22 Nourishing Make-Ahead Recipes for Postpartum

These postpartum recipes are full of ingredients that will nourish and replenish new mamas. Plus, you can make them all in advance so there will be plenty of nutritious food on hand when that little bundle of joy has all of your undivided attention.

22 Nourishing, Make-Ahead Postpartum Recipes

It’s no secret that once babies are born, all of our attention turns to them.  Mamas selflessly give themselves to this tiny new human being who is just trying to adjust to life outside of their mother’s womb. What is often overlooked is the fact that postpartum mamas need just as much special care and attention during this time as their new babes – both mentally and physically – and one of the best ways to do this is through healthy, nourishing food.

When thinking about the best postpartum foods for new mamas, there are a few overarching principles to remember that will both speed up recovery and provide the sustenance needed to get through what many affectionately refer to as the “fourth trimester”.

Things to Embrace When Eating for Postpartum

 Here are some general things for new mothers to embrace when eating in the first few weeks (or even months) after giving birth:

  • Warming foods such as cinnamon, ginger, steamy broths, tea, oatmeal and cooked grains
  • Animal products or other food items that are incredibly high in protein, best when slow-cooked
  • Collagen-rich foods or a collagen supplement
  • Foods rich in vitamins, omega-3’s and DHA
  • Foods that are COOKED and easy to digest
  • Carbs and salt from REAL food
  • High-quality dairy such as warm milk, soft goat cheese, and unsweetened whole milk yogurt
  • Plant- and seed-based oils such as avocado, olive, sesame, hemp and coconut oils

Things to Minimize When Eating for Postpartum

Here are some types of foods that will not necessarily provide optimal postpartum nourishment; however, they can still be enjoyed on occasion (you know I’m all about that balance!)

  • Salads and raw vegetables
  • Crunchy crackers and chips
  • Ice cream, sorbet or gelato
  • Sweetened yogurt
  • Processed oils such as canola and vegetable oil

Now let’s get on to the recipes and some of the star ingredients that make them postpartum powerhouses.

Make-Ahead Postpartum Recipes Featuring Nuts & Oats

Nuts and oats both offer huge benefits in the realm of postpartum nutrition. Nuts are high in healthy fats, protein and B vitamins, and have the added bonus that they can easily be consumed in their natural form. Oats are high in fiber, boost energy and help support milk production. They also help strengthen digestive organs, which are thrown for quite a loop during the birthing process.

Andy's Fairfield Granola | CaliGirlCooking.com
Andy’s Fairfield Granola

Curry Rosemary Roasted Mixed Nuts

Andy’s Fairfield Granola

Make-Ahead Freezer Oatmeal Cups

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

Easiest Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola Clusters

Make-Ahead High-Protein and Egg-Based Postpartum Recipes

Protein is incredibly important for postpartum, not only for filling up hungry mamas but for providing vital nutrients such as iron, B-vitamins and Vitamin A. Eggs are one of THE best foods to eat both during pregnancy and postpartum, as they provide healthy doses of choline, DHA, iodine and zinc. Foods rich in these types of nutrients speed up the healing process and also enrich breast milk.

Butternut Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese Spanish Tortilla | CaliGirlCooking.com
Butternut Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese Spanish Tortilla

Make-Ahead Breakfast Enchiladas

Butternut Squash, Bacon and Goat Cheese Spanish Tortilla

Healthier Chicken Pot Pie Pockets

Pumpkin Curry Hummus

Dad’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Chili

Easy Double Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry

Healthy Shrimp and Poblano Enchilada Bake

One-Pan Bison Meatballs

Make-Ahead Postpartum Recipes Featuring Cooked Veggies

Cooking vegetables before consuming them makes them easier to digest while still providing new moms with essential vitamins and nutrients. The idea is to help your digestive organs recover from giving birth by minimizing the amount of work they have to do to get all of the nutrients out of the food you’re eating.

