In the last of our blogs by Nutritional Therapist Charlotte Watts, we learn what to eat after the birth of your baby. Read on for advice on the nutrients you need and how to get them into your diet, plus lots of handy time-saving tips for busy new mums and dads.
As always, you can find the foods Charlotte recommends in the special parenting aisles she helped to set up. Congratulations on your new baby, and happy eating!
The nutrients needed for pregnancy are still needed post-birth to help recovery and to provide energy for looking after your new baby, plus breastfeeding should you choose. See the articles on pregnancy and breastfeeding for specific info on nutritional needs, and in particular prioritise plenty of multicoloured vegetables and fruits for healing Vitamin C and bioflavonoids.
Also, zinc and omega-3 oil sources can be combined in eggs, nuts and oily fish like salmon and mackerel as densely nutritional foods; these are also good B vitamin sources for energy.
Actually finding the time and resources to look after yourselves, as well as your new family addition, is a big consideration. Having some key ideas that combine health, convenience, ease and taste will help you to keep your own wellbeing in view. Your health is as important as that of your baby if you’re going to look after them as fully as you’d like.
Making nutritious meals easy
With a new baby in the house, time and organisation can suddenly seem in short supply. A few shopping items to satisfy and help recharge at meal times can stop you living on snacks and take-aways:
- Convenient energising and healing protein sources – just add some vegetables or salad for a meal. Ocado Poached Scottish Salmon Flakes; Waitrose Parma Ham; Stonegate Organic Large Eggs; Great Food Spinach & Pine Nut Bites with Houmous; these are all great staples and can be bulked up with new potatoes.
- Your freezer is a huge asset – freeze your own soups and stews and also keep some reliable basics for easy meals. Ocado 6 Ready to Cook Cornish Sardines with Green Chilli, Garlic & Lemon; Helen Browning Organic Speedy Sausages; Goodlife 4 Fairtrade Nut Cutlets; and Great Food Mediterranean Falafel. Check labels as most foods freeze well, and keep in stock Waitrose Frozen Organic Petits Pois and essential Waitrose Frozen Berries to ensure antioxidants are readily available.
- Handy salad foods that make a meal in minutes include: Waitrose Love Life Puy Lentils; Waitrose Aromatic Babyleaf Herb Salad; Ocado Watercress; Waitrose Perfectly Ripe Avocados; Mr Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients Sicilian Lemon Juice; and Roussas Organic Feta. Add any veg you fancy – with lemon juice a salad will keep for two consecutive meals.
Instant energy on-hand
When you might be tempted to turn to sweet cereals, snacks, and to live off treat foods, vitalising foods that satisfy a sweet tooth and sate cravings are good to keep in the house:
- Rachel’s Organic Forbidden Fruits Cherry Yogurt – a good quality sweetened yoghurt still contains sugar, but berries or cherries help limit its damage. A great, healthy alternative to ice cream!
- Meridian Crunchy Hazelnut Butter 100% Nuts – always great on rye crackers or toast for a protein-boosting snack, with omega oils for healing tissues and keeping a tired brain functioning.
- Waitrose Love Life Unsalted Cashew Nuts and Good Seed Sweet Cinnamon Shelled Hemp Seeds – these also provide omega oils, B vitamins and zinc as well as healing vitamin E.
- Dorset Cereals Classic Fruit, Roasted Nuts & Seeds – a great alternative to less nutritious and more sugary cereals and can be eaten any time of day. Particularly good with Greek yoghurt and berries.
- Nakd Free-From Berry Delight Bar – provides an antioxidant-rich sweet treat with soluble fibre to help keep digestion moving.
Specific post-birth health tips
- Clearspring Organic Miso Soup Paste helps balance female hormones after birth.
- Vita Coco Coconut Water keeps up hydration, and is a natural isotonic (so has the same mineral balance as our own blood plasma).
- Pukka Golden Camomile helps keep a calm nervous system and provide quality sleep… when you get some!
- Vegesentials Celery, Apple, Kale & Kiwi Juice is a potassium-rich drink to help regulate body fluids and keep hydration up for sustained energy.
- Delamere Dairy Probiotic Plain Goats Yogurt helps keep your gut and therefore immunity healthy. Goat’s milk is more tolerated than cow’s so can provide a healthier calcium source.
My final tip is to ask for help and get rest whenever you can; keeping up your own resources is crucial to feeling you can cope.
Enjoy this precious time,