Food for New Parents to Eat Well and Spend Less {Giveaway}

Those first weeks after the baby can be difficult to find the time and energy to eat well. Here are a few tips to eat well and spend less without relying on the drive-thru or takeout. Plus a Parents Need to Eat Too giveaway.

This month we’re talking about feeding babies here on Eat Well, Spend Less. Between the lot of us, we have 35 kids, so I’d say this is a subject we’re pretty well equipped to take on, but more than that, in the last few weeks we’ve welcomed three brand new babies into that count. Aimee welcomed Clara into her home, Tammy and family rejoiced when Channah arrived, and Carrie said hello to a new Baby Bargains.

It’s been a few years since my fourth baby made an appearance. Still, I had plenty of practice with those first few week, the following months, and the toddler years with the four kids, and there is no mistaking that they aren’t the slowest time in your life.

Still, this isn’t the time to start relying on takeout boxes and pizza delivery. As a mom, your body is healing from a nine-month marathon, complete with a mile-long sprint to the finish line. You need the best nutrition you can get to heal and provide the energy to get through those first newborn days and nights, as well as for milk production if you’re breastfeeding.

A Well-Stocked Pantry

Having a pantry stocked and full can be a lifesaver in those early days when you just might not have the will to head to the grocery store to stock up. In addition to spices and pantry basics, aim to stock up on food that is easy to prepare and that provides a source of energy: dried whole wheat pastas, quinoa, rolled oats, polenta, dried or canned beans, seeds, nuts, nuts, and more nuts. Debbie does a wonderful job covering this topic in her book, detailing what to keep on hand and also providing easy recipes on what to do with it now that it’s there.

Freezer Meals

If you can, have a few meals prepared and ready to go in the freezer that can just be taken out and popped into the oven. This will take the stress out of family dinner as everyone gets used to the new schedules and the shift in family life. A few good freezer meals to stock (or to give to new parents):

::Cream of Turkey/Chicken Wild Rice Soup
::Baked Manicotti Florentine
::Basil Pesto
::Chicken Empanadas


Eating a balanced diet means that you need to include plenty of produce, but the problem here is that if you are busy and harried, as so many are during the first few months of adjusting to a new family member, then it’s also easy to forget that gorgeous zucchini, the bundle of asparagus, or the bowl of just ripe peaches. Aim to purchase produce with a bit of a longer shelf life and that can be eaten without much prep work. Some ideas:

  • Apples – Apples seem to keep for weeks in the crisper drawer. A good rinse and you can bite right in with one hand while carrying baby in the other. (Note: Be sure to choose organic varieties. These are on the Dirty Dozen list.)
  • Citrus – Whether you slice them into smiles or give them a quick peel, citrus provides plenty of vitamin C and are good at staying fresh for more than a few days.
  • Bananas – While bananas do brown pretty rapidly (if you’re like me, often before you consume them), overripe bananas can always be peeled and tossed into the freezer for later use as banana bread or baby food.
  • Romaine and Kale – These are my go-to salad base for just having around. Romaine heads (and kale) tend to stay fresh a bit longer if they’re attached to their base and wilt less than some other lettuce varieties. Kale is a great source of iron, too.
  • Carrots – Easy to snack on, and baby carrots make it easy to grab a handful (or a bowlful) as a snack.
  • Avocados – I let my avocados sit next to the bananas until they’re just ripe enough to eat, and then I store them in the refrigerator to use as the week progresses. They’ll go bad a bit faster than some of the other suggestions, but they provide a great source of healthy fats for a nursing mom.
  • Frozen Berries – While not fresh produce, having a supply of frozen will be the perfect treat on a bowl of yogurt and granola or to top off a baked oatmeal treat.
  • Sweet Potatoes – A great source of vitamin A, these take a bit more forethought to consume, but rub one down with olive oil, poke it a few times with a for, and toss it in the oven to roast while you’re doing something else. Top it like a baked potato, but with butter and a drizzle of raw honey for a lunchtime treat.

