prioritize eating healthy after baby…
One of the biggest reasons that a healthy and nutritious diet is absolutely necessary for your postpartum journey is because your body is in recovery. Whether you endured a c-section or had a baby vaginally, your body has just gone through one of the most taxing experiences. No matter how your baby is delivered, your body is going to need a great deal of nutritious foods to help it recover and heal properly.
Your body literally just spent the past nine months growing a human being and then you proceeded to have this precious baby despite your months of exhaustion and hard work. You’ve literally given your baby everything up to this point, and your diet is one of the best ways to help your body recover.
Once your beautiful baby arrives, 2 A.M. wake up calls are going to become something of a routine. There will be sleepless nights. There will be lots of crying. And there will be lots of diapers to change. Essentially, the majority of your energy is going to be spent catering to this amazing miracle that you created.
Similarly, prioritizing healthy meals for postpartum moms who are breastfeeding is also crucial. Did you know that breastfeeding mamas burn an average of 500 extra calories per day?! So, on top of being exhausted from taking care of a baby 24 hours a day, you are also burning a lot more energy. You’re going to need to make sure that you are eating properly!
Being tired and lacking energy will become your new normal, but your diet and how you eat shouldn’t contribute to this feeling. Taking the time to prepare for postpartum meals and have proper, nutritious, and healthy options at your fingertips will allow you to continue having the strength to put your baby first. You’d be surprised at the difference a healthy, balanced meal can make on your energy levels! And during this time of postpartum, you need all the energy you can get!
3. Milk Supply
Some mothers-to-be fully intend on breastfeeding but for some reason or another, it doesn’t work out. Maybe your baby struggles with latching or they aren’t getting what they need and require formula. Or, maybe you simply choose to not breastfeed. Either way, breastfeeding is a personal decision for each family. If you are willing and able, breastfeeding provides so many benefits for baby!
If you are a mama who is planning on breastfeeding or is able to breastfeed, another big reason to prioritize eating healthy is to keep up your milk supply. Nutrition (and hydration) play a huge role in the amount of milk you will be able to produce. When your body is deprived from proper nutrition, it stops or slows production of breastmilk to conserve the energy. So, when you feed your body properly, you have a much higher chance of producing the milk supply that your baby needs!
Before we get into some amazing and healthy meals for postpartum moms, we wanted to take a minute and share some healthy snack ideas! While meals are important, you’re going to need some go-to snacks that are easy and nutrient dense for those times when you are starving and need something quick!
One of the best ways to get a snack that is packed with nutrients is through a delicious smoothie. It is completely customizable to your taste buds and can pack a punch when it comes to nutrition with all kinds of vitamins and fiber from the fruit.
To add some more nutrition to your fruit smoothie, you could include some of the following:
- Spinach/leafy greens
- Nut butters
- Seeds (chia, flax, etc)
If you want to find some delicious protein shake recipes, be sure to check out our post about protein shakes while breastfeeding.
If you’re concerned about the smoothie making process being too time consuming, you can always pre-make a huge batch of smoothies and store them in the freezer or, similarly, portion out your ingredients ahead of time into freezer-safe ziploc baggies. By doing this, you can have a healthy and nutritious snack in no time!
2. Fruit and Nut Butter
Incorporating nut butters into your postpartum meal planning is a must. They are packed with protein and healthy fats that will give you the energy that you need. While many people find themselves allergic to peanut butter, thankfully, there are so many different alternatives on the market today including: sunbutter, almond butter, cashew butter, and more. Pair your favorite nut butter with an apple or a banana, and you have a perfectly balanced snack that will leave you feeling full and energized!
3. Veggies and Hummus
Similar to fruit and nut butters as a snack, veggies and hummus are an easy and quick way to have a really nutritious snack! While hummus is a great source of protein, veggies (such as carrots, peppers, or celery) will provide a lot of nutrients and vitamins that you need.
If you’re not sold on this super easy snack that you can just snag from the refrigerator, they even make chocolate hummus! Pair it with your favorite cracker, and you’ll still have a quick snack with a good source of protein.
4. Lactation Cookies
Did you know that when you are sleep deprived, your body craves more sugary, high fat foods? So, you may find yourself on your postpartum journey with a ravenous sweet tooth!
If you do find yourself with a huge craving for desserts and sweets, try healthier alternatives. For example, if you’re dreaming of chocolate chip cookies, you could make some lactation cookies. They’re a healthier option and have ingredients that can help with your milk supply. Talk about a win-win!
Quick, Easy Meals on the Go
Eating healthy snacks is good, but as a new mama, you need some healthy and hearty meals to keep you going. Unfortunately, time is not a commodity that is easy to come by when caring for a newborn. So, we’re here to share some simple ways to get delicious meals on the table quickly!
One way that you can enjoy a nice, home cooked meal while also saving on time is by having your meals prepared in advance. Some moms-to-be will even take advantage of their “nesting” stage and prepare meals before the baby gets here, store them in the freezer, then they’ll be ready after a little heating up!
