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Postpartum food?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

We have stairs and are having a home birth so this time I won't be cooking dinner the next day LOL DH has to be the chef for a week!

 

He can't cook very well and wants me to get junk food essentially (hot dogs, chicken nuggets etc) We have a 2.5 y/o to feed (who is not picky and loves healthy food) and he and I of course.

 

I was going to make some meals ahead of time but financially that doesn't seem like it's going to happen.

 

Think all the nitrates will kill us?

 

What are your plans?

post #2 of 64

I have a tiny freezer so making a bunch of stuff ahead of time doesn't work for me either. Last time I bought some shelf stable meals that needed to be reheated in the microwave. I can only imagine how much salt was in those. LOL 

 

Friends brought food and my mom cooked some. Those first couple weeks are such a blur. 

post #3 of 64

Arrange a meal train if you haven't already.  There's a website (mealtrain.com) if you want something a bit more organized.  But even just an email to a whole bunch of people will do it.  Ask who can bring food and on which day (obviously ask which day after baby arrives).  Not everyone will do it, so ask everyone you can think of, you may get help from some unexpected sources.

 

If you have the freezer space, prepare and freeze stuff beforehand.  Ask friends/family to prepare/freeze stuff for you beforehand.  The easiest way is to just start doubling recipes.  One for dinner, one for the freezer.  Freeze things that just need minimal prep afterwards (heat/cook and serve).  If there are any "convenience foods" that you are comfortable with, stock those, either in the freezer or the pantry.  You don't need to do a big "stocking up" for this - you can set aside $5-10/week of your budget and add one or two items to your shopping list each time. 

 

Right now, my freezer has in it: 

Raw meatloaves in throw-away mini loaf pans (I get 3 pans to 2 lbs of meat).  This can go from freezer to table in 90 minutes with no other prep.  Toss a potato into the oven next to it and you have a meal.  My meatloaf is full of veggies so it doesn't need anything else.

Fresh pasta (ravioli/tortellini)

Lots of stock (side effect of cleaning out bones, but frozen in 2-3 c portions for ease of use to make quick soups). 

Some random convenience foods - there might be a bag of potstickers or something similar buried in there, which is a really quick meal.  A bag of sweet potato "tater tots" or fries for an easy side. 

Sweet potato pie filling (we use this to make SP pancakes)

Homemade sauces frozen in small amounts (pesto, mole, etc.)

breakfast sausages/bacon

 

I may also be adding:

cooked beans (for refried, hummus, baked beans, soups, whatever)

a few casseroles

 

Pantry always has:

Dry pasta (incl Mac & cheese)

Oats and other grains to make oatmeal/porridge

A few random sauces/salsas to finish off a meal (enchilada sauce, pasta sauce, etc.)

Random veggies - pickles, marinated artichokes, olives, green chiles, etc.

 

In addition to all that, I'll be making up jars of both mixed grain oatmeal for the crockpot (dump, add water, turn on, walk away), and probably muffin mix (flour, sugar, leavening, CO - add milk and eggs) for quick and easy breakfasts.  I keep GF pancake mix on hand, and I may get frozen waffles, although I'm the only one that eats them. 

 

I'll be sure that the pantry also has onions, garlic, potatoes and sweet potatoes on hand.  That allows me to just toss a spud into the oven to bake next to a meal, or make up a quick (5 minute) pasta sauce if necessary. 

 

For fresh food, I'm joining a CSA again this year - they deliver to my door, and I'm going to get a "ready to eat" box, so nothing that has to be cooked.  I pick up milk weekly from our cow share, and I can get eggs from him too if I don't want to go to the farmer's market for them.  Bread and the like I can either walk down to WF (2 blocks), or I can ask DH to pick it up on his way home from the train.  Meat will depend on the state of my freezer - I used to belong to a monthly meat CSA, then stopped when I got pg so I could work on cleaning out the freezer(s) - I may rejoin or I may just start buying for a couple weeks at a time.  Mostly large roasts and ground beef, since they require the least amount of prep work. 

 

I also asked people to bring a dish for the freezer to my mother's blessing.  I didn't really get into all of our food rules because most people wouldn't know what to do with them.  But I did stipulate no soy, no oranges and no grapefruit (DS' allergies), and I'll be thankful for whatever we get. 

