1. Stock your freezer before the baby comes
Before Bash was born, we made a big batch of my bison chili and a few other batches of our favorite, freezer-friendly dishes. We also stocked our freezer with bone broth and chicken vegetable soup.
That way, when we were home from the hospital, we could just take things out of the freezer when we needed them.
I found soup to be particularly useful, as it really gives you the flexibility to heat and eat, or in my case, drink from a mug, while breastfeeding.
Soup is also versatile since you can pack in all of your favorite veggies for an extra boost of fiber and nutrition. Add leafy greens by throwing in a handful of fresh or frozen spinach into hot soup and let it wilt.
And if you’re feeling really hungry (breastfeeding can leave you ravenous), you can add squash, sweet potatoes, or quinoa to your soup, too.
2. Control the food deliveries
A lot of times, family and friends will drop by with tons of food. Even though they have the best intentions, people tend to drop off things like cookies, cakes, and casseroles, all of which can be highly processed or filled with sugar.
To ensure you’re able to eat healthy while not insulting those around you who are trying to help, I suggest signing up for a meal train. These crowdsourcing websites can help your loved ones organize meal drop-offs to your home.
Meanwhile, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the food you like. Many of these services let you select the meals and foods you prefer.
You can also leave notes for your friends and family telling them your family’s preferences, and you can note any food allergies as well.
3. Stock up your pantry and fridge
When you can, stock your kitchen with plenty of food staples that won’t go bad so it’s one less thing you have to think about later. You can also keep your fridge stocked with items like eggs, healthy dips, and pre-chopped veggies so you or your partner can make semi-homemade meals in a pinch.
For example, keep a store-bought rotisserie chicken (opt for organic when possible) in your fridge. One of these can typically be kept in the fridge for three to four days. This can help ensure you’re getting protein, and it goes well with a bit of hummus and cucumber if you’re short on time.
4. Have smoothie ingredients on hand
Before Bash was born, I also stocked my freezer with everything I needed to make smoothies, like frozen berries and spinach.
I also bought boxes of unsweetened almond milk that didn’t need to be refrigerated, containers of protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil, and almond butter in bulk. This way I could always have at least one nutritious meal a day.
It can really make a huge difference to your day when you can at least get that one healthy meal. Doing so can help keep your energy levels up, and it usually leads to better food choices throughout the day, too.
And if you know you’ve got a particularly busy day ahead, you can always make your smoothie the night before and store it in the fridge until morning.