This Warming Minestrone Soup is the perfect healthy, cold-weather meal. It comes together quickly and is kid-friendly!
Warming Minestrone Soup

Super Simple Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

Super-Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup

Warming Minestrone Soup

Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup”

A Hydrating and Mineral-Rich Postpartum Drink Recipe

If labor doesn’t cause you to want to drink everything under the sun to stay hydrated, breastfeeding sure will. It is incredibly important to be drinking plenty of fluids starting early on in pregnancy, and continuing to do so through the birthing process, postpartum and beyond. And it sometimes takes more than just water. Jazz up your beverages with things like coconut water and sea salt to get extra electrolytes and keep you extra-hydrated while your body grows, gives birth to and nourishes another human being.

This Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink comes together with just a few simple ingredients and is way better than any store-bought sports drink!

Homemade Citrus Electrolyte Drink

Filling and Healthy Sweet Treats That are Perfect for Postpartum

If you’ve ever experienced being a new mom yourself, then you know the insatiable hunger that hits you as soon as you give birth. Aside from the hunger, you’ll also likely be craving some sweets to give you an extra dose of energy while you’re navigating life (and trying to get any sleep you can) with your new little one. Here are a couple of healthy yet filling treats you can have on hand when the craving strikes!

5-Ingredient Indulgent Date Bites

5-Ingredient Indulgent Date Bites

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars

By taking a day (or even just a few hours) to prepare some of these delicious and nourishing recipes for your “fourth trimester,” you’ll set yourself up for not only a speedy recovery but to also be in the perfect mental and physical state to bring this new human into your life.

I’d love to hear of any favorite postpartum recipes you rely on in the comments below!

Over 70 Pantry Recipes You Can Make This Week

Here are over 70 recipes you can make using common pantry and freezer ingredients this week. Perfect for when you can’t find what you need at the grocery store (or get there in the first place!)

Whether you’ve stocked your pantry or freezer thanks to a natural disaster, global pandemic or to just plain be prepared for ANY unforeseen event, there are tons of ways you can put your ingredients to good use without getting bored. Here are over 70 of my favorite recipes (from CaliGirl Cooking and beyond) that will help you get creative in the kitchen when you have limited supplies to work with.

Breakfast

A cooling rack of freshly baked Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Cups.

The Easiest Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups (CaliGirl Cooking)

Weekend Hazelnut Sticky Buns with Date Caramel (CaliGirl Cooking)

Weekday Festive Funfetti Pancakes (CaliGirl Cooking)

Andy’s Fairfield Granola (CaliGirl Cooking)

Eggs in Purgatory (Pina Bresciani)

PB&J Quinoa Bowl (CaliGirl Cooking)

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote (CaliGirl Cooking)

Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal (CaliGirl Cooking)

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies (CaliGirl Cooking)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats (Let’s Eat Cake)

Make-Ahead Freezer Oatmeal Cups with Maple and Brown Sugar (CaliGirl Cooking)

Chai Chia Oatmeal (CaliGirl Cooking)

Chunky Monkey Cinnamon Rolls (CaliGirl Cooking)

Easy Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Muffins (CaliGirl Cooking)

Matcha Macadamia Latte (CaliGirl Cooking)

Bread

A plate of freshly baked hot cross buns with icing.

Hot Cross Buns (CaliGirl Cooking)

Chocolate Cherry Bread (CaliGirl Cooking)

Buttery Soft Pretzel Bites (Gimme Some Oven)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread (CaliGirl Cooking)

Pumpkin Popovers (CaliGirl Cooking)

Soups

A pot of warming minestrone soup surrounded by a wooden spoon and chunk of Parmesan cheese.

Warming Minestrone Soup (CaliGirl Cooking)

French Onion Soup (CaliGirl Cooking)

20-Minute Tomato Soup (Gimme Some Oven)

Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (CaliGirl Cooking)

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup (Seasonal Cravings)

Caramelized Leek and Parsnip Soup with Mushrooms and Crispy Prosciutto (CaliGirl Cooking)

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili (Lemons and Zest)

Pasta

A bowl of cashew shrimp with chopsticks.

