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After my husband and I brought our first child home from the hospital, I remember thinking, “what’s the big deal? I can do this!”
The minute we walked in the door, he actually put on the TV and plopped down on the couch like not much had changed. I even took a hot shower as my daughter slept.
During that first week, I remember telling my mom that I enjoyed waking up at night for feedings! That didn’t last long of course, when reality—and serious fatigue—set in.
If you recently had a baby, suffice to say you’re utterly exhausted. Between late-night feedings, the endless amount of dirty diapers and laundry and everything else you have to do in a day, being a new mom isn’t easy.
Although you may find it tough to eat a meal, eating healthy foods after you’ve had a baby can give you the energy you need to keep up with your newborn and feel the best you can both physically and emotionally. Here are 10 to include.
One of the best energy-boosting foods for new moms, bananas are a great source of fiber—1 small banana has 2.6 grams. Bananas also have vitamin B6 and potassium, both of which are necessary for the body to make energy.
Starting your day off on the right foot with a healthy breakfast will keep your blood sugar levels steady, help you feel satiated until lunch and prevent you from feeling hangry at your next meal which can cause you to overeat.
With nearly 30 grams of protein in one large egg, plus several key nutrients like potassium, eggs will you give you the energy boost you need.
Eggs are also quick to scramble, a great addition to virtually any meal and make for a quick and portable snack.
3. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, but it’s because of their high amount of fiber and protein that will give you an energy boost. Three tablespoons has 9 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber
Add pumpkin seeds to yogurts, smoothies, salads and baked goods.
4. Beans and legumes
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 49 have iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia and cause fatigue.
One of the best sources of iron are beans and legumes. They’re also an excellent source of protein to satisfy your hunger and they have soluble fiber which is digested slowly and gives you a steady source of energy.
Salmon is an excellent source of both protein and healthy fats to help you feel satiated and keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Salmon is easy to cook but if you’re short on time, canned is fine in a pinch.
6. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, Swiss chard and collard greens are all rich in iron and fiber to keep you feeling full and give you energy.
You can serve green leafy vegetables with any meal but one of the easiest ways to get a lot of green leafy vegetables in your diet is to make green juice or a green smoothie.
One of the best energy-boosting foods for new moms, almonds are a good source of protein, fiber and iron. One ounce of almonds has more than 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 1 milligram of iron.
Almonds can help stave off hunger and they make a great snack especially when you’re on the go.
Unlike refined or simple carbohydrates which spike blood sugar, whole grain carbohydrates have fiber which keep blood sugar steady and help you to feel full.
Popcorn, one type of whole grains, is a great alternative to chips or crackers when hunger strikes in the afternoon. Stick with plain popcorn instead of brands made with added butter, salt or cheese.
Hummus is packed with fiber and protein: a 1/2 cup has 7.9 grams of protein and 6.0 grams of fiber.
Serve hummus with baby carrots, pepper or cucumber slices, or swap it for mayonnaise or mustard on your favorite sandwich.
10. Chia seeds
An excellent source of protein, fiber and healthy fats, chia seeds are one of the best energy-boosting foods for new moms.
Mix chia seeds in smoothies, yogurt, muffins or make chia pudding.