I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I didn't quite feel like I was out of survival mode yet! I *think* I'm starting to get my head a teeny bit above water (granted we haven't hit the dreaded 4 month sleep regression yet) and feel like I have enough clarity to share a few things that have been super helpful during the past 3+ months.
1.) ASK for help and/or make a list of things you need ahead of time and when someone asks what they can bring, tell them! My strong point is definitely not vocalizing my needs, but in this season of what felt like complete drowning at times, I found myself more willing to ask for help. The problem was I didn't always know what I needed or frankly have the mental energy to think about it. Looking back, I should have made a list of things I wanted/needed. Examples include making a list of favorite snacks, drinks, restaurants (even specific menu items at a restaurant) and household chores. It may sound ridiculous but if there's specific instructions for something in your house (i.e. washer/dryer), type them out and tape them up. There are usually a lot of people willing and wanting to help when a new baby comes home, but they can only help as much as you allow. Set everyone up for success by thinking about your needs ahead of time!
2.) A good probiotic. Seriously. 70% of your immunity is in your gut and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's easier to get sick when you're literally running on no sleep. I also had to receive antibiotics prior to delivery so all the more reason I loaded up on probiotics. My best friend even made me homemade bone broth when she was here helping for the week after we brought Joy home!
3.) Create a snack/hydration basket to always have nearby where you feed your baby. This is something EVERY mom needs- doesn't matter if you're breastfeeding, pumping or bottle-feeding, we all have a usual place we feed the baby and there should be some nutritious snacks and drinks there! I'm surprised I didn't figure this one out sooner, but I feel like every time I sat down to feed the baby, I somehow failed to have something to drink or eat. At first I just started stashing dark chocolate in a little bin (seriously), but then nuts, granola bars, and dried fruits and veggies joined the dark chocolate. It may sound a bit extreme, but we have a mini-fridge (that we already had- didn't purchase it specifically for this) next to where I pump/feed Joy. It's stocked with waters, La Croix and electrolyte drinks. I have zero excuse for not staying hydrated.
4.) Keep easy/healthy ready-to-eat items on standby, consider grocery delivery or even a mealkit delivery service and plan ahead!! The old motto of you either fail to plan or plan to fail is even more true when you're trying to keep a household going after bringing a new baby home. I was so fortunate to have my best friend stay with us the first week after Joy was born and she cooked up a storm! She left us with a freezer stocked full of frozen meals, but I learned the hard way that I still had to plan ahead to thaw them [duh]. That sounds so silly, but I would stumble into the kitchen at 5pm and think "We can eat the chicken and rice casserole for dinner...", but then realize it actually needs to thaw. Plan ahead- write a tentative meal plan out for the week. Even if that includes take out, at least you know ahead of time and that also helps you identify the best time for someone to bring a meal over when they ask what you need! And I can't stress enough how grocery delivery and curbside have saved my butt. We wouldn't have any fresh groceries if it wasn't for those options and I even wrote a post comparing Shipt, H-E-B curbside and Prime Pantry!
5.) Rely on sheet pan meals and freezer meals. Here are a few of my favorite KISS in the Kitchen sheet pan meals and also a round-up of 25 meals that are freezer-friendly!
Hope you found these tips helpful! Mamas, you are doing a great job and your little ones are so blessed to have you! <3 Shannon
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It brings me great joy to announce that we are now a family of three! Our sweet baby girl, Joy Elisabeth, was born on June 2nd and our lives have been forever changed. I can't wait to share more details on her birth, our newborn essentials and much more in the weeks and months to come! My best friend came in for a week right after Joy was born and she cooked up a storm for days- making sure our freezer was stocked with nutritious and delicious meals! We feel SO tremendously grateful every time we enjoy these meals!
Freezer meals are so helpful for transitional times in life! Whether it's a new baby, new job or even just getting back in the swing of a school year, freezer meals can totally save the day. As fantastic as freezer meals can be, they can be a bit tricky if recipes use ingredients that aren't super freezer-friendly (check out this podcast all about the basics of freezer cooking!) But rest assured, I've compiled 25 freezer-friendly recipes from my registered dietitian friends that y'all are going to love!
Baked Butternut Squash French Toast from Amy Gorin Nutrition
Freezer-Friendly Homemade Breakfast Sandwiches from Emily Kyle Nutrition
Blueberry Protein Pancakes (GF, DF) from Nutrition Starring YOU
Breakfast Burritos and Freezer Meal Prep from Eat Real Live Well
Triple Berry Lactation Waffles from Bucket List Tummy
Feast Day Soup from KISS in the Kitchen
Better For You Chili from Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
Root Vegetable and Bean Soup from Tobi Amidor Nutrition
Freezer-Friendly Taco Soup from The Grateful Grazer
Roasted Tomato Soup from Foods with Judes
Vegan Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta from CitNutritionally
Rib Sticking Meatloaf Makeover from Liz's Healthy Table
Ginger Miso Turkey Burgers from Jessica Levinson, MDS, RDN, CDN
Stewed Chicken with Tomatoes and Capers from The Baby Steps Dietitian
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Lasagna from How to Eat
Lightened up Mexican Lasagna from Healthy Inspiration
Flaxseed Chicken Tenders from Nutrition to Fit
Mushroom Black Bean Veggie Burgers from The Foodie Dietitian
Eggplant Pesto Meatballs from Triad to Wellness
Stay tuned for a delicious summer salad recipe from my intern, Amanda, coming your way soon!
Hi friends, Amanda here bringing you another delicious recipe with my personal favorite food, sweet potatoes. If you’re a little late to the sweet potato toast trend, fear not, I’ve got you covered! Just when you thought sweet potatoes couldn’t get any better you learn they can be used as toast, I think I had meltdown of happiness upon discovering this. It’s so easy and tastes delicious, let’s get started.
Before we can begin I have a little story to share; anybody who knows me knows sweet potato is my one true food love, I seriously can’t go a day without it. During my freshman year of college I was eating sweet potatoes like crazy (living my best life). Orange sweet potatoes contain a vitamin called beta-carotene that gives it its orange color...you can see where I'm going with this. After eating lots of orange sweet potatoes my skin turned a very apparent shade of orange, which my family thought was hilarious and proceeded to make fun of me. Don’t worry, this color change is called carotenosis and is easily reversed by decreasing consumption of foods high in beta-carotene (i.e. sweet potatoes and carrots).
How did I manage not having sweet potato everyday? I didn’t have to, thanks to my little friend the japanese sweet potato which are white and won’t change the color of your skin, I’m able to eat as much sweet potato as my little heart desires!
I feel like I should give some reasoning as to why I love sweet potatoes so much, aside from the fact that they are just downright delicious. Sweet potatoes boast so many nutrients like vitamin A and C, as well as antioxidants that help fight off free radicals within our bodies! If those aren't good enough reasons I don't know what are.
Sweet Potato Toast 3 Ways
Time: 45 minutes
1 sweet potato
1/2 small avocado
1-2 tbsp hummus of choice (I used beet hummus)
Seeds/nuts of choice
Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.