Simple nutrition for new parents

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Easy nutrition when nourishing the new parent

We can be so preoccupied with tending to the needs of our babies that we neglect our own nutritional needs and overall well-being. We’re running on less sleep, we feel exhausted, we may not have bathed in days and we’re much more consumed by feeding our baby than nourishing ourselves. If we are nursing, we need nourishment more than ever to produce adequate milk for our baby. And generally speaking, any new parents needs energy to care for their baby and themselves!

First things first, make sure there is no prep involved for the parent

When bringing food over for your loved one, make sure there is nothing for them to cook, combine or chop. Make it easy: they should be able to toss it in the microwave or oven and then pop it in their mouth with a hand or a fork.

You can bring over:

  • already diced veggies. greens, and some dressing on the side for a delicious salad
  • chili, shredded cheese, washed cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and some tortilla chips
  • a nice sized lasagna, pie, or stew
  • sliced fruit, and a few single serving yogurts
  • a pot of delicious soup, with all toppings ready to serve
  • fresh bread, some nut butter, a quiche, or delicious granola for breakfast

Don’t overthink it- they are going to appreciate what you bring

Ask their partner or bestie if there’s any food allergies but otherwise just go for it! There might be something they are absolutely avoiding in their current diet and that’s valid, but just think of something delicious and easy to grab, and bring it to them. They’ll be SO grateful.

Also remember that new parents need to hydrate. You can pick up or make some fresh juice to last a few days. And snacks are important too. Think hummus, crackers, avocado, mixed nuts, muffins, and chopped veggies with dip. 

Tips for parents before baby comes

Have some healthy home cooked meals ready to heat up when you have a newborn. Whether you freeze some meals a few weeks before your due date, or have a meal train planned, just be sure you’ll have something nourishing around.

Stock up on healthy snacks before baby comes. Have a good assortment of ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, nut butters and dressings, cut up cheeses, and yogurt in the fridge. You’ll want the pantry stocked with snacks you enjoy as well.

Tips for parents in the postpartum

In addition to taking your prenatal vitamin, make sure you eating foods with protein, iron, calcium and omega 3’s. Eat when you feel hungry, and right away. It’s important to avoid getting overly hungry because your energy and mood can dip suddenly. 

Looking ahead….

Even into the first year, and second year, and all of parenthood, you’ll be multi-tasking through work and life and feeding your family. Here are some tips to bring in some structure and nourishment all week long:

  • Take a bit of time on weekends to plan out your family meals for the week. List those ingredients and make sure they are in the house by Saturday. Over the weekend, chop and bag veggies, make rice, stir together spice mixtures or sauces, and make a big batch of stew or meal for the next three days for lunch. 
  • Create a rotating weekly dinner menu. It can be six weeks or three weeks but just make sure you don’t get bored with it. 
  • Organize grocery shopping either online or planning out who goes and when. Buy in bulk or go to the store twice a week to make sure there are always drinks, fresh fruit & vegetables & meats, and snacks in the house
  • Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables. Quick smoothies are nutritious and so are simple steamed veggies with butter or olive oil and a fresh herb.

Inspiration

20 easy recipes for new parents

AfterThird – find your village

A postpartum doula, nutritionist, and lactation consultant are all great sources of support! Sign up on AfterThird to get access to wonderful services and support in your neighborhoodLet us help you figure out what you need. Welcoming a baby is wonderful and a lot of work. It is not something you are born knowing. It is something you learn. Having experienced support and care can make all the difference.

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