When you have a baby in NICU, the last thing you want to think about is what to cook. That’s why I asked dietitian and preemie mom Noelle Martin of Meals for Me and My Minis to share some easy dishes to prepare at home or to take to preemie families that are also fast and flavorful. I can’t wait to try the homemade granola bars!
Noelle’s twins, Clay and Wes, were born at 29 weeks 5 days and spend 49 days in the NICU. Like many NICU parents, Noelle and her husband existed on hospital cafeteria food and fast food for many weeks. Meal chains from friends and family offered more nourishing options and were a welcome gift.
One of Noelle’s top tips for feeding preemie moms–be cautious about foods that may affect a breastfeeding baby. Avoid a lot of spices, peppers, onions, and milk products unless you are sure that mom and babies are okay with these. Noelle also reccommends adding oats and dates where possible as these help increase breast milk supply.
Check out seven options of meals to take to a new mom below.
7 NOURISHING MEALS FOR PREEMIE MOMS
Any family would love these delicious homemade granola bars! They are also full of milk boosting ingredients for a breastfeeding moms. Check out six more options to take to a new mom below.
There are several variations for this recipe which gives nice variety over time. The base is 1.5 cups of nuts/seeds/roasted legumes blended with 1 cup of pitted dates. I use my Vitamix for this but any strong blender would do. Once you have made this mixture you can add anything else.
Mix all ingredients in a powerful blender. Press into an 8 x 8 dish and freeze for 1-2 hours, cut and serve! Leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Here are a few more recipes from Noelle that you may want to consider:
Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
The perfect hand-held treat for a quick breakfast or middle of the night pumping snack!
Tropical Quinoa Salad
Black beans and diced, dried fruit make this salad a filling side dish.
Tomato and Date Mac and Cheese
Tomatoes and dates blend together for a natural “ketchup” that sets this dish apart from other homemade macs!
I treat with pasta or as a hearty main dish with veggies.
Almond Butter Chicken
Soy sauce and maple syrup give this dish a savory yet sweet flavor.
Warming yet mellow spices of turmeric and cinnamon make this dish extra cozy.
Friend and family of preemies might also enjoy Noelle’s 8 tips for feeding preemie moms (and their families!).