Nutrition for New Moms
By Jennifer House MSc, RD
It’s hard work being a new mom. You’re recovering from a marathon delivery, suffering from the level of sleep exhaustion only a new mom can understand, and focused on feeding and changing your newborn. All. Day. Long. While it may be too much to think about planning and cooking meals for your family when you have a newborn, it’s important to at least have nutrient-dense foods easy to grab. And eat single-handed, while holding/nursing your baby! Here are some ideas new moms can use to nourish their bodies, increase energy, help heal from labour, and support breast milk supply.
- Hot Oatmeal mix: keep a container full of quick-cooking oats, hemp hearts, slivered almonds & raisins so it’s quick to add milk or water and microwave in the morning. Bonus- oatmeal may help increase breast milk supply!
- Overnight Muslix: you can keep a few of these on hand in the fridge. Mix some dried oats with yogurt and fresh or frozen berries. The oats will soak up some moisture from the fruit and yogurt.
Prepare a lunch salad ahead of time and eat it for a few days in a row! This recipe is very flexible. Mix together:
- Grain: (couscous, quinoa, pasta, rice)
- Any chopped veggie. If you use greens/lettuce, avoid putting the dressing on the salad until you’re ready to eat it.
- Protein (leftover meat, bean/legumes or boiled eggs)
- Homemade dressing (oil + vinegar + garlic powder) or favourite bottled dressing.
Try one-pot meals that can convert to easy leftovers or an extra frozen dinner: soups, stir-fries, curries etc.
Have snack foods ready-to-eat for during the day.
- Boiled eggs
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Dried fruit and nuts or trail mix
- Homemade muffins or granola bars (see recipe below)
- Homemade whole grain cookies
- Smoothies are easy to drink, and easy to add nutrition to. Use pasteurized egg white, skim milk powder or hemp hearts for extra protein. Throw in some yogurt, frozen fruit and milk/milk alternative and you have a tasty and healthy snack.
One last tip: When someone comes to see the baby and offers to help, ask them to please bring a meal or some snacks! People want to help, really they do!
No Bake Granola Bars
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups granola
½ cup ground walnuts
¾ cups honey
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups natural peanut butter
- Oil a 9×11 inch baking sheet
- Mix dry ingredients
- Add wet ingredients and form paste. May need more peanut butter if it’s too dry.
- Press into oiled container.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2+ hours.
- Cut into 36 bars and serve.
Store in fridge or freezer, or they get sticky.
Jennifer House is a Registered Dietitian and owner of First Step Nutrition