What Mom’s Eat – A series of recipes for new moms and other busy folks trying to eat healthy without a lot of effort.
When the luxury of meals being brought to your doorstep ends and reality sets in that you still need to eat and the sweet baby you are smitten with needs you more than you ever imagined, I started asking around to other moms, ‘What do you eat and how do you find time to prepare it?’ The biggest shock to me as a new mom was that when people said they hardly had time to eat as a mom, that it was actually true. You see, I eat 3 meals a day (at least!) and can’t imagine forgetting or skipping a meal. I look forward to each meal and before one ends I’m already planning the next one (scary confession). So, when other moms had told me that they had trouble eating as a new mom I couldn’t imagine the circumstance. In case you are like me and can’t imagine this, let me paint you a picture…
My dog Henry is whining at the back door needing to be fed and let out to the bathroom, my sweet baby whom I’m madly in love with, needs me to help cox him into a nap, but my stomach is angrily growling since I woke up to the baby needing to be fed and somehow haven’t found a chance to have breakfast or lunch and it’s 1pm. I’m starving and will pretty much eat anything at this point and I seemingly only have a few options – mindlessly eat whatever you can find until your stomach feels mildly content (probably spoonfuls of peanut butter in my case) or stuff down some processed semi-healthy snack like a granola bar or handfuls of cereal.
This is when I started asking around… What and How Do Mom’s Eat?!
I’ve gathered ideas from close friends and done a little bit of casual interviewing to find out not only what mom’s eat but also the surprises of motherhood. What I ended up with are less like a series of recipes but more like a group of ideas and stories from mamas whom I’d admire. You’ll even see a little multi-cultural twist as I included a few moms from other countries. I’m so excited to share it all with you!! And for those who aren’t new mom’s and are still reading, I hope you find these quick and healthy food ideas helpful for when you’re in a rush or don’t have a lot of hands-on time to make something. I think these ideas will also be great for students, the working crowd, families in the back-to-school craze, and even those who just need a break from more complex recipes.
I’m asking each mom to share what they enjoy most about being a new mom and what surprised them most so I’ll start things off with a little more of my story, plus my ‘new mom recipe idea’- Open Faced Sandwiches!
What I am enjoying most about being a mom: Everett’s smiles and giggles… expecially when I know they are pointed in my direction! Morning time is especially sweet for joyful smiles and silly noises from little 3.5 month old Everett. His yawn is also so adorable that I just want to bottle it up.
What has surprised me most: My biggest surprise was not being able to cook something for myself for breakfast or lunch (hence this series came to be). When other mom’s told me they had trouble finding time to eat, I couldn’t fathom it. In my head I though, well I’ll be home all day and will have so much more time to cook up something delicious – I was SO wrong. Everett needs more of me that I could have thought, which I LOVE, but I also had to figure out what to eat while holding him in my arms.
My New Mom Recipe: I’ve mastered the open-faced sandwich during my first 3 months of motherhood!! Start with a slice of hearty whole grain bread (I love the ones with lots of nuts and seeds) then top it with a combination of a few things: fruit, veggies, nuts, cheese etc. I plan ahead by making hummus or pesto and roasting vegetables at the beginning of the week. Here are few of my favorite combos:
Hummus and Roasted Veggies (pictured above is edamame hummus and roasted beets topped with hazelnuts)
Goat Cheese with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar
Peanut Butter Banana and Honey
And some more options:
Ricotta with Fruit and Honey
Crushed Avocado with Salt and Pepper
Pesto with Fresh Sliced Tomato
Many moms have told me the key to eating well is preparing ahead, taking advantage of nap times, and having a plan.
Here are a few more tips from my mom friends:
• make big batches of everything so you can have extra for lunches or to freeze – Beth S
• chop veggies during nap time then you’re hands are more free to pick up the baby while you cook a meal – Beck M
• have fresh fruit and veggies, or whole grain crackers and cheese around that are easy to get to. Also, crock pot soups are great. Then you can divide them up into jars for lunches. – Beth T
• freeze batches of your smoothie mixture (spinach, banana etc) then add milk or yogurt when you put it into the blender. – Suzanne C
• eat a green smoothie every day and a veggie with dinner. – Jenny H
• make a plan at the beginning of the week or you’ll end up caving to take out most nights. Crock pots and rice cookers are life savers. -Katie K
• try a mason jar salad or steel cut oats for breakfast. – Susan P
• have something pre-made for the early morning like zucchini bread, which can tide you over until you can eat something more substantial. – Josie D
• a fried egg with avocado and cheese makes for an easy breakfast – Hannah C
• hummus is great to have around as a snack with crackers and turkey sandwiches are a lunch staple. -Lindsay S
Feel free to add your ideas in the comments section!! And come back every week for the next four or so weeks for new quick meal ideas in this series of posts.