The Working Mom's Guide To Meal Planning While Breastfeeding
Heading back to work as a breastfeeding mama can be stressful because it often means lots more pumping, and less times to cook and prepare healthy meals. Long work days, more pumping time, and late nights with a new baby can really throw off all your healthy eating attempts as you dash out the door with a pump in one hand and your purse in the other.
Here at Milk Dust, our goal is to help mamas produce lots of milk, while also staying healthy through exceptional nutrition. We've put together a guide that will help working mamas meal plan while breastfeeding, so you can stay healthy while producing lots of that liquid gold.
A Working Mamas Guide To Breastfeeding and Meal Planning:
Meal planning is actually more overwhelming to think about, than put together. Trying to find meals, come up with recipes, shop and put together healthy meals everyone will eat is enough to make a mama want to give up. Breaking it down meal by meal makes it a lot easier. Learning to meal prep simply take out the stress. From there, you can focus on pumping and breastfeeding.
Pumping and breastfeeding enough is another huge stress to mamas trying to get back into a work schedule, and still provide their baby with enough breast milk. This post goes over the meal planning aspect, and the best tips and tricks for breastfeeding and pumping will be in a post to follow soon!
Pick 3 easy, fast and healthy breakfast options:
Smoothies are a wonderful, super fast option for breakfast as a working mom. You can blend them one-handed, take in a cup, and drink on your way to work. Milk Dust is an amazing choice because it is full of nutrients, protein and lactation-boosting ingredients that are going to help you pump at work, as well as stay full and nourished. You can pack smoothie packs in the freezer ahead of time, or just throw ice and some almond milk in with the powder. Either way this is one of the fastest, healthiest breakfast options you can get used to. It is also so easy to throw in extra fruit that you have on hand to keep it from getting old.
Another wonderful healthy breakfast option is overnight oats. There are tons of healthy recipes out there. This strawberry pecan and cream lactation one is amazing, which you can grab and shovel into your mouth before you head out the door. Storing used spaghetti sauce jars, or other jars will make sure you always have jars ready to hold some oatmeal. Oatmeal is very beneficial to your milk supply, so it is a great option. Add a scoop of milk dust in for some vanilla flavor, and you will have TONS of milk-boosting properties in there, plus some protein.
Baking egg cups and storing in a container is another healthy and satisfying breakfast option that you can grab and eat. Mix up some eggs with your favorite veggies and a sprinkle of cheese on top, and you can bake them ahead of time to save for the week. This doesn't take much prep at all, so you can do it easily on a week-night, or Sunday before the week.
By having three breakfast options ready, you won't get bored of the same breakfast every day, but still have enough healthy options to get you through the week. If you do smoothies all week, it is even more satisfying to make a larger breakfast on the weekends. Let's get into an easy way to do healthy lunches.
If you have a lunch break, the easiest way to ensure you have a healthy lunch is to bring left-overs of your healthy dinner. Turning left-overs into a salad the next day is an awesome way to make your dinners even healthier. Make sure you have huge batches of fresh lettuce and/or kale washed and ready to go. Pack fresh salad veggies in one container, then your leftovers in another, so you can quickly mix at lunch with a little dressing if needed for one big salad. For example, if you made spaghetti for dinner, pack some spaghetti in one container and salad in the other. Mix together at lunch for an awesome spaghetti salad with a little ceasar dressing. Tacos last night? Try a taco salad at lunch the next day.
Salad is a high-volume food, which offers many nutrients and water content to help you feel very satisfied. Going big on high-volume foods allows you to sit and eat your lunch, without consuming too much food. The GREAT thing about salad is you can by it in big boxes pre-washed and ready to go, so you don't even have to wash and chop. There are tons of sales out there to make it affordable, and Costco has great deals on organic washed and prepped salad greens. Get those, have them ready. Keep them in the fridge at work if you can.
3:00 pm SNACK TIME:
Or, as a breastfeeding mama, lots of snack times. Sugar cravings can hit every couple of hours while breastfeeding because your body is looking for nutrients. That is why we created Milk Dust. It is full of the essential minerals postpartum and breastfeeding mamas need, which helps reduce those cravings. The 3:00 pm time is a great time to drink some Milk Dust shaken with water or blended if you have a kitchen at work. There are also energy-producing ingredients like wheat grass and vitamin B12 to give you a natural boost of energy. The protein is also satiating. Usually the 3:0pm - 5:00pm time frame is the hardest because it is a time where fatigue sets in. All caffeine from the morning has worn off, and lunch tends to cause some tiredness as well. Combat this with a carb-protein mix. When breastfeeding, carbs are important for your brain. Apples and cheese, almonds and grapes, turkey and cucumbers...combine a fruit or veggie with a protein to give your brain a boost of healthy glucose, while satiating with protein.
Here's an awesome healthy snack list for you to keep on hand as a working, breastfeeding mama:
hummus and carrots
deli turkey (clean, organic) and provolone cheese
cucumbers for dipping in hummus or cucumber and turkey sandwhiches
apples and cheese
PB1 peanut butter. A lighter peanut butter to dip apples in
grapes and almonds
blueberries and cashews
frozen bananas for quick smoothies
popcorn with sea salt and Parmesan cheese
roasted sweet potato with sea salt and Parmesan cheese (so good!!)
Dinner Meal Prep Tips + Tricks:
Dinner is usually the most difficult to put together, and of course our biggest tip is the crock pot. Here's how to make it easier:
Put everything in it the night before, then put the crock pot in the fridge. That way it is prepared for the morning rush. You can take it out, turn it on, and it will be ready for the evening. Having healthy food on hand for you, as the breastfeeding mama is the most important because of the needed nutrients while breastfeeding.
The next tip is to keep it basic. Especially if you have little kids and a baby. Kids aren't picky, and keeping it basic will save sanity. Don't try to go gourmet or fancy during the week. Save that for the weekends.
Fry lots of meat at once, store and freeze. Having ground turkey cooked with onions on-hand or in the freezer is ESSENTIAL! Ground turkey can be made into taco meat, taco soup, chili, spaghetti sauce, paired with veggies, thrown in salads and more. Making some frozen cheese burgers with ground turkey is also really helpful. These you can even grab and pack for work.
Cook chicken in the crock pot with broth. You can add anything into the crock pot with the chicken, and get it ready the night before. Have the ground turkey done and ready, and leave the chicken for day-of cooking in the crock pot.
Roast lots of veggies for the week. Having roasted veggies on hand is a life saver during the week, especially when breastfeeding and one-handed with a baby. This will enable easy, microwave friendly meals fast.
Meal prep and planning needs to be simple. No big, deluxe recipes, just basic and tasty to get you through the week and a short season with a new baby. Remind yourself that this season will pass, and soon you will have more free time and energy to craft yummy meals and try out new recipes.
Milk Dust was created by Pre/Post Natal Fitness Specialist, mommy of 3 and found of The Postpartum Cure. After years of helping mamas lose the baby weight while saving their milk supply, there was a need for a nutritional product to help mommies get in enough nutrients and protein, while also curbing those endless sugar cravings during breastfeeding. Make sure to sign up to know as soon as it is up for pre-sale and follow on Instagram for giveaways!