This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
If you have a baby to look after, you have to make sure you are looking after your own health too. Keeping your energy up with snacks is vital and will see you through the early rises and late night feeds. It’s too easy to turn to sweets and crisps but in the long run they won’t fuel your body and an immune system that isn’t in peak condition is a playground for your psoriasis to flare.
Healthy snacks are important to fuel your body properly and give you the energy you need to be at the beck and call of your tiny human. Healthy snacks you can eat with one hand are even better.
A sling or baby carrier can save your arms but in those early newborn days when baby just wants to be held and you’re too scared to leave them alone or put them down, you need some sustenance that can satisfy your hunger and not interfere with baby carrying.
I’ve compiled my top snacks that are healthy, tasty and easily eaten one handed. They have seen me through some rough days and nights, and the beauty is, they require minimal prep. No one has time or the desire to spend an age in the kitchen when you have a newborn demanding your attention around the clock.
So if you are a parent-to-be, a new parent or someone who is so busy you prefer to eat one handed, these simple snacks are for you.
Apple slices and nut butter – Classic, simple and delicious. This snack was recommended in most pregnancy magazines and apps as being the perfect snack to give you the extra 300 calories a day needed during pregnancy. Seemingly that’s with only a tablespoon of peanut butter too, dipping into the jar is apparently a LOT more. This is my instant, fill me up, snack. I always have apples at hand in my fruit bowl; slathered with your favourite nut butter, it is divine. I personally love almond and coconut but the old classic peanut is always a good shout, especially if you go for the crunchy option.
Hummus and wholewheat pitta/veg crudites – Who doesn’t love a good chip and dip. Tucking into crisps is a tasty snack but not one to be indulged in too often so this has the same joy with even more nutritious, flavour. A hunk of pitta and a dollop of hummus will tide you over for a little longer too. You can even prepare some veg crudites to keep in the fridge so there is always something healthy and ready, waiting for you. But be warned… loudly crunching into celery or munching on raw carrot will definitely wake a sleeping baby.
Veg and halloumi kebab – Okay so this one does take a little more prep than the others but once you have some veg cut up and in the fridge (hello, extra veg crudites above), it really is pretty quick. These kebabs are delicious and only need a couple of minutes browning under the grill. You choose your favourite vegetables, slide them on a skewer with cubes of halloumi and brush with some oil. For extra yumminess drizzle them with honey once they are grilled. Just make sure to keep the kebab stick away from any nearby babies. Definitely a good one for the summer barbecues.
Fruit Smoothie – if baby is already awake and you don’t mind making some noise, a smoothie made in a blender is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get some goodness down you with minimal effort. My smoothies tend to be banana or avocado based so they’re thick and creamy, like a milkshake but good for you. Choose your liquid of choice, I tend to go for coconut or oat milk. Plus some frozen berries. A handful of spinach gets some greens in too without changing the flavour too much. If you’re looking for something more indulgent swap the berries for cacao powder and mint leaves (I pop my fresh mint in an ice cube tray so it lasts longer and always have some handy) and voila! You have a mint chocolate ‘milkshake’ that’s tastes indulgent without any unnecessary refined sugar.
Oatcakes and… well, the list is endless – Scottish oatcakes whether rough or fine, round or triangular, are in my opinion underrated. I will put anything on an oatcake! I even dip them in my soup. If you are looking for a quick snack to fill you up there are so many options. Cream cheese and cucumber; peanut butter; cheddar and pickle; or hummus if I haven’t scoffed it all with the pitta. But my favourite combo has to be banana and a scraping of cocoa and hazelnut spread.
Overnight oats – A one stop breakfast that can be prepared quickly when you get 5 minutes to yourself and is ready and waiting for you in the fridge whenever hunger strikes, you don’t have to keep it for breakfast time. Simply pour some oats into a container, top with dried or frozen fruit and add your preferred milk. Let the milk soak for an hour or more, overnight as the name suggests and sprinkle seeds or nuts, or add a drizzle of maple syrup before you tuck in. I tend to make mine with very little liquid so it is quite a firm consistency and not too runny/messy for eating over the top of a baby.
Banana bread – sometimes you can’t beat a bit of home baking delights, even better if someone is kind enough to bake them for you. Having a baby does come with a few perks, one being lots of care packages of food and if you’re really lucky that includes some awesome cakes and a good fruit loaf. But if you are at home with baby and are feeling up to it, there are some really simple banana bread recipes around. I even managed to make one, only problem was I had to hide it when visitors popped round, because it was not for sharing! The loaf once sliced gives you a few portions for a tea time treat that will last a couple of days. If you can resist eating it all at once. Try a scraping of coconut oil on a slice instead of butter, you won’t look back.
Cuppa – A hot brew solves a multitude of problems. Sleep deprivation and a colicky baby is no exception. Hot drinks can seem few and far between when you have a baby but one of my top tips whether your tipple of choice be tea, coffee, hot chocolate or herbal tea, is put any hot beverages in a travel mug. That way, your drink of choice will stay warm for longer and with the lid securely on top, you’re more likely to sneak a few sips even if you are stuck with babe in arms.
Water – Baby becomes number one priority but you still have to remember your own self care. Don’t make my mistake and forget to drink water. It will help to stave off hunger and keep headaches at bay too. Staying hydrated is also key for your skin. And I think it goes without saying to have a refillable water bottle to hand particularly with a sports top. That way you don’t have to worry about unscrewing caps or spilling water when baby gets to that fun, wriggly stage. You don’t want to be changing your outfit and baby’s.
Lastly, from personal experience; foods which are not easy to eat one handed - soup, spaghetti or jelly. You have been warned.
UK/IE MAT-15985 Date of Preparation: March 2018
Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.