I caved last week and asked for help on instastories for eating survival tips with a new baby - I've fallen into a horrible habit of starving all day and then devouring something terribly unhealthy around 6 pm when C is home and I finally have time to grab something. Because of the post-partum depression, we still have a night doula one night a week that will help with meal prep, etc. while Nell sleeps but aside from salads I haven't known what to ask for help with!
You all are incredibly helpful (seriously, there are some nearly-professional meal preppers in this bunch!) and I am so grateful for your emails and DM's. As promised, I wanted to pull them together into a blog post to hopefully help anyone else in a similar boat.
Overall, I found these general tips to be a) brilliant and b) super realistic:
- Prep! Nearly everyone suggested planning out and prepping for the week. I think I will try to carve out a few hours on Sunday to get us set up for the week. The other more specific prep tip I got that I LOVE is to plan our your entire month worth of meals ahead of time! This way you know you have a balance of new recipes vs. tried and true; healthy vs. carby comfort food, etc. C and I love to plan ahead so I am going to try this for May! People also recommended following @lady.lolas for great meal prep tips as well.
- Work with baby's schedule: I'm my own worst enemy and try to cram prepping an entire meal from start to finish while Nell takes a nap. Lots of moms suggested breaking the prep up through the day - cut things up during one nap, put in the crockpot during the next, etc. Same goes for eat - break up meals into smaller snacks that I can manage to make + eat during a nap.
- Pretend you are going to work: a few people suggested packing meals as if I am taking them to work every day. So smart!
I also got a lot of great meal-specific tips and recipes that I thought I would share:
- Egg cups: a lot of you recommended making mini quiches in muffin tins with just eggs, milk, veggies, and some cheese. Super easy to heat up quickly!
- Energy bites: super simple recipe and I thought these sounded delicious!
1 cup oats (I like old-fashioned Quaker)
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
Some chia seeds (I just toss some in, don't measure)
Mix everything together in a medium bowl. Stick in fridge for an hour. After they're chilled, roll into little balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Hardboiled eggs: I actually LOVE hardboiled eggs - such a good idea to prep a bunch!
- Overnight oats: another old favorite of mine that I forgot about! If you have any great specific recipes I would love it if you left them in the comments!
- Greek yogurt with chia seeds: easy and filling
- Smoothies: I am going to try to better about making these; I've been buying the ingredients but then I don't think to do it until Nell is already down for a nap and the Vitamix is too loud
- Salads: batch out a bunch of salads and then add chicken or have with leftover throughout the week
- Shredded chicken: there were a ton of great recommendations for making a big batch of shredded chicken on Sunday/Monday (or buying a rotisserie chicken) and then using it for various recipes during the week. Super easy to throw on salads at lunch as well! A few that sound delicious
- Throw chicken breasts in the crockpot on low, add a jar of salsa, some lime juice if you want, taco seasoning if you feel like it! Use it on top of brown rice, add avocado, cheese, whatever you like
Crockpot chicken gyros (double this recipe to make enough to last through the week)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup water
- Taco Tuesday: a staple in our house and probably the only thing I've actually cooked since Nell was born. Good thing we love Mexican :) This recipe for Vegan Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes was also recommended and sounds amazing!
- Again there were lots of great ideas for shredded chicken, here are a few that will also make great leftovers:
- Soup! I know it's getting warm out but I was thinking about even batch-making a big batch of Gazapacho... packed with veggies and nice and filling it you top with avocado or serve with a side of avocado toast!
- Sauces! I thought this was brilliant - now that it's grilling season, make a sauce like this Traditional Chimichurri and then just grill different meat and veggies to serve with it throughout the week. We get kind of sick of just chicken and steak so I thought this was really smart to keep things interesting but really easy.
- Someone also sent through this recipe for Greek-style Stuffed Peppers for Two and I can't wait to try it - we really struggle with only cooking for two people sometimes and this looks like a great option!
I know this post is a bit all over the place but I found all of the tips + specific recipes SO incredibly helpful and wanted to keep all in one post for reference. A registered nutritionist that I went to high school also reached out about providing guidance on a more specific plan for a new mom - if we pull that together I will share that as well! If you have any other tips or recipe recommendations, please leave them in the comments. Thank you all so much again for your support and great ideas as I get the hang of this "eating while momming" thing!