Eating well after baby: Tips for New DC Parents

The birth of a baby brings joy, love, and excitement, but it also comes with sleep disruption, stress, and emotional highs and lows. Whether it’s your first baby or not, the postpartum period is a time of adjustments, hormones, and interrupted sleep. Having the energy to prepare food during this time, even for the non-birthing parent, is difficult. And yet, eating well during this time is very important to help birthing moms heal and for both parents to have the energy to move through this major transition.

So, what is a new parent to do?

Here are 6 ways to get food in front of you during this crazy time that don’t involve ordering pizza or Chinese! Some ways take a bit of planning, while others do not. And don’t get me wrong, there’s no shame in pizza and Chinese being part of your postpartum eating plan if you like them, but here are some options that are healthier.

We have had many fortunes read in our house.

We have had many fortunes read in our house.

1.     Have friends bring you dinner.

 This is a great option, especially if you have friends that like to cook, although I wouldn’t turn down an offer to pick up food and bring it to your house either.:) There are websites for organizing meal deliveries with calendars for your friends and family to sign up for dates and meals ahead of time.

Meal train logo

Check out mealtrain, one of many options out there. Coordinating a meal schedule can be a great thing to include as part of a baby shower or done separately by a family member or close friend, even if they don’t live locally. This way the stress of who is bringing what when is taken out of the new parent’s hands, and you don’t end up eating 3 different people’s pasta dinners in a row.

2.     MOTH Meals on Wheels

If you live in Capitol Hill, like me, then you can sign up for MOTH Meals on Wheels through our neighborhood listserv, Moms on the Hill. This is a community organized program where neighbors sign up to bring meals to other new parents on the hill. If you are on MOTH, think about checking it out!

3.     Food delivery services like Galley

Galley food logo a local company in Washington DC

Healthy food can be delivered to you! Check out Galley. This company prepares fresh, chef made meals daily and delivers them to you. All you have to do is heat them up in the oven. They give you detailed instructions so you aren’t left wondering how best to do this either. Their delivery area includes most of Washington, DC, and you can easily check if you are in their service area on their website.

Charred Tomato Butter Steak meal as delivered by galley in Washington DC, inside of its container, with instructions and logo

Meals are prepared from scratch, and they place a priority on responsibly sourced and organic ingredients. Their menu changes daily, with several options for you to choose from. You can even order a kids packed lunch for the next day if you have older kids for whom you need to prepare lunches.

A dinner plate with chicken, barley salad, and zucchini noodles

My family has eaten Galley quite a few times since I discovered them last winter, and we have always enjoyed our meals from there. And as a side note, Galley hasn’t asked me to promote them, I just think this is a great option for eating well during busy times.

Close up picture of grilled corn salad on a plate

4.     Stock up on non-perishables before baby comes.

This probably works bests for snacks and very simple meals, but making sure you have some basic things you like in the house ahead of baby can keep you fed and happy. If the healthy snack options are right there, you are more likely to remember to eat them.

5.     Grocery delivery services like Instacart

Instacart logo, a grocery delivery service that serves the Washington DC area

These are great when you need some items you don’t have in the house. Sometimes you want to cook because you enjoy it. Sometimes you just need easy fresh food. Getting groceries delivered through something like Instacart or other delivery services can take one overwhelming step out of getting food, especially if you don’t have a friend or family member that you can send to the store to buy what you need.

Man holding a full instacart reusable bag, with produce in the background

6.     Make meals ahead of time and freeze them.

This is my favorite whole wheat biscuit recipe that my husband makes, and they freeze really well!

This is my favorite whole wheat biscuit recipe that my husband makes, and they freeze really well!

There are a lot of recipes that freeze well. If you have the time at the end of your pregnancy, cooking/baking some easy to freeze items will give you some great options right in your freezer.