Food Strategies Every New Mom Should Know

When focusing on the new baby's meals, we sometimes forget about our own. Stay fed and energized with these food strategies from Food Network.

Photo By: Family Veldman ©Family Veldman

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Timolina ©Timolina

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Todd Patterson

Meal Tips for New Parents

Motherhood is a crazy ride — especially the first year. Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and family — a home-cooked meal delivered to your door goes a lot further than another onesie. During those early long days (and nights!) the stresses of caring for a new baby can add up, leaving you feeling depleted. It’s vital for new moms to nourish themselves and recharge with these meal ideas and tips.

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By Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen

Say Hello to Old Favorites

Nine months is a long time to go without cold cuts, hot dogs and your favorite unpasteurized cheese, if you avoided them during pregnancy. Now that you're in the clear, treat yourself to old standbys — they'll hit the spot and make for quick meals when you're pressed for time.

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Cook and Freeze

When you find the inspiration (and time) to cook, do it in big batches, then freeze what you won’t use into dinner-size portions. Opt for items that are easy to defrost in the microwave. Think chili, meatballs, tomato ragout, pancakes, waffles and our Chicken Soup 3 Ways, which has stir-in options for all the additional nutrients a new mom needs, including protein, iron and zinc.

: Chicken Soup 3 Ways

Have Breakfast for Dinner

There'll be nights you won’t find a free moment to eat until the wee hours of the morning anyway, so why not give in and have breakfast for dinner? You can still get plenty of whole grains and lean protein from whole-wheat toast and eggs, and they're ready in minutes.

Taco It

Staring at a fridge full of leftovers can feel uninspiring even in the best of times. Don't try to get overly creative on just two hours of sleep. Instead, microwave a stack of tortillas and assemble a small taco bar. Leftover lunchmeat, veggies, beans or grains can be given new life when topped with a dollop of sour cream and some salsa.

Photo courtesy of Timolina via iStock

Start a Soup Swap

Cook and divide large batches of soup into separate containers, then swap with other new moms. Weekly meetups or Mommy and Me groups are great places to find other interested families.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Soup 3 Ways

Stockpile Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit

Sure, any of these is great as a quick snack, but you can also use them to dress up simple greens or add to a bowl of yogurt for a meal that feels refreshingly adult. Our Power Snack Mix is perfect eaten by the hurried handful or sprinkled on just about anything.

: Power Snack Mix

Make a Smoothie

It's easy to miss out on fruits and veggies when you're in the trenches. Buy prewashed greens and fresh fruit, and keep them portioned in the fridge for easy blending. Smoothies are a great way to get greens back into your life without taking the time to prepare them at each meal.

Order Extra Takeout

There's no shame in ordering delivery or takeout to preserve precious time. Make the most of it and order a little extra when you do — chances are, you'll be glad to have the leftovers for lunch the following day.