 

Personally I do get hotdogs and have them in the house periodically.  I get the nitrate-free ones from our local/pastured/organic herd, and I'm okay with that.  DS loves them.  However, I wouldn't be depending on only them for my pp meals, they're mostly a quick and easy meal for the toddler.  Chicken nuggets though are beyond my comfort zone.  I haven't seen any that I'm comfortable with the ingredient list, nor have I tried any that taste anywhere near as good as my homemade.  I have a big jar of the breading for them in the pantry, so if DH wants chicken he can make it easily enough (eggwash, breading, pan).  He's proven over the years that he can follow a recipe, so long as I don't ask him to get creative. 

post #4 of 64

We have a small freezer too, and only one casserole dish.  So cooking a bunch of stuff ahead of time is not practical.  Plus, the thought of cooking a bunch of stuff right now sounds like torture.  I barely cook dinner as it is.  There used to be this little store near us called Kasserole King.  They sold premade (uncooked) casseroles that you could bring home and freeze or cook.  I thought that was so clever!  I planned on getting a couple of those, but they closed a couple months ago.  :(

 

I like to get pre-packaged stuff from Trader Joe's, because it's cheap and healthier than what you find at the regular grocery store.  If you don't have a Trader Joe's, just get stuff from the regular grocery store.  Hot dogs and chicken nuggets for a week or two won't kill you.  :)  I would just make sure you have some frozen veggies and fruit on hand too.  And some yogurt, eggs, nuts, etc. for snacking.

post #5 of 64

I'm hoping I'll have the energy to prep 4-5 meals to put in the freezer.  I'm also hoping to have some things like ground beef (tacos, burgers) and chicken (can be grilled quickly) in the freezer.  I also need to make sure we have things like canned or frozen veggies, boxed rice, maybe some mac n' cheese, etc.  I'm looking at something like this as well: http://melissafallistestkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/freezer-cooking-slow-cooker-meals.html

 

We'll see though...depends on what I feel like in the next couple of weeks :)

 

post #6 of 64

Cristeen, can I come and live at your house?!

 

I'll do dishes.

dishes.gif


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

Arrange a meal train if you haven't already.  There's a website (mealtrain.com) if you want something a bit more organized.  But even just an email to a whole bunch of people will do it.  Ask who can bring food and on which day (obviously ask which day after baby arrives).  Not everyone will do it, so ask everyone you can think of, you may get help from some unexpected sources.

 

If you have the freezer space, prepare and freeze stuff beforehand.  Ask friends/family to prepare/freeze stuff for you beforehand.  The easiest way is to just start doubling recipes.  One for dinner, one for the freezer.  Freeze things that just need minimal prep afterwards (heat/cook and serve).  If there are any "convenience foods" that you are comfortable with, stock those, either in the freezer or the pantry.  You don't need to do a big "stocking up" for this - you can set aside $5-10/week of your budget and add one or two items to your shopping list each time. 

 

Right now, my freezer has in it: 

Raw meatloaves in throw-away mini loaf pans (I get 3 pans to 2 lbs of meat).  This can go from freezer to table in 90 minutes with no other prep.  Toss a potato into the oven next to it and you have a meal.  My meatloaf is full of veggies so it doesn't need anything else.

Fresh pasta (ravioli/tortellini)

Lots of stock (side effect of cleaning out bones, but frozen in 2-3 c portions for ease of use to make quick soups). 

Some random convenience foods - there might be a bag of potstickers or something similar buried in there, which is a really quick meal.  A bag of sweet potato "tater tots" or fries for an easy side. 

Sweet potato pie filling (we use this to make SP pancakes)

Homemade sauces frozen in small amounts (pesto, mole, etc.)

breakfast sausages/bacon

 

I may also be adding:

cooked beans (for refried, hummus, baked beans, soups, whatever)

a few casseroles

 

Pantry always has:

Dry pasta (incl Mac & cheese)

Oats and other grains to make oatmeal/porridge

A few random sauces/salsas to finish off a meal (enchilada sauce, pasta sauce, etc.)

Random veggies - pickles, marinated artichokes, olives, green chiles, etc.

