We couldn’t let RMF Food week go past without a post for us Mums. I don’t know about you, but even the thought of chopping an onion in those first few months post-birth felt overwhelming and it’s fair to say our diets resembled that of a toddler – ALL the beige food.
But if there was ever a time to fill your body with nutritious items, this is it. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there – biscuits, cake, toast and cereal are pretty much the stalwart meals for new parenthood, so I’m not about to tell you to start baking lactation cookies and whizzing up soups from scratch. But along with some help from the team, I’ve rounded up some really easy to prepare (and to eat) meals, along with some of our favourite hacks for getting healthy food into the system with minimal effort.
Easy To Cook Meals
Stir Fry – this is a great recipe for speed, although I’d leave out the chopped peanuts as that feels a step too far. The noodles that you just throw straight into the wok are perfect here.
Omelette or actually any form of eggs are really quick to prepare and can easily be jazzed up with greens, cheese, smoked salmon, onions, mushrooms, potatoes…don’t try anything too fancy, just get some protein and veggies in you and you’ll feel much better for it.
Things On Toast – Cheese with Worcester Sauce, creamy mushrooms (roughly chopped along with a small onion and a little garlic, in a pan with some butter, cream cheese), Avocado (excellent recipe here), beans, tomatoes. Things on toast is a meal and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Soup – I definitely mean the fresh shop bought variety here, don’t even contemplate making your own. There are SO many yummy flavours out there and you’ve got a whole lifetime ahead of you to make soup if that’s what floats your boat. For now, rest as much as possible. Soup can easily be made into more of a meal with bits to accompany – samosas, falafels, crackers, bread and butter.
Fresh Pasta – again there are lots of lovely fresh pasta options, you can simply stir through some roasted veg and a ready made sauce (or make this one, which I know lots of you are fans of. Perfect if your newborn is not your first child either).
Easy To Eat
Anything that can be served in a bowl. If you’ve been organised enough to pack out your freezer – then these are the kind of things you want to be eating – casserole, chilli, dhals and curries are all perfect. (Or send these recipes over to keen family members and they can make them for you, then deliver them with some of the easy sides listed below…)
Finger Food – Crudités & Dip, Ploughman’s Lunch, Quiche, Sausage Rolls (love this range), yes not the healthiest option in the world, but better for you than an entire packet of custard creams or half a jar of Nutella. Bonus of this one, it gets you prepared for weaning 😉
Meal Hacks To Help New Mums
You can buy most vegetables peeled and chopped nowadays which is a life saver. Normally, I’d always advocate doing this yourself as obviously the veg is going to be fresher, but new mums need a break.
Buy chopped garlic, ginger, and chilli so you can easily add some flavour to your food.
All the team here use frozen spinach as an easy way to add a little extra green to meals – stir into sauces, eat with eggs, bulk out one pot stews. And it’s a super food too.
Easy sides that take very little preparation – mini naan breads, pita bread, microwave rice pouches, couscous, jacket potatoes (which I also love to slice up the next day and fry in olive oil to make wedges).
Most guests will offer to pick things up from the supermarket for you – TAKE THEM UP on this offer, even if it’s just some lovely crisp apples or sweet juicy grapes. If you feel comfortable, ask them to do a whole food shop for you – one of my neighbours did this for me in the early weeks and I’ll never forget it. Order your food online, battling the supermarket with a newborn is daunting, stressful and often results in tears (from both of you).
Keep It Simple
OK so I know we’re all an intelligent bunch and this post is taking things back to basic, but it’s SO easy to put pressure on yourself, get caught up in things and find yourself marinating some pork chops when really you should just be sleeping.
Sometimes you just need a reminder to chill OUT.
So with that in mind, please do share your easy recipes, cheats and your honest Cake:Healthy Food ratio during the newborn phase below the post, we’d love to hear 😉
And don’t worry mine was about 100:0 for the first year…