After your baby is born, you need to eat healthful foods in order to keep your energy up in the face of sleep deprivation, to heal after childbirth and to keep your milk supply up if you are breastfeeding, according to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. During the early days of adjusting to having a new baby, it can be difficult to find the time to prepare meals. Planning ahead and having easy-to-make food on hand can make this time much less stressful.
During the last few weeks of your pregnancy, cook double or triple portions of your favorite meals and freeze them to eat during the postpartum period. Chili, tomato sauce and meatloaf are all easy to double. Make a big pan of lasagna or baked ziti. Serve any of these with a bagged salad or a box of frozen vegetables for a nutritious dinner. Package any leftovers from other meals in individual-serving sizes, label and freeze them as well for quick lunches.
Many women ask friends and relatives to bring a casserole in lieu of gifts before or after the baby is born. Casseroles go easily from the refrigerator or freezer to the oven, and are cooked all in one dish, making cleanup simple. Shepherd's pie is an easy casserole to make. Layer browned ground beef, frozen peas, corn or carrots, and mashed potatoes in a dish and bake until the potatoes are crispy on top. Mix nearly any type of meat or fish with pasta and cheese for various casseroles. Leave out the meat and make baked macaroni and cheese, which you can easily reheat for a quick post-pregnancy meal.
Soups are nutritious and soothing, and very easy to make and reheat. Use canned chicken broth or make your own by boiling a chicken carcass along with onions, garlic and carrots. Strain out the vegetables before making the soup. Use leftover meat, frozen or fresh vegetables and rice or pasta for any type of soup you'd like. If you do not have the ingredients necessary to make soup, canned soup, while high in salt, can be easy to eat if you do not have much of an appetite. Look for reduced-sodium varieties, if possible. Broth-based soups freeze well; freeze in small containers and defrost and heat in the microwave for a quick lunch or dinner.
Snack For Dinner
Keep a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, diced grilled chicken breast, cheese, whole grain crackers, yogurt, vegetable juice and other easy-to-prepare foods on hand for busy days with the baby. You can easily eat with one hand while you feed your infant with the other, and snacks are simple to grab from the refrigerator and assemble. On the days that you do not have time to sit down and eat a full meal, choose healthy foods to snack on to keep hunger at bay.