Whether or not this is your first child, welcoming a new baby comes with many responsibilities. If you thought your schedule was already bursting at the seams, then you’re going to see yourself needing to function at a whole new bandwidth altogether. From needing to attend to life in general to attending to the baby and taking care of yourself, you’ll have to draw on new skills and renewed strength. Keep in mind that trying to be there for everyone except yourself is going to backfire pretty soon, especially if you’re neglecting your diet and opting for fast foods too often.
If cooking your own food is a non-starter for you, but you want to enjoy your chosen diet be it keto, Whole30, or any other, you’ll need to enlist the services of a food prep and delivery service such as The Good Kitchen that specializes in healthy foods. Just make sure the service you hire has the relevant health licenses to deal with food.
Other than this, taking the time to prepare your own food will make sure you remain in good form to nurse the new addition to your family. Plus, it gives you overall control over the nutrients you get.
So, what tips can you use as a new mother to make sure meal preps are doable with your schedule? How can you eat well without spending hours you don’t have in the kitchen?
Plan Ahead And Time It Well
Timing is crucial in meal prepping for new moms. How big meal prepping feels to you largely depends on how tired you are. Choose a time when you’re relaxed (you’ll be surprised by how much that won’t be too easy to come by). It will also help if that opportunity coincides with a time when your baby isn’t being fussy, so you don’t need to split your attention.
Write a list of supplies you need to get for the week and choose a day to do it. Once this is done, that’s all the planning you’ll need for that day. You can now focus on other things. You may now dedicate the next day to cutting and boiling vegetables for the sauces you plan to make that week.
Don’t schedule too much in one day; your focus will probably be biased towards the baby anyway. So, try and slate not more than an hour to each activity.
If you have help around the house only on certain days, you might want to make sure that these also become days you undertake the longer preps, such as making your broth and marinating meat.
Choose Healthy Foods That Don’t Take Time To Cook
Now that the baby is here, you might be looking to get your body back to its pre-pregnancy shape. However, because you’re breastfeeding, you can’t just take the low-calorie route. You need to eat nutrient-rich foods and shed some weight at the same time.
You’re going to want to gravitate towards whole grains such as couscous, millet, and bulgur. These are nutritious grains that you can cook quickly, and you can always cook them in advance if need be.
For vegetables, you can consider including zucchini, spinach, broccoli, pepper, and onions in your menu. Again, you won’t spend too much time on the stove, yet they’re packed with nutrients. To save time, you can make them in a batch then add them as needed as an aside, in a sandwich, or into an omelet.
The best way to save time is to do as many things as you can at once. You won’t need superpowers to do this, so don’t worry! Most prepping procedures don’t require you to go one step at a time, so there is room for multitasking. For instance, while your food is in the oven, you can cut your vegetables and boil some food that needs boiling. While the last portion of your food is boiling or roasting, you can also start on the cleaning.
That way, even if you have to stop to attend to the baby, you’ve already managed to do a lot.
Freeze What Can Be Frozen
When you prep your food, it’s best not to make portions for one, even when you’re eating alone. Your food will take roughly the same time to prepare, whether it’s for one person or four. So why not just make larger batches and save yourself some time?
Pack all the food you don’t eat into airtight containers and put them in the freezer. You’ll be grateful you did this when you suddenly can’t make a meal from scratch. All you need to do to enjoy a meal is to take it out of the freezer and heat what you already have.
Some of the food that’s very freezer-friendly include ground meat, sauces, grilled meats, soups, and baked bread. If you start this practice early, just before you give birth, then you can prep your meals for the post-birth days. This will prove incredibly helpful, especially if you mostly live alone.
When family and friends come and visit, try and be comfortable enough to accept the help they might offer. You need it at this point, and a few days off could help. This can be difficult if you particularly find that accepting help is acknowledging weakness. Or you might simply be used to going on like clockwork and finding it difficult to step back. Either way, if your family and friends want to help, it’s best to let them. It’s their way of expressing their love—and you accepting their gesture is accepting that love.
You can also say ‘yes, actually it would be nice if you bring with you some cooked food if you can’ when asked if they can bring anything. They will probably include your serving while they cook for themselves.
Finding the time to do all that needs your attention after you give birth to your little bundle of joy can be challenging. There is only one of you and a thousand things that need to be done. Suppose unplanned food preps can feel like a mammoth task and even undoable. Just keep this guide in mind so you can continue enjoying tasty and healthy meals as a new mom.