Cashew Shrimp (CaliGirl Cooking)

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Baby Broccoli (Entertaining with Beth)

Easy Pasta Sauce Recipe (The Foreign Fork)

Super Quick Mexican Baked Penne (Erica’s Recipes)

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes (Gimme Some Oven)

Other Mains (Casseroles and More!)

A serving dish of Spicy Beet Poke and an individual bowl of the poke with chopsticks.

Spicy Beet Poke (CaliGirl Cooking)

Mexican Beef and Rice Casserole (Savory Experiments)

Quick-and-Easy Tuna Salad Sandwiches (CaliGirl Cooking)

The BEST Falafel Recipe (Gimme Some Oven)

Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken (CaliGirl Cooking)

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bowls (Spoonful of Flavor)

Bruschetta, White Bean and Pancetta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (CaliGirl Cooking)

Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole (Small Farm Big Life)

Southern Salmon Croquettes (Grandbaby Cakes)

Side Dishes

A bowl of Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad surrounded by a green linen napkin and fresh cranberries.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs (CaliGirl Cooking)

Smoky Slow Cooker Baked Beans (This Healthy Kitchen)

Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans (CaliGirl Cooking)

Socca Flatbreads (Emma Eats & Explores)

Snacks

A freshly cut batch of Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars.

Chocolate Chip Sunflower Seed Butter Protein Bars (CaliGirl Cooking)

All-Dressed Party Mix (CaliGirl Cooking)

5-Minute Pumpkin Curry Hummus (CaliGirl Cooking)

“Nooch” (Nutritional Yeast) Popcorn (Gimme Some Oven)

Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters (CaliGirl Cooking)

Spiced Rosemary Bar Nuts (CaliGirl Cooking)

No-Bake Energy Bites (Salt & Baker)

Homemade Whole Wheat Crackers – Two Ways! (CaliGirl Cooking)

Curry Rosemary Roasted Mixed Nuts (CaliGirl Cooking)

Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates (CaliGirl Cooking)

Miso Furikake Hummus (CaliGirl Cooking)

Condiments

A dish of freshly made Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Spread.

The Easiest Three-Ingredient Calabrian Chili Sauce (CaliGirl Cooking)

Homemade BBQ Sauce (Gimme Some Oven)

Stupid Simple Two-Ingredient Shallot Oil (CaliGirl Cooking)

The BEST Enchilada Sauce! (Gimme Some Oven)

Desserts

A stack of three Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars.

Easy No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (CaliGirl Cooking)

5-Ingredient Indulgent Date Bites (CaliGirl Cooking)

Vegan Black Bean Brownies (Baked by Clo)

Tahini Blondies with Whiskey Date Caramel and Sea Salt (CaliGirl Cooking)

Dreamy Chocolate Lava Cakes (Gimme Some Oven)

Chocolate, Coconut and Butterscotch “Grutch” Bars (CaliGirl Cooking)

Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Fit Foodie Finds)

Butterscotch Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Bourbon Glaze (CaliGirl Cooking)

5-Ingredient Lemon Bars (Gimme Some Oven)

For a frequently updated list of pantry recipes including these ones and many more, check out my Pantry Recipes Pinterest board!

 

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms

These five meal planning tips are easy to implement and will save busy moms hours in the kitchen each week. Start using them today and make mealtimes stress-free and enjoyable for the entire family.

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms
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I’m the first to admit that meal planning doesn’t always come easy, but in my experience as a meal planning consultant and baby and toddler feeding expert, I can confidently say that I’ve uncovered the best hacks for making meal planning just a little bit more manageable, especially for us busy moms who NEVER seem to have enough hours in the day.

5 Easy Meal Planning Tips for Busy Moms

Here are my top five meal planning tips for busy moms that you can implement today to save not only hours in the kitchen each week, but your sanity and peace of mind.