 

In addition to all that, I'll be making up jars of both mixed grain oatmeal for the crockpot (dump, add water, turn on, walk away), and probably muffin mix (flour, sugar, leavening, CO - add milk and eggs) for quick and easy breakfasts.  I keep GF pancake mix on hand, and I may get frozen waffles, although I'm the only one that eats them. 

 

I'll be sure that the pantry also has onions, garlic, potatoes and sweet potatoes on hand.  That allows me to just toss a spud into the oven to bake next to a meal, or make up a quick (5 minute) pasta sauce if necessary. 

 

For fresh food, I'm joining a CSA again this year - they deliver to my door, and I'm going to get a "ready to eat" box, so nothing that has to be cooked.  I pick up milk weekly from our cow share, and I can get eggs from him too if I don't want to go to the farmer's market for them.  Bread and the like I can either walk down to WF (2 blocks), or I can ask DH to pick it up on his way home from the train.  Meat will depend on the state of my freezer - I used to belong to a monthly meat CSA, then stopped when I got pg so I could work on cleaning out the freezer(s) - I may rejoin or I may just start buying for a couple weeks at a time.  Mostly large roasts and ground beef, since they require the least amount of prep work. 

 

I also asked people to bring a dish for the freezer to my mother's blessing.  I didn't really get into all of our food rules because most people wouldn't know what to do with them.  But I did stipulate no soy, no oranges and no grapefruit (DS' allergies), and I'll be thankful for whatever we get. 

 

Personally I do get hotdogs and have them in the house periodically.  I get the nitrate-free ones from our local/pastured/organic herd, and I'm okay with that.  DS loves them.  However, I wouldn't be depending on only them for my pp meals, they're mostly a quick and easy meal for the toddler.  Chicken nuggets though are beyond my comfort zone.  I haven't seen any that I'm comfortable with the ingredient list, nor have I tried any that taste anywhere near as good as my homemade.  I have a big jar of the breading for them in the pantry, so if DH wants chicken he can make it easily enough (eggwash, breading, pan).  He's proven over the years that he can follow a recipe, so long as I don't ask him to get creative. 



 

post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 

I should probably add we have multiple food allergies greensad.gif It's way too risky for DD to have anyone else make her meals and I BF her still so I'm on her diet. No meal train. No take out. No microwaveable anything ever.

 

IDK what we are going to do. Last time MIL made an "allergen free" meal my DD was up puking all night

post #8 of 64

Hmm... in that case I'd stick to whatever you can stock in your freezer/pantry before then and now.  If you have a crockpot, you can also prep dry foods beforehand for some favorite dishes.  I do them in mason jars, but you can do them in ziploc bags, too.  Just label them with what you need to add and your DH should be able to handle it.  I'm thinking dried beans, spices, with directions to add 1 chopped onion and X cups of water, cook on low for 6 hours, then add 1 lb ground beef, 1 c of raw rice and a bag of frozen corn and cook another 2 hours (or whatever).  I pulled that out of my butt, it's not an actual recipe, but it gives you an idea of what I'm thinking.  That would give you a protein-rich meal that would feed you for days - wrapped in a tortilla for burritos (or enchiladas), straight out of a bowl if that's all you can manage. 

 

Soups can be done the same way.  As can many baked goods (quick breads/muffins).  Just label them with what you have to add and cooking instructions.  If he can cook frozen chicken nuggets, he can manage a meal in a jar.  I wouldn't ask my DH to bake muffins from scratch, but if I give him premeasured dry ingredients, he can add egg and milk and manage to bake it.  Not any different than cooking from a mix. 

 

If there are a few meals he can manage on his own (my DH has managed sloppy joes from scratch for instance), then just make sure you have the ingredients on hand for those dishes. 

 

And rather than a meal train, I'd probably ask for gift certificates for the local grocery store, and/or for people to do grocery shopping for you.  Just make sure your grocery list includes brand names you know are safe. 

 

 

post #9 of 64

What are your allergies? I'm trying to come up with healthy, low/no dairy foods that I can have available in the pantry for super fast throw together meals with minimal stuff in the freezer. We have a freezer... but it's full.... of something mysterious. So fast and canned/dry is important.

post #10 of 64

Since this is my first, I'm not completely sure what to expect.  We have a grocery store nearby (within walking distance--at least at this stage).  Are short walks to the grocery store going to be a challenge PP?

post #11 of 64

My dh was deployed when dd was born, and food just wasn't a big deal.  I ate whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it, and nobody cared.  Walking to the store (had it been close enough) is totally something I would have done early on.  I was taking the dogs for long walks the day after we got home from the hospital.  I am always SO stir crazy by about day 3 anyway, that a simple walk to the store for a few things would be refreshing.

