Lunch - the forgotten hero of newborn motherhood.

Meals in the newborn period can, like most things, be pretty topsy turvy. When the sun comes up, we remember to eat something that resembles breakfast. The sun sets, and we are cued to eat dinner. Poor old lunch is our often-forgotten friend, and despite his many great qualities, might get missed in the monotony of a day spent feeding, changing and comforting a newborn. Add "home alone" to the daily schedule, or his challenging colleague "home alone with newborn and his siblings under six" to the mix and you may feel destined for months of midday meal neglect or peanut butter sandwich crusts.

It goes without saying that mums have to eat (preferably well) to recuperate from birth and best care for their baby. If we are breastfeeding, we are our child's personal buffet after all! One handed cooking while baby juggling is hard, and we're time poor as well as tired. Still, eat lunch. Here's a few ways how.

1. Make a double batch of dinner every night. Preferably have someone else cook it, and set aside a full lunch box of it BEFORE you eat your meal.

2. Meal delivery. Have a weeks worth of meals in your fridge ahead of time. Most companies offer "lunch only" plans, and paying for services keeps people employed and the economy ticking around. Friends and neighbours may love to help while they can't physically cradle you. Bring the food in, freeze it, and wash your hands. Any bugs will be cactus in a few days and you'll have home-cooked lunch made with love.

3. Sunday slow cook. If your partner can chop veggies, add water and stock powder and press "on" they are capable of making your lunches for a week. Portion them and put some in the fridge and some in the freezer. You may need a sticker or colour code system as a reminder that they are for you, not him! A rice cooker can do the same trick in much shorter time if you want to get your creative cap on.

4. Meal kits. These can be done by you in the days pre-baby or by someone else after. The idea is to keep a snap lock bag with all dry ingredients (think rice, pulses, herbs and spices) already mixed, which can then be cooked together with water or the milk of your choice when hunger strikes. You could even add frozen veggies like peas or spinach for real flair (these are generally snap frozen on the day of picking so may be more nutritious than supermarket veggies)!

5. Beans on toast. I'm serious, it's fine. Do what you need to do mama bear, no judgement!

6. Snack table. Some days it still won't happen, so make refilling snacks and multiple water bottle an essential part of you (or your support person's) morning routine. Make sure these are in reach of your usual breastfeeding location and that they have some nutritional value (read: not chips). Don't feel guilty if you eat all eight muesli bars or the whole bag of cashews, some days are like that.

Mothering a newborn is a fulltime job. Fulltime workers need lunch, weekdays as well as weekends. Give it a go and let us know how you get on at our Facebook page. Also, if meal kits sound like your thing, click here for inspiration.

Image credit with thanks: Hermes Rivera on Unsplash


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