When you’re a new mom, the cooking game definitely changes.
Those gourmet meals you cooked for you and your husband pre-pregnancy? Gone. Not forever, but at least until you have enough time to eat, sleep, and shower in the same day.
When I first became a mom, I definitely struggled putting meals on the table. I would buy a ton of healthy ingredients with every intention of making a killer meal, but when it came to dinner time, I just didn’t have the energy. This resulted in lots of fast food and very little postpartum weight loss.
In my opinion, meal planning as a new mom is a matter of survival. You reduce those pointless runs to grocery store, avoid sticky fast food situations, and ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs to cope with a little one. Whether you’re a meal planning beginner or you’re simply meal planning as a new mom, the tips below have made my life easier. I hope that they do the same for you!
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*NOTE* Just so you all know, my favorite meal planning resources is on sale. It’s called the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle and it includes over a thousand recipes, 30 meal plans, and a dozen meal planning ebooks, printables, and tutorials. It’s currently on sale for only $49! If you want to know more, you can check out my post, The Best Meal Plan for New Busy New Moms, or you can visit the Ultimate Bundles website here.
5 Secrets for Effectively Meal Planning as a New Mom
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions.
1 Don’t Skimp Out on Breakfast
If you’re meal planning as a busy mom, it’s absolutely crucial to add a healthy breakfast into your day. Breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and gives you the nutrients to keep you energized until your next meal.
If your mornings are too crazy and hectic, do yourself a favor and prep you breakfast the night before or even a couple days in advance.
Some of my favorite breakfast gotos are:
- Pre-made breakfast burritos
- Overnight Oats (If you’re a breastfeeding mom, here’s a few lactation-friendly recipes)
- Sausage and Egg Muffins
- Pre-made granola bars
2 Meal Plan Weekly or (Better Yet) Monthly
Planning weekly ensures that no surprise trips to Micky D’s happen. If you’re new to meal planning in general, it might be best to stick with weekly calendars. Once you get the hang of it, meal planning monthly can save you a lot of time and money. It allows you to buy your ingredients in bulk and coordinate ingredient preparation.
When you’re meal planning as a new mom, a meal planning calendar or checklist is a must!
If you don’t already own a meal planning calendar, Real Plans is an awesome app for beginners. Basically, you import your meal plan and recipes (or create your own). Then, you schedule your meals with the app calendar. All of the ingredients needed for those recipes are uploaded automatically to your grocery list. So, basically, everything you need to prep your entire week is in one app!
3 Prepare Your Meals Once a Week
This is also known as batch cooking. What if I told you that you could prepare all of your meals in just a couple hours and be DONE with cooking for the rest of the week? Can you imagine how convenient that would be? How much time you’d save?
Batch cooking allows you to knock out all of your time-consuming ingredient preparations at once, such as rice, proteins, sauces, chopped veggies, etc. You can either prepare the entire meal and freeze it, or if store the ingredients in airtight containers.
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4 To Save Time and Money, Stock Up on Freezer Meals and Soups
The same freezer meals that got you through that first six week postpartum will actually get you through the next eighteen years of your kid’s life. Freezer meals take the place of McDonalds on those crazy nights when you have to deal with a sick toddler. Ideally, you should have two stocked at any given point.
If your brain is running a little dry on creativity right now, check out my post, 15 Freezer Meals for Busy New Moms. These freezer meals seriously saved me in the first few months of motherhood (and let’s face it…they still save me…)
5 Keep a Salad on Stand-by
Salads are the perfect side dish or on-the-go lunch for the dieting mama. When you take the time to prepare your salads ahead of time you are much more likely to eat it! Plus, if preserved correctly, a salad can keep for most of the week!
Next meal prep day, chop your salad and save it in an airtight container. Prep and store your healthy add-ons and you’re good for the week!
My favorite ingredients to prep beforehand for salads are:
- The lettuce/argula/spinach etc. – Stored in its own container, with a papertowel in the bottom.
- Roasted chicken – I like to make a couple flavors to add variety to the week.
- NOT TOMATOES- I know some food bloggers swear by prepping tomotoes beforehand but I hate how mushy it makes them
- Candied Pecans (Not exactly healthy, but here’s my favorite candied pecans recipe).
But Remember to Be Flexible
The final component to meal planning as a new mom is flexibility. Some days, you’re not going to be in the mood for Tuesday’s Taco Salad. Or maybe your husband is having an irresistible craving for Pizza Hut.
I like to add two flex days into my meal planning calendar so I can expect these days, and simply scoot the rest of the meals around.
The point is, most of your week is accounted for, removing most of the guesswork from cooking. I hope these meal planning tips for new moms were helpful! If you have any you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments below.
In the meantime, we have several posts for new moms that I think you’ll like!
I love giving new and expecting moms the tips they need to rock their pregnancy and raise their babies confidently.