 

The more kids I have, and now that dh is home, though, food has gotten a lot harder.  Firstly, they just eat so much of it. :)  And, making anything, even super simple, seems to take me an hour, and I'm no slouch in the kitchen.  Sure, I can throw some stuff in the oven in 10 minutes or less with the best of them, but we get bored with the whole chicken, rice, carrots routine pretty quick.

 

So, my plan is to keep a bunch of raw food on hand for during the day.  I'll probably let the kids have cereal, unless I feel up to being in the kitchen.  If I am ready to get up that early, I can let dd make the oatmeal, but I'm not okay with her cooking on her own (she's 7).  Mostly, though, we are just going to eat fresh fruit and veggies all day.  I'll make muffins and cookies for the freezer we can pull out, too.  When dh gets home, he'll grill something from the cow we just bought, and I might cook some pasta or a quick veggie.  Or, we'll just eat more raw stuff.  Some days I might throw a hunk of meat into the crockpot and turn it into cheesesteaks or fajitas or the like.  But, mostly, we'll just do really simple and easy things.  It's better for us anyway.

post #12 of 64
Thread Starter 

MW said no stairs for a week unless I want my insides to fall out when I'm 50 LOL

 

allergies: eggs, dairy, sesame, tomato, grapes, and strawberries.

 

I was thinking lots of raw stuff during the day too. DD is such a cow though she eats my sized meals...one snack to her can be like 2 apples and a pear!

 

Love the meal ideas with directions!

post #13 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdie View Post

Since this is my first, I'm not completely sure what to expect.  We have a grocery store nearby (within walking distance--at least at this stage).  Are short walks to the grocery store going to be a challenge PP?



This is my first also, so I don't *really* know what I'm talking about :)  A good friend of mine was out walking about 3 weeks after she had her baby.  She said she only tore a little, so I guess it wasn't too bad.  I would imagine for the first couple of weeks though, you'll want to take it easy.  I wouldn't plan on being able to walk to the grocery store to go shopping, right away. 

post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdie View Post

Since this is my first, I'm not completely sure what to expect.  We have a grocery store nearby (within walking distance--at least at this stage).  Are short walks to the grocery store going to be a challenge PP?


That totally depends on you and your body.  Not to mention the terrain.  We live on the top of a hill.  So while WF is only 2 blocks away, coming home with groceries (and kids) it's uphill and steep.  I'm not up to doing it right now (31 weeks), definitely not going to have the energy for a couple weeks pp.  I was also in labor with DS for 5 days, no way I could have managed it pp with him - I was too exhausted, and it took me months to recover (for unrelated reasons).  We also had a lot of BFing issues, so going out in public at all was extremely difficult, and I did it as little as possible until he was about 6 mos old and could go a couple hours between feedings.  Oh, and I also felt like my insides were gonna fall out for a couple weeks pp - you can look into the thread on belly binding for details on that. 

 

Like Just1More said though, she goes out right afterwards and needs to get out of the house.  It's totally dependent upon the person. 

 

Most doctors/MWs though recommend doing nothing "strenuous" for at least a week, some say 2.  Your body really needs to recover it's energy and blood.  If you had a severe blood loss it may take even longer - I had a friend who couldn't do anything until almost a month pp because of post-partum hemorrhage - even getting to the bathroom and back to bed was hazardous.  And most professionals will tell you to "take it easy" for 6 weeks pp, which (usually) means no exercising (running, weight lifting, etc. - walking is okay for most people), no sex, lots of sleep, etc. 

 

Around here I'm planning on observing the 4th trimester as much as possible.  That means 3 months of recovery and bonding time.  And this time around I'm asking people for help, because I cannot do it myself, like I tried with DS.  This is why all the planning ahead for food though. 

post #15 of 64
Thread Starter 

With DD we did not have stairs and I cooked dinner the next day! It was easy. Depends on the birth you have too. I had her drug free and it was an easy birth so I felt great. I know many women who get epidurals etc have a harder recovery. C-section obviously takes time to heal as well.

