The arrival of a new baby is joyful, emotional, and exciting. But let’s face it – it’s also time-consuming, exhausting, and stressful. In the first few weeks, new parents are figuring out how to take care of a new little person and not taking the time to nourish themselves.
If you signed up on the family’s Meal Train page, you’re probably thinking you should bring, well, a meal – maybe lasagna, a salad, some garlic bread, and dessert. These meals are definitely appreciated because they’re easy to prepare and transport, and they’re freezable. But they might not be the most convenient or practical for the parents while they’re navigating their new schedule. Sitting down together for dinner at 6 is pretty unrealistic – at least right now. It’s more likely they’re eating at odd hours in a more grab-and-go fashion, so they need something better suited to this delightful chaos.
Keep these things in mind when thinking about foods to bring to a new parent:
- Whether it’s a sandwich or a smoothie, the foods should be well balanced and nutritionally dense. Protein, fiber, and calcium are important nutrients for new mothers and tired partners. If appropriate, look for foods that are galactagogues (foods that increase milk supply) and impress your friends with your thoughtfulness and fabulous vocabulary. Something like these Apple Gouda Oatmeal Cookies or these Kale and Sweet Potato Fritters.
- Consider foods with plenty of hearty, healthy calories that fight exhaustion and energize. Smoothies pack a nutritional punch and keep them hydrated and full.And don’t forget about breakfast! New mamas graze throughout the day and need to start their day off right, especially if they’ve been up all night. Try these Breakfast Egg Muffins or this Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.
- If the new parent can grab something to eat with one hand while they’re getting ready to feed the baby, that’s perfect. Finger foods, wraps, or protein balls are all easy to eat without a lot of mess or fuss. Having the baby in one hand and a snack in the other is just the way it is for the first few weeks. These Carrot Cake Power Bites or this Get Your Greens Wrap would be just right.
Throw in some colorful fruit water or seltzer for some refreshing hydration.
Wash and cut up fresh veggies and fruit so they are easy to grab while calming the baby.
Include a favorite tea or coffee as a special treat (or necessary elixir)!