New mum’s food survival kit
Woohoo, I’ve survived the first four weeks of being a new mum today! Looking back, what really helped me get through those crazy first few weeks was having lots of nutritious pre-made meals and snacks, because a well fed and rested mum = a well fed and rested baby!
“You won’t have time to cook in the first couple of weeks” is an understatement. You’re pretty much guaranteed days where you won’t have time to get dressed or brush your teeth, let alone make 3 meals a day! And all mums will know that any ‘spare time’ you get in those first couple of weeks you need to sleep!
So with that in mind, here’s my ‘food survival kit’ to help a new mum eat well and get through the first 1-2 weeks after giving birth. If you’re pregnant now, you can always get organised now and freeze these meals and snacks, or if you know someone who has just given birth, why not spend half a day cooking for them and make them up a food care package (like I did for one of my best friends who just gave birth too) – they’ll be very thankful! Check out the recipes below! Some new mums need to trial avoiding dairy as it is quite a common food sensitivity in newborns, so all these recipes can be made dairy-free.
- Moroccan lamb shanks – throw a few lamb shanks in the slow cooker until nice and tender, then freeze in portions for an iron, zinc and protein-rich hearty meal that you can be warmed up. During the birth process you obviously lose a lot of blood, and your iron stores have already taken a huge hit during pregnancy, so it’s essential you keep on top of your iron intake.
- Spaghetti and meatballs – I craved comfort food like this in the first week. Also high in Iron, zinc and protein.
- Lactation cookies – Oats, fennel and brewers yeast are all considered to be galactologues; in other words foods that help with breast milk production, and these cookies contain all of them. On top of that, it’s the quickest recipe ever (takes 5 minutes to make) because that’s all the time you’ll have! Have with a glass of milk for a calcium boost (breast feeding draws on your own calcium stores, so you need to top it up).
- Choco-nut energy balls – again, super quick and simple to make as you won’t have time to muck around. Nutrition and energy-dense, containing good fats and calcium.
- Nut mylks and vegetable juices – my sister got me a juice and nut mylk box from Little Bird every few days for the first week or so. As you can imagine they’re super-nutritious, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and they help keep you hydrated (which you of course need when you’re being milked round the clock!)
- A little sweet treat – I made some caramel slice and cut it into little bite-sized pieces because every new mum totally deserves a treat for all the hard work she’s done thus far! If you want something a little naughty check out this Caramel Coffee Walnut Slice, or for a dairy and refined sugar free version check out my Healthier Date Cashew Caramel Chocolate Slice.
- Breastfeeding support tea – containing fennel and fenugreek, galactologues to help milk production. Artemis does a good one.
Having these meals pre-made, so that all we had to do was heat them up was a life-saver on those nights when we were both utterly exhausted and couldn’t be bothered cooking!
To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. I was watching TV after school one day and Jamie Oliver was cooking up a storm on The Naked Chef.