 

A new baby nurses like very 30 mins though and it's hard to plan anything and you are in SUCH a sleep haze you feel like you are high as a kite.

post #16 of 64

Lol. I'm not sure how all you super mamas manage to do pregnancy with other little ones around to care for, let alone what happens pp.  I just read some stuff about avoiding stairs for two weeks--we live in a 3rd-floor apartment, no elevator.  I guess I'll have to go really slowly.

post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdie View Post

Lol. I'm not sure how all you super mamas manage to do pregnancy with other little ones around to care for, let alone what happens pp.  I just read some stuff about avoiding stairs for two weeks--we live in a 3rd-floor apartment, no elevator.  I guess I'll have to go really slowly.




If you're in a 3rd floor walk-up, I'd definitely plan ahead.  You are NOT going to want to deal with those stairs the first few days (at minimum).  But really, if you've taken care of food issues and have someone else who can do things like take out the garbage and get the mail, staying housebound for a week or more isn't difficult to do.  Particularly if you can manage the "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing. 

post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

allergies: eggs, dairy, sesame, tomato, grapes, and strawberries.

 


My daughter is allergic to milk, eggs, peas, and peanuts. Do you want to the name of some commercial products that have worked for us? They can be found in the regular grocery store around here, not the speciality places.

 

I kind of see this thread as a reminder to mammas to take it easy on themselves in the days childbirth. 

post #19 of 64

I'm making a few soups for postpartum- freezing them flat in gallon size freezer bags. Also doing granola bars, energy bites (nuts, dried fruit), some baked things like scones and pumpkin bread.

A lot of these things like granola bars can be made and last a week or more in the fridge wrapped properly.

Having things on hand for fast go-to meals like granola, quick oats for oatmeal, bread and peanut butter, and lots of fruit- that's breakfast and snacks. A few canned soups or frozen soups, bread and lunch meat and some veg. like lettuce and cucumber is lunch, and a bunch of canned beans and lentils, rice, pasta, canned sauces, pickles, saurkraut, some frozen meats like sausage and ground beef- a lot of those can become super fast prep meals. One of our favorite meals is black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and salsa. Apart from chopping/roasting sweet potato, it takes like 5 minutes to prep. A lot of soups can be thrown together with a few very basic ingredients- canned tomatoes, beans, barley, stock, some random veggies. Pasta salad with veggies, noodle soups, spaghetti and tomato sauce, etc.

 

If you can stock up on multi purpose items that could turn into a number of meals and try to be creative about possible uses, you can get a lot out of nothing.

I'm mostly freezing snacky foods and treats/desserts- things i know i'll want desperately post partum, but won't be able to make myself.

 

Re: kind of birth- my first was a pretty straight-forward homebirth, and i felt like my guts were falling out the first few weeks. With my second I was feeling great 10 minutes after he was born, and continued to feel great for a few weeks until I got mastitis and started bleeding heavily again, and then decided I should go to bed for awhile!  It's tricky- some people feel great and never have issues, some feel great but should take it easy anyway... and then you have feeling terrible for weeks/months afterwards, low energy, mood swings, etc. It's a huge range. I feel safer planning ahead with the "I'm going to be too exhausted to move" possibility, JIC. Because if it happens and I don't plan ahead, we'll be eating Kraft Dinner for weeks. Bleh.

post #20 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdie View Post

Since this is my first, I'm not completely sure what to expect.  We have a grocery store nearby (within walking distance--at least at this stage).  Are short walks to the grocery store going to be a challenge PP?


With DD I walked out of the hospital with no problem, refused the wheelchair.  And I must've walked up the stairs to get to our apt. too, although I don't remember that.  However, about a week later I tried to go to the store and I regretted it.  :(  I didn't really have any adverse reaction or anything, I just got really sore.  I wouldn't do that again, for sure.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdie View Post

Lol. I'm not sure how all you super mamas manage to do pregnancy with other little ones around to care for, let alone what happens pp.  I just read some stuff about avoiding stairs for two weeks--we live in a 3rd-floor apartment, no elevator.  I guess I'll have to go really slowly.


We live on the "terrace level" so we have one flight of stairs.  I hadn't really thought about the stairs PP though.  I guess I won't be leaving the house for a while.

 

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