7-Day Postnatal Meal Plan for New Moms from a Postpartum Dietitian, Lactation Dietary Coach

Congratulations on your new addition! That first week can feel like a century while you’re dealing with postpartum healing, caring for a baby, managing hormone fluctuations, learning how to breastfeed, and trying to deal with all the people who are calling and visiting and more. By creating a meal plan for this week ahead of time, cooking and organizing what you can before baby comes, the last thing you’ll have to deal with is wondering what to eat.

We came together to come up with an easy, budget meal plan to keep you nourished, help you heal, and provide you with the necessary nutrients your body needs after having the baby.

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries, almonds, and honey
  • Snack: Apple slices with almond butter
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado
  • Snack: Baby carrots with hummus
  • Dinner: Baked salmon with roasted asparagus and quinoa

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Spinach and feta omelet with whole-grain toast
  • Snack: Blueberries with Greek yogurt
  • Lunch: Turkey wrap with spinach, avocado, and whole wheat tortilla
  • Snack: Celery sticks with peanut butter
  • Dinner: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry with brown rice

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with sliced banana and walnuts
  • Snack: String cheese with grapes
  • Lunch: Tuna salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and whole grain crackers
  • Snack: Hard boiled eggs
  • Dinner: Beef and broccoli stir-fry with brown rice

Day 4:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie bowl with mixed berries, Greek yogurt, and granola
  • Snack: Baby bell peppers with hummus
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and whole wheat bread
  • Snack: Cottage cheese with pineapple
  • Dinner: Baked tilapia with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans

Day 5:

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach and whole grain toast
  • Snack: Sliced cucumber with tzatziki sauce
  • Lunch: Veggie burger with avocado, mixed greens, and sweet potato fries
  • Snack: Roasted almonds
  • Dinner: Turkey chili with whole grain crackers and mixed greens

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries, chia seeds, and honey
  • Snack: Apple slices with almond butter
  • Lunch: Quinoa salad with roasted vegetables and feta cheese
  • Snack: Baby carrots with hummus
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and brown rice

Day 7:

  • Breakfast: Whole grain waffles with sliced banana and walnuts
  • Snack: Cottage cheese with peaches
  • Lunch: Chicken and vegetable wrap with whole wheat tortilla
  • Snack: Roasted chickpeas
  • Dinner: Baked chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and green beans

Here are some kitchen shortcuts and hacks you can use to cut down on prep time for the meals in your meal plan:

  1. Pre-cut vegetables and fruits: Cut up vegetables and fruits ahead of time, like the asparagus, sweet potatoes, and green beans, and store them in containers in the fridge. This will save time when it’s time to cook.
  2. Make use of a slow cooker: Slow cookers are great for cooking large batches of food without a lot of hands-on time. For example, you can use it to make the turkey chili before baby comes. Put the chili in quart-sized containers and freeze.
  3. Use store-bought rotisserie chicken: If you don’t have time to grill chicken for the salad or wrap, use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead. It’s already cooked and can be easily shredded for salads or sandwiches.
  4. Use pre-cooked quinoa: If you don’t have time to cook quinoa from scratch, look for pre-cooked quinoa in the frozen section of your grocery store. It can be microwaved or heated on the stove for a quick and easy side dish.
  5. Use pre-packaged salad greens: Pre-packaged salad greens, like baby spinach or mixed greens, are convenient and save time on washing and chopping. Just open the bag, add your toppings, and you’re done.
  6. Use pre-made sauces: If you don’t have time to make your own sauces, like tzatziki sauce for the cucumber snack, hummus, or chili sauce for the turkey chili, look for pre-made versions at the grocery store.
  7. Use frozen vegetables: Frozen vegetables, like broccoli, can be quickly heated up in the microwave or on the stove and used in stir-fries or as a side dish.
  8. Double the recipe: When cooking meals like baked salmon or tilapia, double the recipe and freeze the extra portions for another day. This saves time on cooking and cleaning up. Also, make large batches of rice and refrigerate in meal-sized portions for the week.
  9. Make the waffles ahead of time and freeze. Easy, toaster waffles are just as healthy. Make sweet potato, pumpkin, or other healthy waffles in batches ahead of time and freeze, ready for when baby comes.

Remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Also, if you are breastfeeding, it is important to consume enough calories and get the nutrients you need to support milk production. This is a hard week, but the time will pass in a blur. In the meantime, leave the meal planning to your prenatal nutritionist — particularly if you need to address specific dietary needs.