It is so hard to eat a variety of nutrient dense foods when you are newly postpartum unless you have a personal chef on staff. But this time is the most important time to get nutrients in, just as important as eating during pregnancy (some would argue more important).
But as anyone who has had a newborn knows, the last thing on your mind is grocery shopping, meal prep, and cooking. That’s why I got as many meals and food ready before I had my baby so I could eat healthy meals and snacks with ease. Here are a few of my go-to quick snacks that I prepared for myself and froze, or always tried to have in the fridge, as well as a couple other great ideas I found online.
- Quinoa, Egg, Veggie Muffins
I LOVE these quinoa, egg muffins because they are savoury and filling. I usually grab 2-3 for breakfast or a snack if I’m feeling hangry. Sometimes, I’ll dip it in hummus or add a chopped avocado with salt on top.
These muffins contain loads of protein from the eggs and quinoa and healthy fats from the oil, and vitamins from whatever veggies you decide to add. Get creative with your veggies, and chop them up pretty small (other veggies you could use: mushrooms, cooked carrots, onions, asparagus, green beans, peas, chopped kale…get creative!)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 red pepper chopped
I green pepper chopped
3-4 cups of finely chopped spinach
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I like old cheddar)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Other flavours/Herbs (such as dill or garlic)
Add cooled, cooked quinoa to bowl (make sure it’s cool so the eggs don’t get cooked when you add them.
Crack 12 eggs and mix, then add chopped peppers and spinach, cheese and seasoning.
Scoop into muffin cups (I LOVE silicon muffin tins)
Bake at 350 C for 20-25 minutes (Until you see tops browning and cheese bubbling).
Remove and cool. Keep in fridge or freeze in container or ziplock to easily access.
2. Healthy Oatmeal Muffins
Oatmeal is a great grain for increasing breastmilk supply, but what postpartum mom has time to prepare oatmeal every day? Try baking a large batch of these oatmeal muffins instead and pulling them out of the fridge or freezer as needed (I would quadruple the recipe personally). I really love steel cut oats, but if you aren’t a fan, swap them out with (uncooked) quick oats.
Get the recipe here!
3. Hard Boiled Eggs
This one is super simple to prep and you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week. Opt for eggs from your local farmer, the more nutrients the chickens get in their feed, the more nutrients your eggs will contain.
Eggs are a great source of protein, essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, folic acid, Vitamins B-12, A, E, D, K.
Basically they are like nature’s multivitamin. If you are a not a fan of the taste of hard boiled egg, try dipping it in something like hummus, adding it to a salad, or simply sprinkle with a good quality salt (like Himalayan pink salt, or Celtic sea salt) and eat it by itself.
Find the directions on how to cook here.
4. Toast with Avocado
I prefer homemade sourdough for taste and beneficial gut bacteria (see a video series on making your own sourdough if you have time, but if you don’t have access to the time or don’t care to make your own bread, opt for a bread with whole grains and nuts and seeds which will increase the nutritional benefits (versus a plain white wonder bread). But hey, if you love white wonder bread, use it as a vehicle for the more nutrient dense ingredients, like smashed avocado, hummus, or nut butters.
5. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are such a nutrient dense food, containing lots of healthy fats as well as a variety of other vitamins and minerals. Have a jar of nuts (raw, unsalted if possible) on hand and a baggie of them in your purse for a quick snack. Using a bulk store, just buy the nuts, seeds and fruits you like and then mix them together yourself (as many prepackaged mixed nuts contain added salt, sugar and sulphites). Consider: cashews, almonds, peanuts, pecans, macadamia, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. Then mix with some dark chocolate chips and/or dried unsweetened fruit like; apricots, cranberries, dates, raisins, plums, goji berries.
Another option is making a batch of these nut bars if you have a little extra time before baby comes (instead of buying highly processed, packaged granola bars).
6. Protein Balls
These are my fave because I have such a sweet tooth, but they’re also loaded with healthy fats and protein. There are SOO many recipes out there, but personally I like to ‘freestyle’ my recipes depending on what ingredients I have. Lately my go-to recipe has looked somewhat like this:
2 cups quick oats
1 cup almond or peanut butter
1 cup ground flax
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
2/3 cups dates (cover and soak in water overnight and blend into paste) or honey/maple syrup for sweetness
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 can solid coconut cream (put can of coconut cream in fridge for a couple hours, then just use solid white cream on top (save clear coconut water for smoothie)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until desired consistency, add more dry ingredients like oats or wet ingredients like coconut oil or nut butter if needed. Put in fridge for a couple hours.
Remove from fridge and roll into balls.
Double the quantities of you want to freeze some of them.
A few other snack ideas:
- Fruit (banana, apple, orange, pear, apricot, peach)
- Nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond), spreading on toast, dipping apple slices, banana, celery or crackers.
- Handful of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, rasberries. Or add to a bowl of greek yogurt.
- Bone broth (very high in collagen which can help with healing postpartum). Try this recipe. This takes a lot of time, so consider doing during pregnancy and freezing or asking a loved one to do for you.
- Smoothie (A couple ideas here and here).
I hope you got some ideas if you are planning for your postpartum period or are currently in it. If you find you are just too overwhelmed to do this on your own, ASK FOR HELP! This time in not meant to do on your own, as much as you want to achieve that ‘Supermom’ status. Forward this list of ideas to a fiend or family who is asking to help. They can help by making you a batch of muffins, or picking up a grocery order for you to stock your fridge.
You are doing a great job Mama, just remember to nourish YOUR body as much as you can. <3