#1. USE PINTEREST TO GET ORGANIZED

If you’re one of the millions of mamas who mindlessly scrolls through Pinterest at least a few times a week, chances are you’ve already got a board or two devoted to your favorite recipe pins. So, put them to use!

Create three to four new boards on Pinterest and label them something like this: Meal Plan – Breakfast, Meal Plan – Lunch, Meal Plan – Dinner, Meal Plan – Snacks. To see an example of how this is done, check out my own personal meal plan Pinterest boards I’ve made here.

Next, go through all of the pins you’ve already saved to other boards, and re-pin those that you would realistically make on a regular basis to the appropriate Meal Plan board. Now, when you’re putting together a meal plan each week, you’ll have all of your recipes in one place for easy scrolling and selecting.

#2. SCHEDULE IT IN

Much like other menial tasks, meal planning can easily get pushed off for better, more exciting things. However, none of us can survive without eating, so us busy moms need to make meal planning a priority. That’s where physically scheduling in time to meal plan is essential. Whether you use a scheduling app, your Google calendar or a pen-and-paper planner, block off at least 30 minutes a week to devote to meal planning.  There are 168 hours in the week, so setting aside such a tiny portion of that will be completely worth it for all of the time you will save later on!

A busy mom working on her family meal plan for the week.

#3. IF YOU’RE COOKING ANYWAY, MAKE EXTRA

Whenever you’re whipping something up in the kitchen, take a moment to think if there’s any way you can make a little extra to save for later. Have a recipe that feeds six yet only have a family of three? Make the whole thing anyway and save the rest for another meal! Cooking some vegetables to throw into a salad? Cook some extra while you’re at it and use it in your kids’ lunches throughout the week. When you’re already taking time out of your day to prepare food, it will take much less time to make a little extra for later at the same time than it will for you to have a whole other cooking sesh later on.

#4. THE FREEZER IS YOUR MEAL PLANNING BFF

This simple meal planning hack is the one I have taken the most advantage of since becoming a mom, and it goes right along with the “making extra” tip mentioned above. Utilize your freezer!! When you make extra of something, freeze it up. If you have an hour or two on the weekend to meal prep some healthy snacks for your little one(s), freeze them for easy access throughout the busy week. Use resealable glass containers, Mason jars and/or Ziploc bags for freezer-friendly storage, and label them using blue painters’ tape and a Sharpie. It’s the best way to keep things organized!

Finally, if you don’t already have it, be sure to grab my Freezer Meal Cheat Sheet – part of my Ultimate Meal Planning Toolkit – to keep track of everything you’ve stashed and whatever you need to reheat and serve it when you’re ready.

A toddler helping her mom meal prep some healthy snacks.

#5. ORGANIZE YOUR SHOPPING LIST

Taking multiple trips to the grocery store – or running all over the store in one trip to grab everything you need – can be THE biggest time-suck. But it doesn’t have to be! Once you start devoting at least 30 minutes a week to meal planning, you’ll be able to make one big shopping list that should get you through most of the week. On top of that, if you organize your shopping list by section of the grocery store, you’ll be able to be the most efficient on this one trip, without bouncing back and forth from produce to dairy to meat to produce, etc. To grab your very own organized shopping list template, click here.

The goal of this tip is twofold, to (1) minimize the total number of times you’re having to go to the grocery store each week – something that takes at least 30 minutes per trip even if you’re just going for one item – and (2) to maximize your efficiency on that one trip.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle some of these meal planning tips? If you give them a shot, I’d love to hear how they worked for you in the comments below.

If you still feel overwhelmed – that you still can’t fit these tips into your busy schedule, that you don’t even know where to start in the kitchen, or that you just plain don’t want to think about it – be sure to check out my personalized meal planning services, where I do all of this work for you 😉

Here’s to healthy, happy and stress-free cooking for all you busy mamas out there!