Energy-Smart Nutrition for New Moms

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The concept of “eating for two” has always been associated with pregnancy, but you shouldn’t stop eating for three (or more!) as soon as your children are born, especially if you’re nursing. What a new mom eats can have a direct effect on her babies’ health, so it’s important to be aware of what foods and drinks you’re putting into your body and to make sure you’re getting enough calories and calcium for everyone.

Additionally, new moms who follow healthy, balanced post-baby diets will likely be more energized and better-equipped to handle the stresses of newborns, no matter how many you have! To keep yourself and your new children healthy as you head into post-pregnancy life, use the following guidelines to get an idea of what nutritional choices are best for new moms—and their new multiples!

General Guidelines:

New nursing moms should still be eating more calories than they just need for themselves and should focus on getting a lot of low-fat calcium. Avoid spicy foods like chilies and peppers and stick to foods that are easy to digest. Eat nutrient-rich meals and snacks at regular intervals to keep your energy up; you’ll need a lot of it if you’re dealing with multiples!

Protein

One of the best ways to keep your energy up as a new mom is to make sure you’re getting lots and lots of good-for-you proteins. Lean chicken and salmon are two great ways to consume this protein; salmon is especially high in good fats and can assist with brain function, but be careful not to eat too much of it since it’s high in mercury. Aside from meat, eggs are also high in protein. Tempeh, tofu and beans are good vegetarian and vegan food options.

Whole grains

Whole grains provide folic acid, a nutrient crucial in newborn development. Aside from that, whole grains are wonderful sources of fiber and iron. Make a bowl of oatmeal, use whole grain bread for sandwiches and choose whole grain pasta options to make sure you’re getting a good dose.

Calcium

New moms need more calcium than most women, so make sure you’re filling your body with good-for-you calcium sources. Low-fat yogurts, skim milk and low-fat cheeses are easy to work into quick and easy meals and snacks; add some fruit to your yogurts for an extra serving of nutrients.

Fruits and Veggies

Getting plenty of vitamins and antioxidants as a new mom is crucial for a healthy diet and will assist with your babies’ healthy development, too. Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and oranges are a great source of vitamin C for nursing women who need extra quantities. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are also good antioxidants and provide a host of other vitamins new moms need.

Drinks

Although you may feel like you need a constant stream of espresso with newborns, going overboard on the caffeine isn’t a good idea. A cup of coffee is fine, but drinking one every five minutes will backfire when you when you crash later on. Keep the caffeine to a minimum and instead energize with some of the foods mentioned above.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Lightlife®. For high-protein products and vegetarian recipes for new moms on a vegetarian diet, visit www.lightlife.com.

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Cooking for a Crowd: Easy Meals for Feeding Multiples

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Categories Feeding, Feeding Older Children4 Comments

Every parent with more than one child has experienced the frustration of making sure things are fair and equal, and this pressure can be especially amplified at mealtime. From the number of meatballs on top of spaghetti to the closeness of the peas to the chicken breast, nobody notices minute differences between dinner plate quite like kids. And of course, parents of multiples will probably feel the mealtime-fairness pressure more than anyone!

Cooking can be overwhelming in itself, but cooking for kids can be even more of a challenge. The following make great go-to meals for parents of multiples, no matter what size brood you’re feeding. Not only do they all allow everyone to easily get his or her fair share at dinner time, but they’re perfect for making in big batches when you’ve got multiple hungry mouths to feed! Try out the following lunch and dinner ideas to eliminate one less stress at the dinner table.

Melts

Making individual sandwiches, subs or pita pockets for all of your multiples can be repetitive and time consuming. Instead of customizing personalized cold cuts, try melts instead. Simply place pitas, English muffins or slices of bread on a baking sheet, top with slices of tuna salad, chicken salad or turkey and stick a slice of cheese on everything. Stick the tray in the oven for a few minutes and you’ll have a tray full of open faced melts ready for everyone at the same time.

Assembly Lines

Avoid the argument of “she got more than I did” by having your kids serve themselves instead of having you divvy up portions. Create an assembly line on your kitchen counter and have everyone build his or her own plates. This method works well for meals like tacos and baked potatoes—plus, it will reduce cleanup for you.

Sliceable Options

One of the easiest ways to feed a large group at once is to choose meals that can be easily sliced and diced. French bread pizzas and flatbreads are easy dinners that can be stuck in the oven and cut into a large number of strips or slices at mealtime. Quesadillas are another good option; make a few big ones and then simply cut them into as many triangles as you need.

One-Pot Meals

When it comes to feeding a crowd, one-pot meals are a parent’s best friend. There are hundreds of dishes that can be cooked up in one big, mess-free pot, and it’s incredibly easy to double, triple or even quadruple these types of recipes—just get yourself a bigger pot! Look for pasta recipes, easy chili recipes and comforting casserole bakes; they’re perfect for feeding big families.

This list is a good starting point for moms looking to cook easy meals for their kids, but it certainly isn’t exhaustive! What are your favorite meals for feeding your multiples?

 

This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of ReadySetEat. To explore easy recipes for dinner, visit www.readyseteat.com.

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