Once you’ve had a baby, you might understand the new parents you’ve heard about who can’t seem to manage getting out of the house, taking a shower, or eating breakfast before early afternoon. Yes, it’s just a regular luxury vacation over there on maternity leave, full of leisurely naps on the white couch, daily strolls in the sunshine, and Bon-Bon eating. Right?
No? Well, put away the Bon-Bons, at least we’ve got some better snack suggestions for you. We’re focusing on quick and tasty foods you can eat with one hand, especially those containing protein or whole grains and most importantly with low-or-no-prep work required.
Protein is important to help with healing after childbirth, and also to help keep energy levels up by stabilizing blood sugar. Since evenings are especially challenging with an infant, be sure to eat a high-protein snack around 4 o’clock in the afternoon and you’ll be less likely to crash in the evening until you’re finally able to eat a “real” dinner. Whole grains are the healthiest carbohydrates, containing more nutrients (including protein) and with plenty of fiber to help you feel full. Pair your whole grains with a high protein source for a healthier snack or mini-meal.
Slow cookers may be a new parent’s best friend! This “fix it and forget it” approach to meal prep allows you to toss together a few ingredients and 6 to 9 hours later, you’ll have a whole pot of food. You’ll find hundreds of simple crock pot recipes online but here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Here’s a starter list of low or no prep foods you can eat with one hand. Use it to start your own shopping list (choose whole grain options when possible). What else would you add?
- Bagel with peanut butter
- Cereal bars
- Cereal with low-fat milk
- Cheese slices or chunks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chicken salad from deli
- Cottage cheese
- Egg salad from deli
- Grapes or strawberries
- Hard boiled eggs, peeled
- Hot air popcorn
- Hummus or baba ganoush
- Melon, already cut up
- Nuts with dried fruits
- Rotisserie chicken from deli
- Sandwiches, pre-made at home
- Tuna or salmon in a foil pouch
- Raisins or other dried fruits
- Scrambled eggs
- Sliced turkey breast from deli
- Sturdy crackers or breadsticks
- Tuna salad from deli
- Vegetables for dipping, pre-cut, from salad bar