With the birth week theme of this week, I thought I’d focus the Foodie Friday column on foods that are great for new moms to have in the hospital or in the house once they (and babies) come home. I think this is especially key if you are breastfeeding, because you will soon find that you can out-eat any teenage boy you know—even the varsity sport playing teenage boy. It’s stunning.
Lesson #1: Food in the hospital is terrible. Really awful. You haven’t eaten for two days, what with hours of labor and a c section (they made me wait about 15 hours after my c section to eat solid foods), and there on your tray is this “mushroom ravioli” which consists of two cold ravioli, covered with canned mushrooms. Seriously, it was awful. Happily, our hospital is within spitting distance of a Whole Foods, where my husband would often make emergency food runs. The best thing someone brought me in the hospital? A chocolate milkshake from Friendly’s. It was so, so good. However, although the food in the hosital was horrible, they did have a coffee & cookie cart that came around every afternoon around 2-3pm. It was fantastic–five kinds of cookies to choose from, or coffee, tea or hot cocoa. For a mom who had been up for days, a bit of sugar and caffeine at 3pm was just what the doctor ordered. I really missed the cookie cart when I got home.
Lesson #2: Breastfeeding moms, as I mentioned before, can eat a TON of food. I always craved sweet stuff. Chocolate chip cookies were a staple in our house those first few weeks. Juice, which I almost never drink, was suddenly so, so tasty. Remember, even if you’re not breastfeeding, you’re awake A LOT. Which means, you get hungry.
Lesson #3: Food you have on hand should require little prep—can it be eaten cold? That’s the best!—and hopefully eaten with one hand. Often, your other hand will be busy. Often, you have one bite and come back to it 10 minutes later. Most foods do not survive six re-heatings in the microwave in a tasty manner. Some of the best foods to have on hand were cookies (see above–yum), a big fruit salad, pasta salad and easy snacks like cheese and crackers. A friend made us some granola, with nuts and coconut—so good! This also is a easy but filling food for new moms. We still make a fresh batch of home-made granola every couple of weeks.
What did others find were the best foods to have on hand those first few weeks home? Share your ideas!