Sometimes when we feel all the challenges are over with the delivery of a baby, the real struggles begin afterwards, especially regarding cooking food. You need to be much more efficient and faster than before, because you have a baby now. Being in a nuclear family or already having a toddler at home, or for that matter being in unfortunate times like lock down period with limited resources, only adds to the chaos.
So here we have come up with some tips and hacks which can help you prepare food quickly and can save you from some unnecessary stress. Here they go: –
- Dry roast makhanas (fox nuts) and keep them in air tight container. You (lactating mother) can have it postpartum as these are great source of calcium as well as roasted makhanas can be used for making kheer for mother and the toddler in the house.
- Dry roast some assorted nuts and keep them near your bedside, they are excellent for munching when you feel hungry.
- Seeds – Roast and grind flax seeds, sunflower, watermelon seeds.
- Roast daliya (broken wheat), semolina in advance so that they can be used to make a savoury meal(Upma, Khichdi, Idli) or a sweet (sheera, halwa, kheer, porridge)
- Dry roast some oats and grind them. They can be used to make shakes, pancakes, or smoothies in the breakfast.
- During summers, sattu (roasted gram flour) is a great savoir which can be used as a drink in the breakfast or a wholesome meal in lunch/dinner. It makes great desserts too.
- Make premix of dal khichdi(rice, millets and pulses of your choice).
- Make namak pare / shakkar pare, matthi. Store them in air tight container and they can be consumed directly.
- Make a mixture of murmure (puffed rice), poha (flatten rice) and peanuts. This is healthy and makes a quick and filling snack.
- Make some healthy laddoos replacing sugar with jaggery. The lactating mother can have these postpartum in breakfast without any effort. So, prepare them before you deliver the baby.
- Make laddoos using dates, nuts, seeds, oats, ragi, methi. These makes them healthiest to consume during pregnancy.
- Include carrom seeds, jeera, saunf, methi in your diet. Boil in water or add in home-made laddoos.
- Eggs are an excellent source of protein. They can be eaten in breakfast as boiled eggs, egg bhurji in lunch or egg curry in dinner. It is one-man army and most versatile food item. Many toddlers love to have boiled eggs in breakfast.
- If you’re non vegetarian, deep freeze chicken in form of chicken minced which can be used for either sandwiches or bhurji.
- Chicken breast has highest protein so deep freeze it to have it either grilled or boiled.
Milk and Milk products
- If you take normal cow or buffalo milk, it can be used for milkshakes, smoothies or even tea.
- But if you or anyone in your family are lactose intolerant, soy and almond milk are the best supplements for normal milk and needless to say, these are good source of plant-based protein and are vegan too. Use them to make that quick puddings, or a no/less caffeine tea/coffee shot.
- Milk powder- Just like in today’s circumstances of lock down, when people are not able to go out, keep milk powder with you. You can make almost anything with it.
- Homogenized milk is another milk comes in pouches or tetra packs. These can be stored in cupboards for days and need to be heated while using. But yes, they should be kept in refrigerator and consumed within 2 days once open. This is a great substitute of normal milk.
- Turmeric Milk is really beneficial in postpartum as its anti-inflammatory properties helps in recovery after the birth.
- Freeze fresh fruits of the season in a zip lock bag which are not available throughout the year like mangoes. In morning, the frozen fruits can be used to make a quick smoothie loved by anyone in the family.
- If you are still breastfeeding your toddler, you can make a stash of your milk and freeze it. It can be heated and used.
- Another fun way to store the breast milk is to make lollipops or kulfis and freeze them.
- Make these like peanut butter or hummus according to your preference of sugar and oil and make these healthy. These are loved by toddlers.
- You can make and preserve jams of fresh fruits like strawberries and give directly to toddlers.
Other Quick Hacks
- Keep a packet of boondi always at home. You can make Raita, kadhi or even any dessert from it.
- Keeping veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, spinach always at home makes a quick sandwich.
- Make sure to keep paneer (cottage cheese) at home always. You can make a quick sandwich, paneer bhurji or a whole paneer subzi of it.
- Curd/yoghurt/chaach is another good source of protein which can be taken between the meals.
- For the quick carb cravings, keep some boiled potatoes. You can make a sandwich, can fry them, make a paratha, a quick subzi.
- keep fresh fruits and vegetables stocked up.
Stock Up the packed food for the family like Biscuits, Maggie, pasta, ketchup, rusk, khakhra, muesli, chocos etc.We really encourage homemade cooked food but for the really hard time stock up the packed food for the kids at home, it can really save your life sometimes
One Important tip: – Please label the containers beforehand so that the husbands don’t face a hardship in kitchen.