In this post, we’re sharing how to prepare for postpartum meals in the first few weeks, when peanut butter sandwiches and take-out get old, fast.
We’ve also included a free resource to help someone else help you.
Here are the steps to getting a jump start on postpartum meal planning:
Make a list of the meals and snacks you enjoy eating.
Look up new recipes if you want, but in general, this is not the time to be experimenting with new ideas.
Determine which of those meals you can make, freeze or store ahead of time. Include meals that you can make a part of ahead of time.
I have a yummy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bar recipe that I make batches of. I mix all the dry ingredients and portion them out into freezer bags, then when I want to make a pan of bars, I pull out a bag, add the necessary wet ingredients, and my bars are baked and ready in 20 minutes.
Using your meal list as a guide, put together a list of all the groceries you’ll need to prepare all the meals.
It’s great if you can use the same ingredients for multiple meals so you can buy the ingredients in bulk.
Don’t forget about food storage!
Do you have enough containers to hold all these meals or do you need to be sure to pick some up? Things like soup can be easily stored in plastic freezer bags, but other items will likely store best in plastic or glass containers with lids.
Go get the groceries and containers.
Now it’s time to actually prep all the food and make the portions that you can.
If this step seems totally overwhelming and you don’t want to do it alone, invite your doula over to help, host a freezer meal party, or use your baby shower as a creative way to wrangle some more help with this step. People love to help! Use this free printable to help them help you: Click here to download our Postpartum Meal Planning Resource
Make sure to label your containers
Include details like the meal or portion name, the date, and the instructions needed to finish the meal (bake at 350 for 20 minutes, for example).
Sit down, put your feet up, and congratulate yourself on preparing meals ahead of time!
If, after reading all this, you’re thinking, “Um, can I just go grab some Chick-Fil-A instead of do this?” There is another option! Did you know that you can use some of your postpartum hours for help with meal planning, meal prep, and grocery shopping for smooth sailing (and good eating!) after baby comes?
And PS: Your doula is always happy to pick up your favorite cupcake from Muddy’s on her way over with the groceries!