sample postpartum meal plan

If you’re anything like me, it’s exhausting having to come up with what’s for dinner, every day, for the rest of your life . . . even without a baby around! Meal planning takes time, so I like to frontload it to a single day before grocery shopping. Then all I have to do is follow the list for that day.

This plan has lots of dishes if you prefer to eat a different thing almost every day, otherwise choose your favorites and eat just a few in big batches for simpler grocery lists. I can make do with three dinner and lunch options, and an every other day breakfast option, but know some people need more variety.

This plan does hinge on the use of a freezer stocked prenatally with make ahead items, marked here with a star. The prep column lets you know when to pull out a meal to defrost in the fridge, and when to make rice. The snacks and breakfast can easily be made fresh every day, but some prepping could yield a big vat made once a week. I use a small rice cooker for my congee, so it makes sense for me to keep making fresh rice. Do what works for you – this is just a sample to get you going!

Keep an eye on this in the coming weeks to see recipes and guidelines get linked below.

daybreakfastsnacklunchsnackdinnerprep
sunoatmeal*hearty broth*iron tonic borscht*lactation cookie + tea*kabocha and lentil soupbake cookies in AM
moncongee, savoryapple sauce*seaweed soupdried fruit*vegetable coconut milk soupmake double batch rice
tuescongee, sweetspiced hot cocoa*kabocha and lentil soupcheese plate*seaweed soupdefrost fruit compote for week (4 meals)
wedoatmealavocado chocolate mousseyellow curryapples and nut butter*burritoslice apples in AM; make double batch rice
thurscongee, savory*fruit compotefried rice*lactation cookie + kefir*iron tonic borschtmake double batch rice
fricongee, sweet*chia seed pudding*vegetable coconut milk soupdried fruityellow currydefrost borscht, kabocha soup, broth; make double batch rice
satoatmealapple sauce*burritoapples and nut butterfried rice OR cheese plateslice apples in AM, defrost seaweed soup, vegetable coconut soup
a sample plan

breakfasts

  • oatmeal with compote
  • savory congee
  • sweet congee

snacks

the morning snacks are warmer and softer, and the afternoon snacks are heartier. mix it up to what you need for the time of day or time of postpartum, and if you need a third round of snacks (nursing is no joke for your appetite!) stock up appropriately. Fresh fruit isn’t listed here, but having easy to eat fruit on hand like bananas, tangerines, carrots, and pre-sliced favorites is always a good call.

warm and soft

hearty

  • lactation cookies + tea of choice
  • dried fruit of choice + tea
  • cheese plate
  • sliced apples with nut butter and raisins
  • lactation cookie + kefir

lunches and dinners

  • iron tonic borscht – if vegetarian, add lentils, extra liquid, and double the kidney beans
  • seaweed soup with rice and kimchi
  • kabocha and red lentil soup from first forty days, add chopped market roast chicken if desired
  • yellow curry over rice or quinoa
  • fried rice with whatever vegetables and meat you have in the fridge
  • vegetable coconut milk stew or soup, add chopped market roast chicken if desired
  • freezer burrito – requires a microwave
  • cheese plate

suggested teas

as always, check with your medical provider. If you’re interested in ordering from adagio, let me know and I can send you a $5 off coupon.

  • lactation
  • immune boost
  • fennel
  • chamomile
  • peppermint
  • masala no-chai (find a no caffeine blend or make one yourself from the bulk aisle)
  • only a little caffeine per day! if you love black teas, check with your provider but most can drink about a cup a day.

suggested nuts and seeds

the below are all iron rich, and many pair well with a Vitamin C option like strawberries! They all have protein and fat to some extent – check for yourself what works best for you. (Iron info per USDA FoodData Central.)

  • pumpkin or squash seeds (2.5mg / 1 oz)
  • sesame seeds (1.3mg / 1 tablespoon)
    • tahini (a sesame seed butter) (1.3mg / 1 tablespoon roasted and toasted, most common)
  • peanuts (0.7mg / 1 oz)
    • peanut butter (no salt chunky 0.6mg / 2 tablespoons)
  • pecans (0.7mg / 1 oz)
  • walnuts (english 0.8mg / 1 oz, black 0.9mg / 1 oz)
  • pistachios (raw or roasted no salt 1.1 / 1 oz)
  • roasted almonds (dry roast no salt, 1mg / 1 oz)
    • almond butter (no salt 0.6mg / 1 tablespoon)
  • roasted cashews (dry roast no salt 1.7mg / 1 oz)
  • sunflower seeds (raw dry 0.9mg / 1 oz)
    • sunflower seed butter (with salt 0.7mg / 1 tablespoon)
  • hummus (plain 0.8mg / 2 tablespoon)

stock your kitchen with

  • oatmeal
  • chia seeds
  • nuts or seeds of choice
  • kimchi
  • whole dried fish (available from asian markets)
  • sesame seeds
  • eggs
  • molasses
  • tahini
  • cream (cow, goat if possible, or coconut if vegan)
  • coconut milk, full fat
  • supermarket roast chicken (costco rotisseries are great!)
  • apple sauce – the best quality and lowest sugar you can find
  • warming spices like anise, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, peppers / chiles, star anise
  • vanilla extract
  • avocados
  • rice, white or brown
  • tea (herbal blends or caffeinated – check with your medical provider)
  • dried fruits (prunes and figs help most with constipation)
  • whole wheat crackers or bread
  • soft goat cheese (easier to digest)
  • hard goat cheese (easier to digest)
  • pâté (if not vegetarian or kosher)
  • darkest chocolate you like (I go for 90% and check the ethics of a brand from slavefreechocolate.org)
  • pickles (cucumber and other vegetables)
  • high quality jam or preserves
  • apples
  • nut or seed butters (tahini, peanut, almond, sunflower)
  • raisins (gold or purple)
  • kefir
  • frozen vegetable blend
  • some canned vegetables for curry – I like to keep bamboo shoots and water chestnuts to add to frozen vegetables
  • dubu (also known as tofu), in your preferred firmness for curry
  • iodized salt
  • black pepper in a small table grinder – worth the extra for freshly ground, I promise!

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