When you are a new parent, ordering takeout often feels easier than making a healthy, home-cooked meal. If you feel this way, you are certainly not alone. Madileine Grodnick, new MBC mom and holistic nutritionist, has some advice for how to help kick that takeout craving and have easy, affordable, home-cooked meals available in those first few tiresome weeks after birth.
For new moms delicious and nourishing food is essential, explains Madileine, especially to allow for physical recovery and success with breastfeeding. Taking a “whole food approach” allows for the natural incorporation of ingredients like fresh veggies and whole grains, but ingredients can vary depending on family preferences and budgets.
While there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan, Madileine’s curated list of freezer meals including everything from cacao energy bites to nourishing chicken soup might be a step in the right direction! Here are a few of Madileine’s tips for preparing and enjoying these foods in the postpartum time:
First, host a cooking party! Before birth (Madileine suggests to start around 36 weeks) invite friends and family over to cook together. What better way to show love and support for new families than by making sure they are well-fed in their first few weeks postpartum! Even inviting over a best friend or mother-in-law to act as a sous chef helps ease the labor of preparing food.
Second, plan ahead! If you’re planning on making bone broth, Madileine explains, make all of your stews and soups that week. Don’t add extra work for yourself by making lactation cookies and chili on the same day. Instead, make meals with similar ingredients to simplify the process.
Finally, make a plan for packaging and defrosting. Part of the benefit of preparing all of your own freezer meals, rather than buying them from the grocery store, is that you can reduce packaging and waste. Madileine suggests using mason jars (which can be found for 99 cents at a thrift store) or using old jars collected from pasta sauce. For defrosting, simply take meals out a day or two in advance and allow them to slowly defrost in the fridge.
Madileine’s favorite go-to meals? Either a buddha bowl using sprouted chickpeas, some rice, and a baked sweet potato or shepherd’s pie! See Madileine’s go-to list of freezer meals here.
For more information on Madileine’s work in holistic nutrition please visit Contented Root.
Minnesota Birth Center credits its Communications Intern Madison Wagner with the creation of this blog post. Madison is a student at Hamline University studying Women’s Studies. Her passions include equitable healthcare, sustainability, intersectional feminism, and cooking.