What to eat when you’re no longer expecting…


I’m so excited today to be sharing Katie180 with you. Back in April my mate Stacey {Veggie Mama} asked me if I was a Katie180 follower, and as soon as I got home I Googled her, followed her everywhere and was quickly converted. She’s a nutritionist, but not one that makes you feel guilty about not being ‘good’ all the time. She’s realistic, has awesome advice AND she agreed to write a guest post for me on what to eat after baby arrives. Thank you Katie. Visit her blog here.


Chantelle, what a high five moment in my life to receive your email requesting a guest post! Thank you for thinking of me; I am honored to feature on your very excellent blog.

And as a fellow first time mum awaiting the arrival of my second bubba I have written this post for you with extra special blogosphere love ♥.

Post Partum Nutrition

~There’s a fancy pants way of saying what’s best to eat after you give birth!

I’ve given birth once so I speak from experience about the almost insatiable hunger that comes packaged with a newborn and I’m lined up to give birth again in a couple of months so I’m aware of what I’m in for.

The first time around I got through the first four or five months of wigged-out new motherhood on protein smoothies, green smoothies, muesli bars and a daily coffee + pastry. Yes: a pastry a day (my bad!)

As a nutritionist and keen home cook I felt SO challenged by the demands on my time and energy that kept me from previously enjoyable, even leisurely time in the kitchen. I have very fond memories of SATC on the portable DVD and a big glass of red whilst I cooked special Sunday dinners pre-baby. Do you too?!

Fast forward nearly four years and I am now well worn into the groove of “What can I get from stove to table in about half an hour that is healthy and tasty?” And I am also much more on top of my game so far as meals and snacking sensibly (with nutritional value) during the day.

So here’s my recommendations for new mums who are hungry like wolves, tired like dogs and sometimes crazy like coconuts…

Firstly an outline of diet goals:

♥Increase nutrient quality of meals.
♥Decrease foods that interfere with nutrient absorption and avoid situations where dips in blood glucose arise.
♥Maintain adequate fluid intake.
♥Keep organs of elimination in regular working order.
♥Provide foods and nutrients that may assist with moods, sleep, relaxation, coping skills etc.

♥Increase nutrient quality of meals.

Rather than outline a special list of foods to eat at certain times of the day, which is totally not my style, I’m just going to advise that all meals are upped in nutrient quality insofar as you can manage from meal to meal.

For example, if you’re surviving on four hours of sleep and haven’t made it to the shower by 2pm you can still knock up a decent delivery of nutrients by combining whole rolled oats with a ¼ cup of mixed seeds, a handful of raw nuts, some diced pieces of dried fruit and a dollop or two of natural yoghurt. Drizzle over honey or maple syrup and you’re laughing.

Stock your pantry with:
Raw pepitas, raw sunflower seeds, linseeds/flaxseeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, buckinis, almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, dried figs, apricots, prunes, dates, sultanas, natural nut butters, whole rolled oats, quinoa flakes ~ you get the picture.
From here you can make muesli, porridge, cookies, muesli bars, smoothies, nut milk, trail mixes so on and so forth.

Add a big handful or two of leafy greens wherever you can, here’s how I do it:
A green smoothie if the fancy takes me.
Wilted alongside a couple of eggs for lunch or sometimes an easy dinner.
Mixed into a bowl of pasta, stirred through a soup, stew or stir-fry.
Stuffed into a sandwich or wrap, literally stuffed! It looks ridiculous and it’s a challenge to eat without spilling off my plate but I do it anyway.

Switch up your spreadable fats between nutrient-dense options such as: real butter (yes, butter!), avocado, cottage cheese, creamed cheese, goat’s curd, feta, nut butters, hummus and cold-pressed oils.

Include protein at every meal: protein maintains satiety; preventing spikes in appetite and dips in blood sugar as well as providing the building blocks for growth and repair (muscles, organs, skin, hair, nails, hormones and other chemical messengers.)

Choose quality (preferably free range, organic) cuts of lean meat, seafood, eggs and dairy. Feature nuts, seeds, sprouts, legumes and whole grains wherever you can:
Atop breakfast, blended into smoothies, sprinkled over salads, pulsed into paste and spread onto crackers, sandwiches and toast, added to stir-fries and baked goods, eaten raw as a snack. Even just a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds is going to see you through a desperately hungry moment better than a quick chocolate biscuit!