1. Frozen Meals
Frozen meals should be a go-to for postpartum moms. Lasting up to three months in the freezer, frozen meals can be made well in advance! Once they’re prepared, you simply toss them in the oven, and they’re ready to go! You can find countless recipes online, but here are four of our favorite, healthy frozen meal ideas:
2. Beef Enchiladas
This freezer meal may take time on the front end, but the pay off will definitely be worth it! You only have to make this recipe once, and you will have ten servings of this postpartum meal. These beef enchiladas are ideal for bigger families or if you simply want a good stock up of this meal!
3. Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
Have you ever tried spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti? Spaghetti squash is a great, healthier alternative to a dinner-time staple! There aren’t many ingredients to this recipe, and if spaghetti squash isn’t your jam, you can always substitute it for whole grain pasta or another alternative!
4. Sheet Pan Lemon Roasted Chicken
Just reading the description on this easy frozen meal idea is mouth watering! There are only 9 ingredients between you and preparing a meal for your postpartum journey! You could easily double this recipe to be extra prepared when baby time rolls around!
This one may sound surprising, but it is oh so practical! If you haven’t frozen pancakes before, you should really give it a try! It’s easy, you can make a bunch at a time, and it’s perfect for a well-balanced breakfast or a breakfast-for-dinner night. Throw some fresh fruit on top, and you’re good to go!
If you want a healthier alternative, you can always make a higher protein pancake option, such as Kodiak pancakes, to make this option more nutritious and filling!
Super Easy Crockpot Meals
Similar to the frozen meals, you can make crockpot meals ahead of time. While you can still freeze crockpot meals, you don’t have to. The great thing about crockpot meals for postpartum moms is that you can prepare them in the morning, let them sit and cook all day, and they’ll be ready for dinner time. So, if you find your little one always takes a nap earlier in the day, you can grab your ingredients, throw them in the crockpot, and you’ll have a delicious dinner ready that evening! Here are three of our favorite, healthy crockpot meals for postpartum moms:
1. Slow Cooker Salmon
Salmon is a superfood meal for postpartum moms! It has the healthy fats in the form of omega-3’s and is an all around great, lean form of protein! With only a 10 minute prep time and only 7 ingredients, you can throw this together and feel like a chef!
2. Garlic-Parmesan Chicken
This crockpot meal has it all–the entry, the sides, and all the flavor! Chicken and potatoes are a great combination of protein and complex carbs to get your some extra energy. Not to mention, the prep time for this meal is still only 15 minutes, and you’ll be so glad you did it!
3. Chicken Fajitas
The prep time for this meal is five minutes! I repeat…FIVE MINUTES! In just five minutes and with only 8 ingredients, you could have yourself a delicious feisty filled with veggies and protein! Throw a bag of microwavable rice into the mix, and you’ll have yourself a full meal!
This is obviously not a complete list of how to make your own meals for postpartum. Thanks to recent years, there are other appliances, such as the Instant pot and the Air Fryer, that can also help families with newborns cook from home quickly. Being a mom during the fourth trimester can make everyday tasks such as cooking a meal seem daunting, and at times, impossible. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be!
Great Meal Delivery Services
When you feel that you’ve exhausted all of your options for a delicious and healthy meal, all hope is NOT lost! You can always utilize a meal delivery service. There’s absolutely no shame in inciting help. As a postpartum mom, you are not only taking care of your newborn baby who relies on you for everything, you are also in recovery. Meal delivery services are a great way to take some of the pressure off when you are a new mom.
The first suggestion to help with meals for postpartum moms is through organizing a meal train. These are growing in popularity, and there are many different websites that can help you set them up.
Essentially, a “meal train” is a way for friends and family to sign up to deliver meals to your home after you’ve had a baby (or any other life event where some extra help would be nice). If you feel weird about setting one up for yourself, you can always have a friend or family member do it.
One fun idea is to have a sign up for the meal train at your baby shower!
Meal Prep Services (Hellofresh, Purple Carrot)
Another idea for getting quality meals for postpartum moms is to either request a meal prep delivery service, such as Hellofresh or Purple Carrot as part of your baby registry! While your family will still be doing the cooking, meal prep delivery services will send every ingredient you need, ready to go! Plus, many of these services guarantee delicious and healthy meals that can be cooked in under 30 minutes!
Meal prep delivery services are a great way to take all of the planning out of dinner while also giving you the opportunity to try new recipes each week.
Meal Delivery Services
If you are feeling absolutely exhausted and don’t want to waste a minute of your time with your precious little one cooking, you can always look into meal delivery services.
From DoorDash to UberEats, meal delivery services have never been more popular! You can order your favorite meals from your favorite restaurants, and they will bring them to your door.
Most of these services provide gift cards, which would also be a great idea for something unique to register for or give for a baby shower gift.
As a new mom, it is crucial that you continue to take care of yourself and eat healthy. There are so many different resources out there to save you time and still allow you to prioritize your diet during the first few months after giving birth. We hope this list of ideas and suggestions of meals for postpartum moms, got allowed you to see how simply it can be to keep healthy and eat well during the fourth trimester!
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