Many mothers, especially those who receive little or no help parenting, find it difficult to find time to feed themselves after having a baby. Newborns are so demanding that many new moms feel that they have to go hungry because they do not have time to prepare anything healthy. Other mothers fall prey to choosing convenient but unhealthy foods such as potato chips and cookies. Here are some easy ways to keep yourself fed on a healthy diet after having a baby.
The first thing you should do is increase your ability to get things done. Ring slings and wrap baby carriers keep babies close to their parents and very happy. I found that wearing my baby was the only way I could get anything done. Never cook while wearing your baby. Instead, try putting your baby in a swing just until you finish preparing your meal. Some babies are soothed by the rocking motion.
The second secret to eating after having a baby is to learn how to do things with only one hand. There are all kinds of things you can make to eat that require the use of only one arm and you can use the other to cradle your baby. You may end up needing this skill if your baby carrier is in the wash.
Third, always prepare food in bulk. If you manage to find time to make a sandwich, for example, make three. Then wrap two and put them into the refrigerator. If you cook a meal, cook a large one. Portion out servings into individual containers (the reusable disposable type are excellent for this) and keep them in the fridge. When you need to eat, all you will have to do is remove one of the portions and microwave it.
Dropping the notion that certain meals should only be eaten at a certain time of day is essential. It is silly to think that you cannot have certain foods for breakfast or dinner. If you find yourself unable to prepare a nice dinner, fix yourself a quick bowl of cold cereal.
Here are some healthy foods that are quick and easy to prepare:
Hard boil a few eggs and keep them pre-peeled in a bowl in the fridge. In a pinch, you can grab one at a time and sprinkle a little seasoned salt on them.
Party trays are a great way to quickly pick and choose from a variety of healthy items. Keep a tray in your refrigerator with cubes of cheese, rolled slices of deli meat, dip or dressing, carrot sticks, and slices of broccoli, celery, and cauliflower. (Note: broccoli should be avoided when breastfeeding a newborn).
Stock up on healthy alternatives to processed foods such as goldfish crackers, plain saltines (not club crackers), natural granola bars, yogurt cups, and pretzels.
Buy and prewash fruits that you can eat with one hand such as apples, peaches plums, pears, grapes, and berries. Avoid fruits that you have to peel. If you prewash them, you can just grab them from the fridge at a moment’s notice.
Fruit salads are another great way to get fruit fast. When you have a free moment, dice your fruit in a bowl and add a dash of lemon juice to keep it from browning. You can eat right from the bowl when you are in a hurry, then put it back for later.
Buy mixed salad greens. Portion it out into individual containers and add a little dressing to the bottom of the container. Stack them in the fridge and when you are ready to eat one, you only need to shake up the container to mix in the dressing. You can add protein to your salad by grating some cheese over the top or adding some sliced hard boiled eggs or diced ham.
Plain yogurt with granola and some fruit or raisins was one of my favorites and can be made with only one hand just like a bowl of cereal.
Buy individual instant oatmeal packets and microwave them when needed.
Buy dried fruit in resealable bags to eat when you are feeling snackish.
Salsa from a jar with tortilla chips is a quick snack that is fairly healthy and very satisfying. Avoid medium to hot salsas if you are nursing a newborn.
Make a baked potato mix by shaking grated cheese, salt, bacon bits, or any other ingredients you love in a resealable bag or container. Sprinkle it onto a baked or microwaved potato and put the rest back in the fridge to use another day.
Make soup in your slow-cooker. This way, you can add ingredients at your leisure and if you have to leave it for long periods of time to attend the baby, it’s perfectly okay. Also, you don’t need to wash anything once it’s finished. You can take the crock pot right out of the cooker and put it directly into the refrigerator.
I love frozen organic burritos. They are so easy to just put right in the toaster oven or the microwave. It’s like a little premade meal all packaged up and ready to go!
Before you give birth prepare a number of individual servings of food and freeze them in your freezer. Also include several sealed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They keep nearly forever and are a real lifesaver in a pinch.
I was fond of buying individual servings of apple sauce and yogurt. They also kept for a long time.
Boxed soup was one of the easiest things to prepare after I had my baby. I just poured the amount that I wanted into a bowl and microwaved it. My very favorite is the organic tomato soup made by Pacific. It is so rich and creamy!