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Quick Meal Ideas for New Parents

Quick Meal Ideas for New Parents

It might be tough to find time to do regular things when you are a new parent and eating properly is one of them. When you're caring for a new human who requires the majority of your attention, it can be challenging at times just to remember to eat, let alone eat healthy.

You need to take care of yourselves too. With a little planning, you can make sure you eat healthy and not fall into a habit of grabbing quick-fix meals and junk food snacks. Eat in such a way that you feel well in your body and are pleased afterwards. Choose foods that taste good and are high in nutrients.

Below are some easy recipes for new parents that will reduce stress when it comes to cooking! Save time cooking so that you can spend more time with your growing family and less doing chores as a new parent.

It’s a whole new game

Here are a few tips on how to make mealtime a positive experience with your precious newborn baby.

Your regular meal times will no longer be as regular if this is your first child, since your meal time priorities shift to your baby’s needs. While learning when your newborn's mealtime is, you will also gain a better sense of how to eat nutritious and tasty food whenever you want if you choose some timesaving recipes.

Make protein a priority in your meals

  • A parent needs a range of balanced meals and snacks that are high in nutritional density to promote postpartum recovery and nursing
  • Veggies, fruits, and grains give you energy and promote healing
  • Poultry, grass-fed beef, shellfish, eggs, yogurt, cheese, almonds, beans, and seeds are all good sources of protein for repairing tissues and muscles in the body
  • Healthy fats help the body absorb nutrients, store energy, and regulate hormones

What Nutrition Means to Postpartum Women and Breastfeeding Mothers

Women's bodies undergo a great deal of stress during pregnancy, and recovering from childbirth is a delicate and slow process that takes the proper support and intention.

After giving birth, women are often flooded with thoughts such as, "I have to get my body back!". The baby weight must be lost!".", and "You'll bounce back soon!".”.

In reality, a woman's body needs nourishing foods, rest, and support in order to recover and heal after pregnancy. Consequently, postpartum wellness has been misinterpreted as weight loss.

Postpartum recovery isn't about weight loss, but rather, it's about giving the body the optimal nutrition to recover after a transformational journey.

Nutritional Quality as a Priority

Women who are healing from pregnancy and breastfeeding need nutrient-rich snacks and meals that include the following:

Protein: You can find protein in poultry, grass-fed beef, rice, eggs, yogurt, cheese, nuts, beans, and seeds, which contribute to rebuilding the body's tissues and muscles

Carbohydrates: Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats, provide energy and help regulate the body's temperature.

Healthy fats: Olive oil, hemp or chia seeds, grass-fed butter, avocado, coconut, fish like salmon, and grass-fed butter are healthy fats that help the body absorb nutrients, store energy and regulate hormones.

A good diet is more than just making sure that you eat right; it is about providing the body with the nutrients it needs to promote recovery after pregnancy, to support mental health and wellness, and to sustain milk production.

The importance of eating veggies for new mothers

  • Vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals and are essential for proper nutrition and wellbeing
  • Vegetables provide fibre, which supports a healthy digestive system by transporting waste through the intestines, allowing for healthy fermentation in the colon, and promoting a healthy gut flora

Fiber is found in fruits and vegetables!

In pregnancy, progesterone relaxes the muscles of digestion, slowing digestion and resulting in digestion problems such as constipation, bloating, and heartburn for mothers-to-be.  A woman who is pregnant should aim to consume at least 28 grams of fibre per day.

Fiber is found in plant-based foods such as vegetables and fruits. It helps move waste through the digestive tract, enables healthy fermentation in the colon, and supports a healthy gut microbiome.

Folate is found in fruits and vegetables!

This is why folate is a key nutrient in prenatal nutrition. Folate helps form the baby's neural tube (which is the starting point for the brain and spinal cord). The formation of the neural tube begins very early in pregnancy -- sometimes even before the woman realises she's pregnant! Hence, it's vital that women - regardless of whether or not they are pregnant - consume enough folate-rich foods.

Fruits and vegetables help absorb iron!

A mother's body needs iron to support the increase in blood volume that occurs during pregnancy, which is why iron and vitamin C are important in prenatal nutrition! There are some differences in iron absorption between plant and animal foods, which is a concern for those who primarily consume plant-based diets. As it turns out, plant foods like beans, lentils, whole grains, and leafy greens contain iron and vitamin C supports its absorption.  Iron from plant foods is better absorbed when combined with vitamin C-rich foods.