As always, you can check out what others are writing in the Eat Well, Spend Less series about eating well during those busy baby moments:

A Giveaway:

I’m giving away a copy of Parents Need to Eat Too by Debbie Koenig! Inside you’ll find recipes and tips for eating healthy during those early days, as well as how to transition those meals into baby’s first foods and then into toddler times.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. That’s all there is to it. Tell me about your first baby, your sixth baby, what you deliver to your friends who just had a baby, or just say hi.


This giveaway will run until Sunday, March 25th, 2012 at 12 noon EDT and is open to all U.S. residents. A winner will be chosen at random using from all eligible entries. Chosen winners must respond within 48 hours of notification to claim their prize. Good luck!


  1. What a wonderful idea for a book! Even as children age you still need access to quick and healthful meals.

  2. Thank you for making the comment process so easy. 🙂 We’re expecting our first on June 9th!!

  3. Stacey Meeks says:

    What a wonderful book and resource you have provided!

  4. Stacie@HobbitDoor says:

    This book sounds great! All of these articles come at the perfect time for me. I am 37 weeks pregnant with baby #3 and making all my postpartum lists. Thank you!

  5. I have two under two & finding time to eat is a challenge! I just try to make all the calories I do eat count! Looks like a great cookbook!

  6. You are so right! Having a well stocked pantry and basic variety of produce in the fridge definitely makes easy and healthy weeknight meals possible.

  7. Jessica N. says:

    I think its so hard for new moms to remember to take care of themselves along with their new baby! I think this cookbook would be a great addition to a shower gift basket! Freeze friendly meals are a must for a new mom!

  8. We are expecting our second in about 5 weeks – I’ve been putting stuff in the freezer, but could definitely use some new recipes!! Looks like a great book!

  9. Hi! Would love to win this book!! I have a 17 month at home and baby #2 is due in July

  10. Those chicken empanadas look great. I can’t wait to make a Quorn version. Mmm.

  11. I have a 5 month old. I miss eating.

  12. I have had/have about ten friends get pregnant or have babies in the last 3 months and we are planning on trying soon! I love giving freezer meals to new moms and would love to have this book as a great guide!

  13. I am a new mom with a 5 month old. I am looking for ideas on how and what to feed my son when it comes time to do solids. This book looks very helpful!

  14. amy marantino says:

    just hi. thanks for having this giveaway.

  15. What a great series! I’ll agree that having a well-stocked pantry is key to throwing together quick, healthy meals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve relied on canned beans and quinoa to make dinner!

  16. What fabulous ideas!

  17. Sounds like a good book for us right now as we try to get more healthy! Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Carole Resnick says:

    I have a brand new 6 week old puppy. Does that count? I am going to cook and freeze her meals (chicken, rice, vegetables). Probably less costly than canned dog food.

  19. What a great book. Always looking for healthy quick snacks for baby & myself 🙂

  20. I would love this book to put into practice now as I’m struggling in the kitchen through my 5th pregnancy.

  21. I am a mom of seven and would love budget friendly recipes for my family.My children range from 16-10 months and cooking has been trying the last year lol.I could really use time saving budget friendly,healthy meals:)

  22. Looks like a useful book

  23. I had my first 9 months ago and this would have been nice. We live away from family and there wasn’t a lot of help in those early days!

  24. Would love to have this book!

  25. Oh how’d I love and treasure this book! Just put toddler down for a nap and am currently typing one-handed while nursing my 3 wk old 🙂

  26. What a wonderfully perfect book topic! I have a 1-1/2 year old and although life has become a bit more routine again, making the time to eat well can definitely be a struggle some (most) days.

  27. Next time I plan to have more prepared meals ready before the big day.

    Lunchables, while handy, are not an excellent source of nutrition.

  28. Sounds great! I am about 2 weeks away from baby #4:)

  29. amy rouse says:

    sounds like a good recipe book to own!!!!

    dropastitch at yahoo dot com

  30. Our first is due in July, and this book sounds wonderful!

  31. I have 5 children and I think this book sounds amazing, I love the taglines on it, nap-friendly and one-handed meals. My youngest is almost 3 and I think this would still be handy. C:

  32. Yes, a well-stocked pantry is so nice to have after the birth of a little one. That way, even if people don’t bring food over, whoever’s there to help you will have options to cook. Also, I love the idea of “one-handed meals”–the book looks great!

