TOP VEGAN MEALS TO PREP BEFORE BABY ARRIVES & TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY
I love cooking and making sure that me and my family eat healthy meals is a huge priority to me. I’m the type of person who will sacrifice sleep time to make sure theres lots of tasty snacks in to eat.
To say I love food and I love eating is an understatement.
That was before I had my first child.
Now don’t get me wrong, my families health is still my number 1 priority but I have seriously streamlined my approach so that I can feed my family healthily…and quickly.
As I enter my third trimester, I am reminded how little time there is once a new baby shows up.
And there is no better time then now to get your kitchen organised and meals prepped to help you for when you bring your gorgeous baby back. * Hello nesting *
I recommend either taking a few weeks to gradually stock up your freezer (avoiding overwhelm). Or if you’d prefer, do it all in one weekend. Choose what will work for you!
The ideal time to start the ‘prepping’ process is a few weeks before your due date. You want to be prepared, but you may also need the freezer space so don’t start too early.
Now, before you start worrying that this will require lots of work upfront, the truth is that you can do as little or as much as you like. You don’t need to have every meal planned out after you bring the baby home. #thatsnevergoingtohappen
The idea is to get a few emergency meals and snacks ready for the times you REALLY need them. These are also great meal ideas and recipes that are healthy but take minimal time (and most freeze well) so if you have a spare hour on the weekend while baby naps you can create a batch for the week ahead.
On a final note, my career is all about healthy eating so I take it more seriously than most people but if you are serious about staying healthy, getting your body back quickly and healthily (if thats your goal) and create healthy eating habits for your family then you MUST prioritise.
I promise when you get the hang of it, you will feel so good and you’ll want to do it! It will simply become a NEW habit.
Why you need to meal prep
Saves TIME – sometimes you will just need to sleep and wont have the time to cook
Makes life easier once the baby arrives
Ensures you eat healthfully
Saves you money
Why you need to eat healthy
Keep your energy levels up
Helps you focus better
Speeds up recovery
Helps you lose your baby weight, easily and healthily
Ensures better nutrition for your baby (if breastfeeding)
Meal planning before baby arrives – Healthy plant-based meals
All meals and recipes are whole food plant based. They are nutritious, full of fiber and bursting with nutrients to speed recovery.
They contain no egg, fish, and dairy and can be easily made gluten-free. Perfect if yourself or your baby has allergies.
And to make life even easier,
You can get a FREE download with all the tips, recipes and practical advice (as well as TONS of other free printables) HERE.
Some tips and practical advice to get you started.
#1 Invest in equipment that will make cooking easier
The two items I use EVERYDAY. Yes everyday are:
VITAMIX: (to make smoothies for me and my daughter), humous, dips, chopping veg, blending soups. It even cleans itself. #iknowiknow
INSTANT POT: This easy to use, won’t-risk-blowing-up-in-your-kitchen pressure cooker is a LIFESAVER. You can cook rice, soups, stews, oats and even dried beans and grains in a matter of minutes. Perfect for the lazy or distracted cook!
#2 Make your freezer your bestie
Total fridge envy from Hello Nutritarian, check her out to see more fridge inspo!
Freezer meals are ESSENTIAL in meal prepping, especially as you might not know exactly when baby will arrive. Those first few days will tax your energy, motivation, and willpower. Thats when you’ll pop out a freezer meal and your good to go!
There are lots of meals to choose from later in this post. I also recommend stocking up on the following:
frozen fruit and vegetables
vegan burgers, falafels
#3 Store Cupboard Essentials
Stock up on store cupboard ingredients, that will make quick and healthy meals. Ain’t no-one got time to go food shopping after bringing baby back!
beans, baked beans
vegetable based soups
Brown rice, quinoa, and other grains (or ready made packets)
mixed herbs (herbs de province)
mixed spices (cajun, fajita, morrocan)
dates, dried fruit
Mixed unsalted nuts & seeds – for snacks & sprinkling on to meals
Tahini – I use this on everything! Stir into oats, add a dollop to smoothies, drizzle on salads or add a spoonful to soups & stews for a gorgeous creamy flavour.
#4 Buy minimal fresh Produce
Unless you KNOW when your baby will be arriving, theres no point getting lots of fresh produce in. Get a few bits and bobs (veggies and fruits that take longer to go off)
potatoes (white and sweet)
Buy fresh bread (sliced) but store it in the freezer for a quick toast snack.
Fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas take longer to perish
Vegetables such as squashes, hard cabbages and carrots take longer to perish
#5 Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas
1. Quick Cooked Oats
Combine oats, frozen berries, cinnamon, chopped walnuts & plant based milk and microwave.
2. Overnight oats
Are a huge time saver. Just spend 5 minutes the night before to prepare and you have a healthy breakfast ready to go.
My go to recipe – 2 cups of oats, 2 cups of almond milk, 2 TBL chia seed, 1/2 TSP cinnamon, 2 TBL sultanas, 1 grated apple. Mix and let sit overnight in fridge. Top with almond butter the next morning.
3. Smoothie (smoothie packs)
You can create your own smoothie packs by ‘bagging’ up frozen spinach, frozen berries, banana and chia seed in a ziplock bag. Simply add almond milk & a dollop of peanut butter to the blender and whizz together.
5. Easy Breakfast Cookies
Mash 2 very ripe bananas with a fork, add a cup of oats, 1 – 2 TBL runny almond butter and a handful of chopped dates and mix together. Use a splash of plant based milk if too dry.
Mould into cookies or press into a tin to make flapjacks. Cook in oven at 180* for 15-20minutes until firm to touch.
Top with avocado, peanut butter or whatever you fancy. Eat with a piece of fruit.
#6 Throw together Easy Meals
LUNCH & DINNER
Baked potato and chilli or baked beans with a prepackaged side salad
Fried Rice: Pre cooked rice, frozen mixed veggies, soy sauce, frozen edamame and cashew nuts (a regular go to meal at my house!!)
Mexican Bowl: Rice, frozen corn, avocado, diced tomato, tin of beans, shredded lettuce, taco seasoning. Eat as a burrito bowl or wrap in a tortilla for a filling on the go meal
Comforting stew: Tin of soup, frozen vegetables, tin of lentils. Mix together and reheat for a quick stew. Serve along or over grains or potatoes.
Pasta: Wholewheat pasta, tomato pasta sauce, frozen vegetables, dried mixed herbs
Curry: Chickpeas, Frozen vegetables, curry spices, coconut milk. Serve with rice or quinoa
Hearty Salad: Prepackaged salad, ready chopped vegetables (such as grated carrot, chopped onion, diced pepper) Recooked quinoa pouch, tin of mixed beans, avocado
Sandwich – Wholemeal bread, avocado, frozen falafel lettuce and sliced tomato
Beans and (frozen) mushrooms on toast or baked potato
Couscous with dried sultanas, diced roasted red peppers (jar) diced artichoke (tinned), sliced olives, squeeze of lemon juice
#7 Get Saucy…Gringe (I had to)
Easy 20 Minute Classic Marina Pasta Sauce by Fox & Briar
Left it too late to meal prep? Instead of full recipe, prepare a batch of sauce instead. Freeze in individual portions and then on the day simply add whatever vegetables, beans or lentils.
#8 Snacks That Freeze
The Ultimate Energy Bites By Deliciously Ella
Combine dates, nuts and oats in a food processor to make healthy energy boosting snacks.
Have easy to eat fruit available and lots of it, your going to need a lot of snacks mama. (grapes, apples, bananas & stone fruits require no prep and are good choices.
Pre-cut fruit is also an option.
#9 Recipes that freeze
1 Hour Shepherds Pie by Minimalist Baker
#10 Practical tips for when your really stuck on time
Is it time for a takeaway?
Have a list ready beforehand of healthy places you can get a takeaway. That way when your really stuck (which will happen) you will always have healthy options to choose from.
1) Research meal delivery companies
Although not ideal and something that most people cant sustain longterm, your recovery and your baby are the priority. So if you ae really struggling, then a meal delivery service can help fill between the gaps.
2) Get help
If possible, get a parent, friend or helper to cook some meals for you. Having my parents around for the birth of my daughter was a lifesaver and helped me eat properly when I was too exhausted.
Tip: If a friend asks, can I do anything to help – take them up on the offer! They are offering to help, so let them!
I hope you found these tips and recipes practical and helpful. What tips have helped you stay healthy when your exhausted?
Remember, you can download all these tips, tricks & recipes here. Print them out and have them ready…You’re going to need it Mama.
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