• Caroline

Postnatal A-Z: F for Food for health

Eating well is often the last thing on a new mum's mind. She's tired and is focusing all her energy on her newborn baby. The learning curve is so steep - overnight you have become a mother and there is so much to learn each day.

I still remember how hungry I used to get after breastfeeding my babies and all I wanted was a healthy and filling meal but it was so hard to find the time and energy to make it. Especially if I had been up all night, I couldn't muster the energy to even make an omelette. 

Most of us know that eating well plays a big part of a healthy lifestyle and ironically, mums need to eat even better than most as their bodies are recovering from the physical trauma of childbirth and their sleep is disrupted so they need to compensate by eating better to improve their mood and energy levels. If you are breastfeeding, in addition to needing up to an extra 500 calories a day, you may also be more mindful of what you're putting into your body so that your baby is eating as well as it can. 

If you have family or good friends nearby, I would say to them that the best gift they can give you in the early postnatal period is a tasty, healthy home-cooked meal. I still recall a very dear friend of mine who ordered two weeks' worth of lunches and dinners from Cook after I had my first daughter. It was such a thoughtful present and it made life so much easier at the time.

If you are cooking yourself, I would recommend batch-cooking so that you don't have to cook every day and also keeping meals as simple as possible while being nutritious: the slow cooker is great for this. Aim for a balanced meal of lean protein, whole wheat carbs, healthy fats as well as fruit and vegetables. The fish tacos in the above photo are quick, simple, tasty and nutritious.

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