  33. My friend just had her fifth baby last week and I have been struggling of some good meal ideas to serve here and her family with

  34. Stacey K says:

    I would love to win this book! We are expecting our third in a few months, and feel the need to stock/prep plenty of healthy food to help me through that postpartum period since I will have two toddlers under feet!

  35. No babies in my life just yet, but I absolutely can’t wait to be a mom! Nevertheless, I love learning about parenthood, health, and nutrition, and this book sounds wonderful!

  36. My only daughter just turned 3

  37. Heather K Miller says:

    It is hard to eat well when you first bring home a new baby, it takes great effort so I love there is a book dedicated to improving on that.

  38. sounds like a great book! Fabulous photo!

  39. Remembering all the pasta dishes I received after coming home with my babies, I now try to include a balance of fresh items when I bring a meal to friend. After having my third baby, I started thinking that dinners being dropped off were great, but what would be even greater were a bunch of quick lunches. It’s hard when you and the baby are alone at the house and you suddenly realize that’s it’s 3:00 and you haven’t eaten lunch yet!

  40. Great tips! I used my frozen berries to make smoothies…just mix with ice/water…no extra sugar or fat necessary!

  41. This is a great book for new parents!

  42. We are expecting #3 in July and have two little ones already! I’m sure it will be CRAZY for the first few months 🙂 Great tips and I’m sure the book has lots more!

  43. I like to take a dinner and a baked oatmeal for the next day’s breakfast. I would live to see the recipes this book has to offer.

  44. Kimberly Russell says:

    Interested in anything that is quick and easy!!

  45. We’re due in October – this book would be great!

  46. Sadly forgetting to eat well extends beyond the baby years. I have teenagers & I’m still the last one fed, last one to bed. Thanks for the helpful reminder that parents have to stay healthy too.

  47. Wow! I can’t believe there’s a cookbook that totally describes my needs! Someone has definitely thought this through! 😀

  48. I wish I had this book. We’re struggling into our 6th month with a new baby, our first, and I have the hardest time knowing what to eat.

  49. Crockpots can be a really big help during this time, too, as you can even just put a bag of frozen chicken breasts in there with a 1/2 c water (for heat distribution)–seasoning optional–and know that they’ll be ready later for a simple protein. You can shred them for tacos, dice them on salad, or just eat them however you like.

  50. I would really love to get this book for my sis in law. With 2 little girls and a baby on the way she is always looking for fresh ways to eat well!

  51. I would love new healthy ideas!

  52. A rice cooker is great to have if you eat a lot of rice.

  53. Hi! Would love to win this book!!

  54. Always looking for new healthy recipes! I would love a copy of this book before my 2nd baby comes along 🙂

  55. The BIGGEST help when our daughter was born was friends who brought homecooked meals! From now on that’s what I’ll be doing for anyone we know who’s had a baby!

  56. The crockpot has been my best friend! As is my rice cooker (it cooks quinoa too!), and bread machine. With two kids under 2.5, you gotta love a quick healthy meal. 😉

  57. this book sounds great! I’m expecting baby #2 in a few months and as a type 1 diabetic, I really can’t let my healthy eating habits slide during those first few crazy, chaotic newborn months. Building up my freezer stash as we speak!

  58. Hi. I would love to win this book. You have a great blog here. So glad I found you.

  59. I would love to read this book right now, especially since I just had my first baby a week and a half ago. I’ve been eating pretty well, but am trying to go dairy-free for the first time in my life! Yikes!!

  60. Angie McGeown says:

    A friend of mine just had a baby and I made her a Ravioli Vegetable Soup, it was delicious!

  61. hi.

    Sounds like a great book!

  62. Kristin Brannen says:

    I have a 16 month old daughter and I’m expecting my second baby in August. I would love to win a copy of this book!

  63. Sounds like a wonderful book!

  64. patricia loser says:

    sounds like an amazing book. Thank you for the giveaway.

