8 Good Eating Habits For Moms Who Just Had a Baby

Establishing Good Eating Habits for New Moms: Importance and Benefits of Timing

If you are a mom who just had a baby it can be hard to adjust to the new routine. Your time becomes limited and your priorities change, which may lead to bad eating habits. If you are looking to create some new healthier eating habits, keep reading for 8 good eating habits for moms who just had a baby!

*Disclaimer – If you are a postpartum, pregnant or have any other health conditions, make sure you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Content on this blog should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, expertise or treatment. Also this post may include Amazon affiliate links which means I would earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the link. You can read my full disclaimer here.

Why Good Eating Habits Are Important For Moms

We all have our different reasons for wanting to adopt good eating habits. These reasons might be postpartum weight loss, feeling better overall, or increasing quality of life. 

Whatever your goals are, good eating habits are so important for living a long, healthy life! 

Poor eating habits over time can impact our health negatively.  Some of the risks associated with poor eating habits are developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (source).

We can greatly reduce these risks by forming good eating habits and what better time than now!

Why Moms Should Focus On Good Eating Habits After Having a Baby

If you are reading this, most likely you just had a baby and are searching for postpartum weight loss tips or you just need help with eating! You may find it harder to find the time to cook healthy meals and your snacking is by no means healthy.

Trust me, I remember being there!

Add in breastfeeding and you are one hungry mama, and you will take what you can get and when (if there’s time). 

However, now is the perfect time to focus on good eating habits even if it feels like too much on your plate (no pun intended). The truth is, it’s not going to get easier if you wait. Forming good eating habits now, while it’s hard, will only make them stronger!

Let me explain.

If we only know how to do something during the “easier” times, then when things get hard, we will throw those habits out the window. Same goes for good eating habits. As soon as you don’t have the time or you are exhausted from another sleepless night, you will reach for sugary carbs for some quick energy. 

If we aren’t careful, we could be adapting poor eating habits that will be harder to break when we are “ready” to start focusing on our nutrition.

Another reason to focus on forming these habits now is you care now. You are searching for answers, that’s how you ended up finding this article. Take that as your sign to start implementing these new healthy eating habits into your routine even if you just had a baby. 

A few months from now, when these habits start becoming your routine, you will be happy you did.

Now let’s get into it!  

8 Good Eating Habits For Moms Who Just Had a Baby!

1. Eat Protein with Every Meal

The first good eating habit is to eat protein with every meal. 

Protein is so important, especially after you just had a baby. It helps you recover from birth, and it’s used to produce breast milk. 

If your goal is maintaining a healthy weight or weight loss, then protein will also help keep you fuller long, meaning you’ll be less apt to snack on less nutritious foods. 

Adequate protein will also help with your mood. Proteins are responsible for making hormones. This can be especially important in combating postpartum blues. 

Protein Serving Size

One way to make sure you are getting enough and to reap its many benefits is to include it into every meal, as well as snacks.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to have a piece of chicken for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You will have to get creative, and you’ll include different protein sources throughout your day. 

Aim to have a full serving of protein (20-30g) per meal. Then for your snacks you can cut that in half (10-15g). If you are more of a visual person a serving of protein would be the size of the palm of your hand. A half a serving then would be half the size of your palm.

How to Make Eating Protein a Habit

  1. Find protein sources you enjoy. If you don’t prefer meat, there are lots of good plant protein sources available such as beans, lentils, and tofu. 
  2. Make sure you have protein options readily available. Good snacking protein sources are yogurt, nuts, seeds, cheeses, protein powders and shakes, and protein bars. 
  3. Cook your meats in batches ahead of time. Making large batches of chicken, hardboiled eggs, or ground beef will make it more convenient when it is time to throw together a meal.
  4. Increase your protein slowly and start by prioritizing a high protein breakfast. From there you can add it into your lunch, dinner, and snacks. 
  5. Sneak protein powders into smoothies, oatmeal, and homemade baked goods! You can even stir it into your coffee in the morning. 

2. Eat More Frequently 

Eating more frequently can be a challenge when you’ve just had a baby. However, skipping meals will make it harder to reach your protein goal, will make you feel more tired, hungrier, and will be bad for your milk supply if you are breastfeeding. 

