Meal Planning Tips for Busy Mothers

New moms are busy, and finding time to fit in nourishing meals can be a challenge. There are so many reasons to not eat or to not eat well: I'm too tired to prepare a healthy meal, my to-do list is huge and more important, or because sometimes I'd rather fall into an IG hole.

In times like this, I rely on one simple analogy. You know the pre-flight instructions that you hear when you’re on the plane waiting for take-off? When the attendants get to the part about the oxygen mask, they always warn parents that if the oxygen masks drop, you must apply yours before attending to your child.

It’s that simple – the mother needs to have oxygen to help the child. It's the same with food. If a mother isn’t feeding herself energizing, healthy foods then her body may struggle to produce milk for her baby. While this may not be a problem at first, it might catch up on mom sooner than she thinks, and her milk supply could decrease as a result.

As a general rule, I try to take advantage of every single second of nap-time by prioritizing and nourishing my body with a healthy meal. But as every mother knows, naps aren’t always as long as we like them to be, so preparing my meal needs to be fast and easy.

Over the past six months, I’ve developed a few time-saving tricks to make sure that even on the craziest days I’m able to stay fuelled and energized.

IMG_8381.JPG

PLAN AHEAD

I find that one of the easiest ways to make sure I eat healthy, nutritious meals every day is to make a meal plan and post it on the fridge. I draft out what we’re eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks so I know what to cook when I have limited time to prepare a meal.

It doesn't have to be complicated or elaborate, either. Like oatmeal for breakfast? Have it everyday like me! Making soup for dinner? Make enough so it can be lunch the next day.

STOCK UP

Keep the fridge and pantry full of healthy, lactogenic foods. Lactogenic foods are foods that help increase breast milk production. This way, when you feel the urge to munch, what you're reaching for is healthy and nourishing and increases breast milk production.

My favourite foods to keep on hand? Bananas, yams, avocados, strawberries, spinach and kale, sunflower seeds, dates, tahini, oats, rice, raw almonds and cashew butter.

PREP

At the beginning of the week, I like to pre-roast a bunch of vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash), make a large pot of whole grains (rice or quinoa) and prepare a few sauces to store in the fridge. The vegetables and grains act as a base for a really delicious and easy-to-prepare lunch that I can throw together in a few minutes.

One of my favourite sauces to make is my Easy Tahini Sauce. I mix this in with a variety of different veggies and grains, without having to overthink the meal.