It's August! It is by far my favorite month of the year. One reason is because it's my birthday month! :)
August is also National Breastfeeding Month and this week (Aug. 1-7) is World Breastfeeding Week. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I am also a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). As a CLC, I help moms, babies and their families breastfeed successfully and to overcome obstacles and barriers.
A common obstacle amongst breastfeeding moms (all moms, really, and new dads) is the lack of time to feed themselves. The worry, now, is making sure the baby is fed, sleeping, etc. So it becomes very common to put yourself on the back burner.
Today, I want to share 3 ways that you can meal plan and prep for this amazing and busy new life. These tips are universal and can be used by all moms and new parents and families. But, I'm sending an extra shout out and nutrition tips for all the breastfeeding mamas out there.
Create a Mommy Snack Bag
I bet, that as a new mom you rarely leave the house without the diaper bag. Get in the same habit with your snack bag. Breastfeeding moms, on average, needs up to an additional 500 calories during this time. Creating a snack bag will help you reach this. Find a small pouch that you can throw in quick and easy snacks on-the-go and throw it into your diaper bag. Let's take the snack bag even further. Create a snack bin in your pantry, fridge and by your fave nursing spot. It may seem like a lot of snack places, but by having snacks strategically placed in easy to grab spots means grabbing a snack won't have to be an extra chore. (Tell your family and friends, too so they know those snacks are yours - and yours only.) :) Visit this post for on the go snack ideas.
Make sure water is on the list for your on-the-go mommy snack bag, in your fridge and readily available. Hydration is super important for everyone. But, it is definitely important for the breastfeeding mamas. Being hydrated helps your milk supply. Check out this post for more tips to stay hydrated. Also, include hydrating fruits and vegetables in your snack bag such as watermelon and cucumbers.
At The Meal Planning Method, we recommend to plan and prep for meals each week. This is easier said than done, especially in the beginning when you are nursing every 2 hours. So, that is why Tip #2 is to Delegate this out. Family members and friends want to help you during this time. They just typically don't always know how. So tell them. :) Don't tell them, "Nah, I'm ok. I can do it." No one doubts that you can. But, use the help when you have it. Have someone do the grocery shopping, put your snack bag (and diaper bag) together for you each day, make a batch of freezer meals, etc. Whatever will make eating easier for you, ask. Most people will be so happy to help.
There are also companies that you can delegate some of the duties, too. Companies, such as Shipt, allow you to shop for your groceries online and then have them delivered to your door. Major grocery stores, such as Kroger, also offer online grocery shopping. A Kroger employee will put together all the groceries so all you have to do is pick them up from the store.
Strategize & Prioritize
Now, if you are unable to delegate some of this for whatever reason. Strategize and prioritize. There will be days when you have no choice but to go to the grocery store with your infant in tow. Have a strategy in place to help the trip go smoothly and quickly. Make a list in advance. You can have an ongoing list on your fridge or in the Notes section on your phone. Use our free downloadable planner to help. In addition to making and having your list. Prioritize that list. What I mean by this is to know and grab the things that you just HAVE to get. This prioritization is a great strategy for when your baby has a blow out during the trip. (This or something similar is bound to happen one day). So be prepared as much as you can. This way the stuff you have in your cart are the must-haves, so you can quickly check out and go.
Going along with this, feed your baby prior to going into the store to satisfy and soothe the baby for the shopping trip. This is along the same recommendation for you not to grocery shop while hungry. ;)
I hope this gives you some great ideas for eating healthy on the go (whether you are breastfeeding or not.) I would love to hear your ideas and tips for how you meal prep as a busy new parent. Share with us below or by #MealPlanningMethod.
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