One of the simplest ways you can prepare for your postpartum period is by filling your freezer and pantry with nutritious snacks and meals that require the least amount of prep. Your early postpartum weeks should be spent baby-mooning; snuggling up, getting to know your new little person, and allowing your body and mind time to process your birth and heal. Hours spent cooking just doesn't fit the equation.
Let's face it; snack and meal prep consumes a huge amount of time in our day. Having some quick fixes, frozen and ready to go, will save you time on your feet and a whole lot of undue stress. Better yet - your partner, or whoever you've enlisted to help you, can warm up the meals on hand and give more attention to the other things that need attending to, like preparing you a healing sitz bath , while brewing you a hot cuppa postpartum tea.
So here it is; our postpartum preparation food list:
Granola: We love this Chocolate Covered Katie granola recipe that you can add your own flare too. Amp it up with chia, walnuts, cashews or almonds for some extra protein, and generously sprinkle it on top of greek yogurt. This makes a filling breakfast or an easy snack. Multiply the batches and store it an airtight storage container or ziplock bags and you won't run out for weeks! (Tip: Seal up your ziplock bag and leave just enough room to poke a straw in. Suck out excess air through the straw and quickly pull out and seal to lock in the freshness.)
Galactagogue Cookies (Lactation Cookies): Galactagogues are substances that promote milk production to help increase your supply. While by no means necessary for successful nursing, it certainly doesn't hurt to enjoy nutritiously packed cookies that will help ensure your baby is getting all they need from your milk. This is our favorite tried and true lactation cookie recipe from Dr.Momma.
Muffins: Yup, more snacks. Why? Because postpartum hunger can be something fierce! And with every snacky moment you'll be asking for water on the side. Your body is producing milk and nutrients for your hungry newborn and you're going to need your fill of food for both of you. This is another fabulous CCK recipe for Oatmeal Muffins. We've added blueberries or chocolate chips for something different, or you can enjoy them without.
Smoothie Bags: Smoothies are a great way to pack loads of nutrition into a quick snack or meal, and as a bonus, they're a one-hander: easy to enjoy while feeding or snuggling. There are some great smoothie combo ideas here, or you can package up your own favorite combo, freeze them, and throw them in the blender with liquid when you're ready. My personal favorite is this chocolate-peanut butter smoothie:
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 whole banana
- 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- Milk of your choice - enough to blend up to the consistency you prefer (I use as little as possible, I like mine milk-shake consistency =)
Precooked Ground Beef or Turkey: This will be your best friend. Get a few kilograms of ground meat and cook it all up (did you know you can do this in a crock-pot or the oven? Separate for different meals, and season appropriately for a variety of combinations:
- Taco Turkey: Epicure makes a great low-sodium taco seasoning, or you can make a big batch with your own ingredients.
- Salt and Pepper: Plainly seasoned meat can be reserved for adding to a marinara for spaghetti or sprinkled on a cheese quesadilla for lunch.
- Beef with Hoisin Sauce: Rice bowls or lettuce wraps are a quick and easy favorite in our house. Make up a big batch of hoisin to add to your meat (store the extras in a glass container in the fridge). Defrost and warm up your meat, prepare sushi rice in your rice cooker, chop peppers, carrots, cilantro and green onion, and pile these ingredients on chopped romaine or lettuce wrap them instead.
Soup: Soup, and more soup. There are so many combinations of delicious soup, so pick your favorites. We love this hearty chicken-vegetable soup, as well as this tortilla soup that is bursting with flavor. Divide large batches of your favorite soups into portions large enough to leave you with leftovers.
Veggie+Bean Burritos: All you need on hand for these are wraps and some salsa (sour cream and guac go great too). We love this tasty burrito filling, but feel free to add whatever tickles your taste buds. If the carnivore in you can't handle the all-veggie, throw in some of your precooked taco turkey.
Pizza Dough: Can't go without Friday night pizza night? No problem! Make up as much pizza dough as you can handle and divide it up and prepare for the freezer to add your toppings later. If you'r really keen, do your pizza up with sauce and toppings, ready to pop in the oven at a moments notice.
What would you add to this list? What were your quick and easy postpartum, go-to meals that you enjoyed the most? We'd love to hear from you!