Easy Dishes for New Parents

Breakfast

Most people agree that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. When you are a new parent, your schedule may not be perfectly planned, but eating breakfast can help you feel more alert and energised throughout the day. Whether you have a few minutes or an entire morning, these easy breakfast ideas will fuel you for the morning:

Toast:

There are so many things you can do with toast! It may seem like a boring breakfast but imagine all the things you can do with it! Pre-cut bread slices can be stored in the freezer for use at a later time. Toast up a few slices, then top with nut butters, eggs, avocados, or anything else you have around.

Smoothies:

You can drink smoothies and shakes throughout your morning as a refreshing and healthy start to the day. The night before, portion out your preferred fruits and vegetables and freeze them, then blend them in a blender with protein powder, add-ins, and other ingredients for an easy breakfast.

Eggs: Have you ever thought about how many ways an egg can be made?

There is no end to the possibilities, and some are very simple! New parents find egg dishes to be easy to prepare. Whether you need fried eggs, microwave scrambled eggs, breakfast casseroles, or simply hard boiled eggs you can grab and eat with toast or alone.

Lunch

To prevent feeling rundown too early in the day, sometimes a mid-day meal is necessary. Make sure you eat some lunch, regardless if it's brunch or later, so you won't go hungry and your metabolism will stay active. Lunch for a midday boost is easy with these new parent lunches:

Sandwiches:
Simple meals don't have to be boring. Sandwiches are great for stopping the repetition of having the same meal over and over. They are like eggs and toast for breakfast - they're super versatile. You can mix up your lunch from time to time by stocking your fridge with different toppings and condiments.

Tacos:
Just like sandwiches, tacos are highly versatile dishes that can be made of almost anything from chicken to eggplant. Tacos are a great way to repurpose leftovers into a completely new meal. Tacos can be a great standalone meal as they are quick to prepare and can be great for sharing at family gatherings. Chicken Tinga Tacos and Hoisin-Ginger Glazed Salmon are popular taco recipes.

Salads:

New parents can also enjoy salads as a quick, healthy, and healthy meal. By using proper layering techniques, you can easily create salads ahead of time, or you can prepare it immediately based on what you have in your fridge. It's also easy to get your daily dose of vegetables by eating salads.

Mason jar meals:

Make these meals the night before, or prepare at the beginning of the week (or, ask a friend or family member to assist you!) for easy, single-serving meals. Put it in a mason jar if it can fit in a bowl. A mason jar meal can be anything from soups to salads to pasta.

Dinner

Dinner should be a lighter meal than breakfast because your body does not require as many calories to sleep.

Casseroles:
You might get tired of casseroles by the end of your first year as a parent. You'll need casseroles until then, though. Besides preparing before birth for freezing and enjoying later, you can also make weekly casseroles. Changing flavours and textures will prevent you from getting fatigued with this type of meal.

One-Pot Dishes:
A one-pan meal and a one-pot meal are excellent choices if you're cooking from scratch. This method of preparing dinner helps cut down on cleaning once dinner is done by simply throwing everything into one dish. The same process can also be accomplished with a slow cooker, where everything is combined in the morning.

Delivery:
While this might seem like cheating, it’s really a great option for new parents. If you need a particular dish that is very difficult to make at home, consider ordering delivery. It's not very cost-effective to order delivery every night, but if you want to treat yourself, take advantage of delivery. Deliveries should take between 30 minutes and an hour to arrive.

Of course, you want to make sure you order delivery of healthy meals and not just pizza. HelloFresh provides meals to new moms and dads and ensures that everyone is delighted. Just download the HelloFresh app and you can easily schedule regular healthy meal delivery. It’s a great solution for new parents to eat healthily with simple-to-cook fresh meals.

Simple is best

Eating does not have to be difficult. As a new parent, you'll feel a lot better if you let yourself relax as much as possible. You don't have to sit down to eat, however chewing several times helps to increase the number of nutrients and energy you absorb from your food. It is recommended that you chew your food around 32 times per bite. The goal of chewing is to make a fine paste out of whatever is being eaten.

Additionally, you should:

  • Slowly and steadily chew
  • Eat until the food in your mouth is liquefied or has lost all of its texture
  • Take another bite of food only after you have chewed and swallowed completely
  • Wait until after you have swallowed before drinking fluids

Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy

Finding time to eat as a new parent may seem hard at first. It’s important to eat to stay energised and live a healthy lifestyle. Having a newborn presents many new challenges and it becomes difficult to make time for yourself and take care of your own health.

Stay aware of the importance of eating healthy and not sliding into bad eating habits. Find ways like preparing meals ahead of time, keeping healthy snacks easily available and ordering delivery of healthy, nutritious meals. You’ll be glad you did. Stay healthy and enjoy that baby.