Six easy tips to eat well while you're tending to your newborn
In celebration of “smart eating week” by the Dieticians Association of Australia, I thought I’d cover some tips to help you get all your nutrition during periods of exhaustion.
Being a mother to a newborn is no easy feat. In our modern lifestyles we spend more time raising our children alone, with limited support networks surrounding us. And as mothers it is innate for us to meet the needs of our babies before our own are met. Often this means we never get to take care of ourselves!
One easy way to take care of yourself is to ensure the fuel you’re putting into your body will support your energy production, postpartum healing, and also allow you to produce milk (if you’ve chosen to breastfeed). I remember with my first baby, on my most exhausted days I would survive off chocolate and rice crackers! Thankfully I learnt from that experience that I needed to take better care of myself, and put plans into place to ensure with the second baby that I ate a more nourishing diet.
What is smart eating for mums?
Here are a few things to consider! I’m not going to tell you specifically what to eat. However I’m going to give you some tips that should help to make your busy and exhausted life easier to manage.
Prepare excess dinner so you can have leftovers for lunch. This is such a quick and easy way to get good food into yourself with minimal prep. It means you’re eating fresh meals without having to think about what to create for yourself.
And just as a side note, in my household we cook enough dinner for leftovers for me and my two children now! So much food at dinner time, but it leads to a breezy lunch time (if they will eat it!).
Feeling like a quick snack? Pick up something green. Cucumber, apple, celery (with almond butter - yum!). It’s so easy to pick up something from a packet, or breads and grains. By going green, you add some incidental vegetables and fruit into your diet with their added vitamins and minerals.
Eat all of the fats! Breastfeeding mamas : your baby needs healthy fats. Your baby’s brain and muscles are made of a lot of fat, and it’s your body’s job to pull that fat from your body and put it in your milk. So it’s best for you and your baby that you eat enough fat to sustain your baby’s development. Think avocado, coconut yoghurt, wild caught fish and grass fed meat (if you eat meat), olive oil and flaxseed oil. Even a DHA supplement is useful if you feel you’re not getting enough fat.
Eat in balance. A big reason for exhaustion can be blood sugar irregularities. If you’re always grabbing for sugars (fruit included), you may be spiking your blood sugar. While this can give you an immediate energy boost, it may mean further into your day you feel more tired, craving more sugar, and grumpy too.
Eating in balance means ensuring you’ve got enough fats and proteins in your diet to keep that blood sugar stable.
Eat a big breakfast! We have a cook up everyday in our house, it sets us all up for a healthy day. It stabilises blood sugars, provides us with adequate fat and protein, and means our energy is stable into the day. It means you’ll be less likely to crave the quick sugar fix (or caffeine hit).
Release the guilt! So you know you haven’t been eating the best, and feel like you’d like to do better? Great! Release the guilt of eating bad, we all do the best we can with what we have. Sometimes motherhood is too exhausting to even think about food and that’s ok. Plus, nobody is perfect! We are all human and let’s face it, chocolate is delicious!
Do you have any other handy tips to share? Drop them below or on our social media!