Meal planning during the postpartum time is so important.
As doulas that work with many postpartum families in the Cleveland area, we find that families are generally at a loss for meal planning and without their doula reminding them to eat and preparing food, probably wouldn’t eat nearly enough or nutritiously . While postpartum doulas help families with snack and meal preparations, not all families need or want a postpartum doula.
We asked local business owner and chef, Heather Athens of Grateful Kitchen Provisions to share some information on postpartum nutrition and meal planning for families to help better prepare for the postpartum time.
I believe that families deserve quality nourishment even when time and energy are in short supply. I provide a customized menu that is designed for your family’s preferences. Whether you are welcoming a new addition, coping with major life transitions, or just enduring a particularly busy time in your family’s life. Grateful Kitchen Provisions is here to provide you with quality meals that save you time, so you can focus on what matters. From ready to bake calzones to bone broths and soups to smoothie bags ready for blending, we offer possibilities that are endless and delicious. Meal planning is our speciality!
In the midst of baby registries, OB appointments, and nursery decorating it’s easy to forget about our own needs when thinking about planning for baby. One of the things we take for granted is the time, resources and energy it takes to feed ourselves and our families. The days following your birth should be focused on family bonding and recovery. What you choose to nourish your body with during this time can greatly affect your wellness and meal planning can help. Eating wholesome foods, prepared in the right conditions, can support your healing and your newborn’s transition to life outside the womb.
This fourth trimester is a time when a mother must juggle caring for her baby, her family, and herself. The food a new mother chooses to provide for herself with can play an important role in her mood and energy levels. However, eating the right foods can help replenish deficiencies that occur during pregnancy, aid in weight loss, and assist with breast milk production, which is high in nutrients and positively impacts a baby’s development. Foods rich with the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal functioning can lower risk of post pregnancy related physical and emotional illnesses. In short, food is medicine! What a mother chooses to eat during this post pregnancy time should be simple, wholesome, and consisting of nutrient rich foods. Enter meal planning!
So how can you plan to nourish yourself effectively during this time? The following are just a few ways you can maintain a healthy postpartum diet:
- Eat foods that supply your body with essential fatty acids and omega 3, 6, and 9.
- Eat whole and preferably organic foods such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruits, unprocessed meats, nuts and seeds.
- Eat a source of nutrient laden fiber such as flaxseeds
- Eat foods that supply your body with antioxidants such as decaffeinated green teas, berries, and herbs.
During times of transition we can find ourselves turning to quick fixes for our sustainment such as a drive thru window, restaurant delivery, or high processed foods that are easily prepared. However, these options can become harsh on the postpartum body and thus a newborn’s body, depleting energy levels, and negatively altering our metabolism. So what if you could have the same level of convenience as these quick fixes but with wholesome and healthy foods that are good for you? That’s our passion at Grateful Kitchen Provisions, providing wholesome meals to families in transition so that they have more time to focus on what matters. Let us do the meal planning! We will take the time to talk to YOU about what your family prefers to eat. You are not just ordering off a menu, you are customizing a menu to meet YOUR needs. During our consultation we will develop an understanding of your nutritional needs, your food likes and dislikes, your budget, and your shopping preferences (i.e. organic, local, etc). Have a favorite family recipe or something you’ve been craving that you couldn’t have during pregnancy? Have a recipe you’ve been wanting to try but were hesitant because of a lack of time or skill? All of this can be accomplished without the hassle of making shopping lists, watching cooking videos, or trudging to the grocery store. Grateful Kitchen Provisions is passionate about making your postpartum diet healthy, delicious, and hassle free. Most importantly, this food will be prepared in a home with consideration of the integrity of ingredients and quality of a well made meal. Let Grateful Kitchen Provisions remove barriers to you resting and enjoying your bundle of love. We’ll do the cooking.
One of my favorite recipes to keep on hand for healing is lovely chicken broth.
Chicken Broth for the Soul
- 1 Whole Chicken (approx 3#)
- 2-3 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 4 Carrots
- 3-4 Celery Stalks
- 2 Large Onions
- 2-3 Bay Leaves
- 2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
- Thyme & Parsley
- Chop chicken and vegetables and add to large stock pot.
- Add vinegar and fill pot with cold spring water. Let sit 1 hour. *The soaking draws the marrow out of the cut bones which extremely healthy. It contains proteins, vitamin-B complex, minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc, as well as lecithin and methionine.
- Add bay and peppercorns
- Bring to a boil. Remove any scum that rises to the top and simmer on low heat for a minimum of 4-5 hours. I prefer to simmer mine 10-12 hours when possible. Start out uncovered for about an hour then cover.
- 20 minutes before you are done simmering add your thyme and parsley. These herbs add mineral ions to the broth.
- Scoop out chicken and vegetables and run broth through a sieve into a clean container. Refrigerate broth til cool and remove fat.
This broth is liquid gold. You can drink it, use it for sauteeing or to make soup. Freeze small freezer bags for single servings. Breast milk bags are great for this!
Heather Athens is the owner and head chef at Grateful Kitchen Provisions. Heather believes that families deserve quality nourishment even when time and energy are in short supply. She provides a customized menu that is designed for your family’s preferences. Whether you are welcoming a new addition, coping with major life transitions, or just enduring a particularly busy time in your family’s life. Grateful Kitchen Provisions is here to provide you with quality meals that save you time, so you can focus on what matters. From ready to bake calzones to bone broths and soups to smoothie bags ready for blending, Grateful Kitchen Provisions offers possibilities that are endless and delicious.
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