From feeding and changing diapers to trying to get enough sleep, being a new mom can be tough. It would leave you feeling tired and stressed — you won’t even have time to cook and eat enough in one day. But there are a few tips you can follow to stay well-fed as a new mom, especially amid a pandemic.
Say goodbye to the concept of three meals a day
This advice may sound counterintuitive, but you can say the same for waiting to eat until a certain time of day. Rather than trying to fit your mealtimes into the unpredictable phase of caring for a newborn, choose to adopt. Sneak in food breaks whenever possible, such as when your baby falls asleep or your partner or sibling comes to cover for you. And instead of waiting for lunch or dinner, take a few bites whenever you feel hungry. You can do this as long as you have snacks ready or you have prepped easy-to-cook meals.
Ensure a steady supply of healthy snacks
Since your goal is to eat whenever possible, make sure to have a steady supply of healthy snacks. Stock up on granola bars, oatmeal cookies, gluten-free muffins, fruits, and pre-chopped vegetable snacks. Keep these snacks in a box next to the rocking chair or in the nursery, so you can easily grab them whenever you have to feed the baby. You can also keep another box in other parts of the house for easy access.
Prep or batch-cook meals you can store in the freezer
Whenever you have time, prep and batch-cook freezer-friendly meals. You can cook one-pan lasagna, vegetarian gumbo, or other hearty meals that can last for days as long as you freeze them. But make sure to put them in multiple single-meal containers, so it’s easier to heat them whenever you feel hungry. You can also prep shredded chicken, cheese, and other ingredients for a quick sandwich, taco, or burrito.
Also, before the baby comes, make sure to have an easy-to-navigate and functional kitchen. That isn’t a problem if you recently bought and moved into a good house and land package. But if you’ve been living in the same apartment or house for years, your kitchen might have fixtures or appliances needing repair or upgrades. You don’t want to deal with a leaky faucet or faulty oven when you only have a few hours to prep and batch-cook your weekly meals before your newborn baby wakes up and cries for milk again.
Rely on a network of support
Being a new mom isn’t a solitary journey — you have your partner, family, and friends to help you get through this phase. So instead of refusing to ask for favors, take advantage of all the help you can get.
Share your grocery lists with your loved ones, so they know what to pick up for you. Are you not a fan of eating casserole the entire week? Help those who want to help you by giving them a menu of food preferences, so you end up having a stock of hearty meals that you like to eat no matter the time of day.
Caring for a newborn is a full-time job, so you may no longer have enough time to take care of yourself. But with these tips, you can ensure that you are eating well and have the energy to get through each day.