Seven quick and easy meals for new parents
The first few weeks with a new baby can turn your world – and your eating habits – upside down. Here are seven quick and easy meal ideas for new parents.
Most new parents are caught up in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, feeding and dirty nappies and are often too tired and busy to think about eating a healthy and balanced diet.
However, accredited Bupa dietitian Rosalyn D’Angelo says it’s important for new parents to eat as normally as possible. “Try to stick to three meals a day and don’t eat too much between midnight and 6am”.
Although easy, try and stay away from take-away foods as they’re typically higher in saturated fats, salt and total energy and are typically low in fibre, vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin C and folate, which you need for your immune function and overall health and wellbeing.
Instead, why not try some of these ideas for easy, healthy meals.
1. Porridge with fresh fruit and a dollop of yoghurt
Rolled oats are great option to have on hand for breakfast, as they can be used to make porridge, muesli or even fruit and oat muffins, which can be frozen for healthy snacks.
Frittatas are an excellent way to use up leftover veggies. They can also be cut up and frozen in individual portions for healthy snacks.
Smoothies are one of the quickest snacks you can make. Just throw mixed frozen berries, Greek yoghurt, baby spinach, chia seeds, milk and ice in the blender, whizz it up, and drink.
4. Baked sweet potato
One super-easy recipe for a healthy meal is to simply steam a baked potato in the microwave for 10 minutes and then top with lettuce, tomato, grated carrot and a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
Make a batch of your favourite tomato pasta sauce with lots of vegetables and freeze into portions. This way, for a healthy meal, all you have to do is boil up some pasta and stir through the defrosted sauce.
6. Stir-fries with lean meat, skinless chicken, prawns and plenty of vegetables
Chop up some lean meat or chicken and plenty of veggies and throw it in the wok. Quinoa and brown rice are good to have on hand for added energy.
7. Slow-cooked stews and casseroles
A slow cooker can be a busy parent’s best friend. Simply add meat, veg and passata (tomato-based pasta sauce) in the morning and by dinner your meal is ready.
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Breastfeeding mums may need two or three healthy snacks throughout the day. Why not stock up on unsalted nuts, tins of tuna and salmon, tubs of ricotta and hummus, wholegrain crackers and fresh fruit. Having healthier options on hand is a good way to help you stop reaching for chocolate.
Being prepared with simple, healthy foods and some quick easy recipes can help leave you more time and energy to get to know your new family member and, most importantly, more time to catch up on some much needed sleep.