This week I was with a client who has to take a certain medication with food at intervals throughout the day strategically to reduce the affect on her nursing baby. After making her food this week, she said something I just loved. "Every time I go to take my medication, I think to myself, 'I need a little snack.' Then I look in my fridge and I say, 'Yay, a little snack my doula left for me!'"
It made me think of how often we need a little something, but don't take the time to nourish ourselves. We don't feel like a big meal, and don't want the hassle of chopping and slicing, heating, or creating more dishes for ourselves to have to manage while we are managing a tiny little one's various needs. So we grab a bar or some other packaged food to tide us over. But how often have you found yourself nearing dinner and all you have consumed all day is a bar or packaged item, a few drinks and maybe a handful of almonds?
I can tell you that as a doula I find a lot of neglected fruit and veggies in the fridge that my clients are thrilled to eat; they just don't have the time to prepare it for themselves. All it takes is chopping it up, slicing it and serving it to them to perk up their energy and their spirits. So of course we do (sometimes every time we visit!).
However, I think spreading the word to other helpers would be great as well. Moms need food. They don't take the time to serve themselves, and I think there is this sense that they don't want to go to so much trouble for just them. So I have a solution. Small packages.
When I am with a family, I often take the time just to wash the grapes and put them in separate serving sizes ready to grab. Yep, grapes. Those wonderful bags of sweetness that mold in the bottom of your fridge because no one got to them in time. (You know you have done this.)
I also make snack size bowls of all kinds of dishes. Roasted veggies, rice or pasta dishes, snack plates with hummus dip, even plating up that casserole that someone else brought that is covered in foil (that no one has opened in a few days). Just taking the time to get out the serving dishes and putting the food in easily accessible places--that you see when you open the fridge--allows a mom to get the nourishment she needs without having to live off an energy bar.
So dads, partners, grandmas, friends...think small packages. Because moms rarely refuse a little bit of something, especially nursing moms. The result might be a more energetic, positive outlook from the new mama, and that makes everyone happy, right?
(I will admit that this uses more plastic wrap that some families are used to, so please let me know if anyone has a solution for small packages of food that you can see when you open the fridge...)