  65. Home with a new baby and appreciate the good eating tips. A local weekly produce delivery has been my saving grace!

  66. I’ve got two friends expecting their first babies and one who would actually use it! I might even copied down a few recipes myself!

  67. Even though my baby is almost a kiddo, this sounds like a great book!

  68. i had my son 2 years ago but it feels like yesterday what really helped me was having my mother around a week to help with me get adjusting to motherhood. she showed me the correct way to breast feed, cooked my meals, played with my son while i napped, cleaned around the house and made freezer friendly meals for when she would not be there. Thanks mom-u r the GREATEST!!

  69. I just had my second baby in December, and 3 more of my friends recently delivered too. I love having all the little ones around!

  70. due in a week i could definitely use this book 🙂

  71. Rachelle says:

    I could really use this. 🙂

  72. We are trying right now, wish us luck!

  73. My second’s coming in 2 weeks!!

  74. Looks like just the book I’ll be needing in, oh, about 8 weeks!

  75. Becky Van Volkinburg says:

    Hi! I would love to look this over and then pass it on to my mommy friend next door, she could use some great helpful tips!

  76. I really need this book. I have 5 weeks to go with my 2nd pregnancy and I don’t have any freezer meals yet. I have to get going with this planning meals thing:)

  77. wow, my 5th child was born under difficult circumstances, by c-section. Didnt know if he would live. I had 3 kids at home, from 6 to 2 1/2 and a hubby who was a long haul trucker. Baby had to stay in the hospital for over a month, then only home for a week before being hospitalized again. During this time, a new friend about 6 miles down the road came into our lives in a big way. She often brought meals she had made at her farm and just needed reheating, very helpful in times of need and stress, or would take the kids out there so I could go to town to see my baby, and deliver breast milk for him. Thanks f

  78. I’ve been interested in this book since I first saw it publicized. Love the tips for feeding a new mom and family. For those taking food to a new mom, while dinners are great, I so much appreciated the hand-held snacks the first few weeks. My new go to mom food gift is washed/cut organic fruit, some nutella for dipping, and homemade granola or granola bars.

  79. That pic with the fruit and grains looks divine!

  80. I’m always looking for more healthy tips for me and my family!

  81. What a great resource! I’m due with our 2nd baby on Tuesday and am thankful that my mom will be here at the beginning to help with meals. I haven’t thought much past that, yet! 🙂

  82. Elizabeth P says:

    would love to read this!

  83. We’re expecting a baby bundle of joy in April. My partner and I are really trying to eat healthily and your tips are very helpful. I’d love to read “Parents need to eat too,” I think it would be a great resource for our new family!

  84. We just had our first baby last August! What a blessing our son has been. This book would be greatly appreciated!

  85. AllieZirkle says:

    I’m getting ready for the arrival of babe #5. I love having twice baked potatoes (in the freezer) on hand for lunch. YUM!

  86. what a great book!! I would love to win this..

  87. Amanda Stombaugh says:

    I have a 24 month old and a 5 month old. Between raising my kids and running my own business, life is very hectic! I would love to learn how to eat well, spend less and do it all quickly!! 🙂

  88. I am 37 weeks pregnant and a first time mom. So excited to have our baby and get in a routine of healthy eating and cooking again more regularly. Pregnancy has sucked the energy from me.causing me to rely on providing pizza for my husband and myself more than I’d like to count. With a husband in the military, healthy eating is so important to us both, but becoming a stay at home mom will mean that the meals depend on me. This book would be so helpful! Its nice knowing the information is there! Thank you!

  89. The Food for New Parents to Eat Well and Spend Less blog post is so informative. You are right; having a well-stocked pantry can be a lifesaver! One of our favorite freezer meals is The Bow Tie Chicken casserole recipe on Thanks for sharing! – Carrie from Sam’s Club

  90. I am the proud mom of a two week old baby boy. I am nursing and finding it very hard to fond time to cook anything past pasta or eat a lunch that is any more complex than yogurt or crackers. This giveaway looks awesome!


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