When you starve your body of important nutrients, yes you will lose “weight”. However, you will also lose muscle, bone mass, and your body will learn how to be more efficient on lower fuel. This means you’ll start feeling sluggish, weaker, and even colder. 

If you want sustained energy and a body that functions optimally, then it’s important you are eating! Aim to have 6 meals/snacks a day. 

How to Make Eating More Frequently a Habit

  1. Plan your snacks and meals so you are prepared with what you will eat. 
  2. Food prep or meal prep so you can just heat it up when you are ready for food.
  3. Keep snacks readily available and in sight, like fruit on the counter. 
  4. Buy grabbable snacks, like fruit, protein shakes, or cheese sticks. 
  5. If you have trouble remembering to eat, set a timer on your phone every 3 hours until it becomes more routine. 

3. Drink More Water

I bet you hear this one all the time and I’ll say it again – DRINK MORE WATER!

What’s the sense of eating all this good, nutritious food if you’re not drinking enough water! Water helps the body break down and absorb nutrients. Being well hydrated will also help with identifying hunger cues, breast milk production, and keeping you regular. 

How Much Water

Start by drinking ½ your bodyweight in ounces. So, if you are 160 pounds, drink 80 oz of water a day. If you are breastfeeding, you should aim for even more water! 

Tip: You don’t want to wait until your thirsty to drink water! If you are well hydrated, your pee will be the color of lemondade.

Hydration pee color chart

How to Make Drinking More Water a Habit

If you just had a baby and are breastfeeding, you are probably thirsty. If you haven’t noticed that you are reaching for the water bottle more, here are some easy tips to make drinking more water a habit!

  1. Buy a big water jug. This is the one I use and the times and ounces are very helpful!
  2. Set your water bottle by the fridge (or somewhere you go first thing in the morning) and fill it up.
  3. Keep water available and within reach.
  4. Flavor your water, drink tea, or club soda.
  5. Set a reminder on your phone to take a drink. 

4. Limit Processed Foods 

This next good eating habit can be challenging because so much of our foods today are processed and have added sugars snuck in. These foods are less nutritious and full of empty calories. 

Examples of processed foods are cereals, bars, baked goods, sodas, chips, and ice-cream. 

Since these foods are less nutritious, lacking things such as fiber, they don’t make you feel satisfied, and they don’t maintain your energy very well. This will lead to more and more consumption of processed sugary foods to feel satisfaction. 

To avoid this bad cycle, it’s beneficial to limit processed foods and added sugar and to focus on whole food consumption. 

How to Make Limiting Processed Foods a Habit

Since processed foods are yummy, you may not want to cut them completely out of your diet. However, limiting the amount you eat will still be beneficial. 

  1. First, focus on consuming unprocessed, whole foods like fruits and vegetables. Adding in more nutritious foods will naturally make you crave the less nutritious foods. 
  2. Next you want to be aware of what foods you are buying because added sugars can be snuck into a lot of foods. Look at labels when grocery shopping and choose the better option. 
  3. Buy less processed and make swaps for whole foods. If you buy less, you will be less likely to eat it. But make sure you buy other whole food alternatives that will satisfy you. 
  4. Let yourself enjoy a treat every now and again. If you completely cut yourself off, you will crave it even more. So, enjoy your favorites, but in moderation!

5. Eat Healthy Fats

There are many benefits of healthy fats including lowering risk of cardiovascular disease, controlling blood sugar, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, boosting mood, and helping you feel fuller longer. 

What are Healthy Fats?

Some examples of healthy fats are fatty fish, nuts (cashews, almonds, nut butters), seeds (chia seeds, sunflower, ground flax seeds), full fat dairy, avocado, and olive oil. 

Fats to avoid are artificial fats (such as trans fats). These have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, cause inflammation, and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

How to Make Eating Healthy Fats a Habit

  1. Aim for a thumb size of oils or butters and a cupped hand of nuts or seeds. 
  2. Swap out vegetable oil for avocado oil or olive oil. 
  3. Add seeds to smoothies, energy balls, and breakfast bars.
  4. Have a full fat dairy, like yogurt or cheese, as part of your snack (these serving sizes will vary. You can follow suggested serving on nutrition label).
  5. Check food labels and avoid trans fats and ingredients that say “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”.

6. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as fiber! Fiber is important for preventing constipation, which is quite common right after giving birth. 

It’s recommended that you get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day! One serving size would equate to the size of your fist. 

This can seem like a lot when it’s not already a good eating habit of yours. Including fruits and vegetables into your snacking is one way to prioritize them though. It’s also a good way to help a new mom keep her energy and milk supply up. 

How to Make Eating Fruits and Vegetables a Habit

  1. Prepare your fruits and vegetables by washing and cutting them ahead of time.
  2. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables that you can throw in a smoothie plus you don’t have to worry about them going bad as quickly.
  3. Buy vegetables you can dip. Carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter, cucumber and ranch, etc. 
  4. Toss fruit onto oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, and salads.
  5. Incorporate a serving of fruits and veggies into every meal and snack. 

7. Balance Your Meals

Good eating habits boil down to having a balanced diet. This means every meal is balanced with protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. 

If you follow the other habits above, you will have no problem getting a balance of each of these. However, this information can be overwhelming, so it can be helpful to focus on one meal at a time. 

For example, if you are looking at your meal plate, you want to divide it into ½ vegetables, ¼ protein, and ¼ starchy carbohydrates (rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.). 

A balanced plate for good eating habits.

For snacks you would then have 1 serving of fruit and ½ serving of protein. 

Balanced meals are important and so is variety. Variety means not eating the same fruits and vegetables every day. So, try to find an array of foods you enjoy and consume them! 

How to Make Balancing Your Meals a Habit

  1. Stay conscious of the foods you are consuming. It is hard to know what your diet is missing if you aren’t taking mental notes of what you are eating throughout the day.
  2. Meal Plan. Meal planning will help ensure you are getting in protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable with each meal.
  3. Try new recipes! Getting creative and trying new recipes will help you find more combinations you like and will keep your meal ideas fresh, so you won’t get bored. 

8. Stay Mindful 

The last good eating habit is to stay mindful of what you are eating. Having a new baby means we don’t have a lot of time to think about ourselves, let alone what we are eating every few hours. 

It’s easy to adopt habits of eating whatever and doing so without even knowing how much we are consuming. That is a quick way to overindulging in processed foods and packing on unnecessary fat. 

Being mindful of what you are eating, how much, and how it makes you feel will help you stay accountable to all your eating habits.

How to Make Staying Mindful a Habit

  1. Eliminate distracted eating. Turn off the tv, put down your phone, and dedicate time to eating. If you have little ones at home this might be difficult. But try your best to stay in the moment of eating.
  2. Take note of how the food taste. With eliminating distractions you’ll be better able to note how the food tastes and how it makes you feel. Are you full or satisfied? Do you feel energized or sluggish? Take note and eat accordingly.
  3. Slow down your eating. Chew slowly and enjoy how your food tastes. This will help give your body time to digest and it will allow for more feelings of satisfaction.
  4. Prepackage snacks to correct portion sizes. This will help you to see what portion sizes look like and allow you to stick to them.
  5. When you go to eat, check in with why you are eating. Are you hungry? Or are you feeling angry, tired, sad, or stressed? Make sure you are eating for the right reasons. 

Good Eating Habits for Moms Who Just Had a Baby Conclusion

There are 8 good eating habits for moms who just had a baby that you should start right away! These habits are lifelong habits that will help you reach your postpartum weight loss goal and make you a healthier momma overall. 

The good eating habits I recommend for moms who just had a baby are:

  1. Eat protein with every meal and snack
  2. Eat more frequently
  3. Drink more water
  4. Limit processed foods
  5. Eat more healthy fats
  6. Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  7. Balance your meals with protein, starchy carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vegetables or fruits
  8. Practice mindful eating

The key to any habit is slowly integrating it into your life and finding ways to make it work for you. I hope you can start incorporating some of these good eating habits into your life starting today!  

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