The hospital I go to is so close to some amazing restaurants and healthier grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes. If we were living our regular (non-covid-impacted) lives, we would plan to send my hubby for some scrumptious healthy meals from the Whole Foods prepared food section or pick up a special dinner from a neighboring restaurant. However, now we are “not allowed” to leave the hospital or even the LDRP unit till we are discharged from the hospital. No yummy food for us. We have to rely on the hospital food, which if you did not know is equivalent to fast food restaurants with their highly processed, high fat, low nutrient foods.
You can still eat hospital food but make good choices and better yet, bring our own food and snacks to add nutrients to your diet those days you are there. Yes, the food you may bring into the hospital may not be the warm comfort meal you want and deserve after a long day or two of laboring or undergoing a cesarean, but having some extra healthy snacks on hand to boost your energy, support your healing process, and promote your milk supply is a Must Have in your hospital bag!
PS. Do not forget to bring and continue taking your prenatal vitamins at the hospital and at least throughout your postpartum recovery and during breastfeeding. (I personally take prenatal vitamins every day even when not pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. It is good to take as a multivitamin till you know you are officially done having children and switch to a multi that fits your current lifestyle!)
Focus on foods that are organic, high in protein, iron, healthy fats, and vitamin C. Here is my list of healthy snacks I will pack and bring with me: Whole Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, lemons) Raw Veggies (Carrots, Radishes, Green Beans) Granola Bars/ Granola Nuts/Seeds Black Sesame Seeds Dried Fruit GF Crackers/Pretzels Organic Coconut Water & Filtered Water Organic Instant Coffee/Tea Beef Jerky (for hubby) Roasted Chickpea snacks Ground Flax to add to salads or yogurt for extra fiber and omega 3s! What to look for in the hospital café menu Fruits and vegetables Nutritional Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa and buckwheat Lean protein like Chicken Leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard Healthy Fats like nuts and avocado Iron-rich or fortified foods (especially if you suffer from postpartum symptoms) Vitamin C-rich foods (can help especially healing mothers who deliver via C-section. Examples are Oranges, tomatoes, natural fruit juices and clean natural supplements.) Snack and meal ideas from hospital Salad Bar Whole and fresh fruit Whole Foods- Protein with side of vegetables Smoothies Whole-grain crackers Yogurt Raw Veggies Nuts Hummus *Check my Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list to see what to avoid and what is safest and what organic items you may want to bring with you, if you can.* Honestly, you will only be in the hospital for a few days tops (hopefully) so if you do not have access to organic, you will be ok. It is just good to be aware long term. I would ultimately stay away from processed foods, sugary foods and drinks, and sauces.
This is just to “survive” hospital meals when there. When you return to life at home it is a great time to refocus on keeping a healthy lifestyle and eating foods with nutritional benefits to help heal your body and mind during you fourth trimester and years to come. A BIG Congratulations! Health & Happiness! - Anastasia