Veg Out! ~ Not that you actually get any real veg out time when you’re dealing with a new baby (and maybe a toddler or bigger kid as well) but I find that the eating of vegetables is more of a struggle for most people than the eating of fruit. Fruit is easy, it’s ready to go and it’s sweet.

This said, if you’re not a fruit eater as a rule, do try to eat a piece or two most days as fruit provides vitamins, antioxidants, natural sugars and fibre.

Vegetables are a bit harder, you’ve gotta dress them up a bit, peel them, cook them somehow, make sure they’re fresh and all the rest of it.

My approach to eating vegetables is not to try too hard. Sure we know we’re supposed to eat three serves of a rainbow of vegetables every day… but I think if you’re eating vegetables at all, you’re doing all right.

To this end:
See above suggestions for a handful or two of green leafy veg.
Grate a whole carrot onto a sandwich.
Pan fry lots of mushrooms w’ olive oil, garlic and lemon juice then serve w’ wholegrain toast and cream cheese.
Make green smoothies.
Steam a whole bunch of broccolini, dress liberally with olive oil, salt, pepper and grate over some Parmesan cheese then eat alongside some store bought rice or a piece of takeaway chicken, keep it simple, keep it real!
Roast up a big ol’ tray of root vegetables and use in salads, sandwiches, wraps, omelets, frittatas, blend with stock and a tin of chickpeas into a soup.
Slice cucumbers, carrots, capsicum into fingers and arrange with beans, sugar snap peas etc. onto a platter with some cheese, hummus and whole grain crackers and get stuck in whilst breastfeeding or folding the laundry.
Keep a bag of frozen vegetables at hand for seriously quick meals, chuck into a frying pan with cubed tofu, add an egg and garnish with sprouts. Easy as.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers do need more calories in their diet, but as to how many exactly I can’t pinpoint. It’s different for every woman.

My advice is to listen to your body and to let go of habitual or fear-driven thinking on how you eat. Providing that you ensure your diet is abundant in whole foods and that you indulge only occasionally (i.e. try not to eat an Adriano Zumbo almond croissant every day!) then eat as you feel you need to.

Also try not to sweat it if you can’t get around to a “proper” meal at dinnertime, eggs on toast is fine. Eventually you’ll make your way back into the zone and this is a special and short-lived time in your life as the mother of a newborn.

The better nourished you are, the better quality of your breast milk and also the better able you will be to cope across all levels. This is the beginning of putting yourself first so that you can take care of others.

Chantelle, I wish you all the very best for a smooth transition from your family of three to your new family of four (plus the fur-baby!)

Katie, x

photo credit: PetitPlat – Stephanie Kilgast via photopin cc

5 thoughts on “What to eat when you’re no longer expecting…”

  1. Hello look that’s ME on your blog! Ha I was wondering where my new Facebook likers today had come from 🙂 Thanks for hosting me Chantelle, xox

  2. Best nutrition post ever!!!! I’m a recent (obsessed!!!) follower of Katie and she is right up my alley!!! As a tired, cranky, STARVING breastfeeding mum to a newborn with 2 big kids at home too, this post is exactly what I needed to read tonight. Lots of these things I’ve done this time around and it’s made a huge difference. Lots more tips that I can incorporate. Just love this. Good stuff!!xo

  3. Ah my post baby diet is not great, but I’m working on it! The tiredness is a total killer of healthy eating motivation. As is the chocolate in the cupboard!! But green smoothies is a new regular, great tips Katie! Love your work! xx Karen

  4. Oh I love all of this! So many handy tips, but very flexible too. Post birth I am ravenous, ravenous!! And eat far more than I do during pregnancy. The only way I get through it is to make sure I’m well stocked – thanks for some more ideas on doing that!

    A doctor friend of mine once told me (when I was concerned about my first child’s sparrow diet) to not worry so much about what they eat in a day, but look at their diet over three days. I don’t know if it’s applicable to adults too, but I’ve applied it to my life, which means I don’t get fussed if I, for some reason, end up having chocolate cake for breakfast. Or wine for dinner.

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