vegan postpartum meal
  • Alyssa Fontaine, RD
  • Feb 20, 2024

Vegan Postpartum Meal Ideas: Nourishing Recipes for New Moms

The postpartum period is an exciting yet challenging time filled with adjustments to new emotions, recovering from the physical stress of childbirth, and responding to the new demands of a baby. This article will help you with vegan postpartum meal ideas.

As such, new mothers may find it difficult to find the time to cook nourishing meals while caring for their baby. 

Planning and preparing vegan postpartum meals ahead of time can ensure you have easy-to-make options when you’re exhausted or busy. This approach saves time, provides essential nutrients for post-childbirth recovery, and allows you to focus on your little one. 

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Overview of Postpartum Nutrition Needs

After giving birth, women experience high metabolic demands as their bodies recover and initiate breast milk production if they are breastfeeding. For exclusively breastfeeding mothers, the CDC recommends an additional intake of approximately 300-400 calories per day beyond the regular recommendation is necessary for a total of 2000 to 2800 calories a day. 
Despite the higher nutrient needs (See Table 1), the fundamental principles of healthy eating for all adults remain the same. Encouraging a diverse and balanced diet that includes all the necessary nutrients is recommended. A new mom should understand the basic food groups and how to eat a balanced diet.

Nutrient Requirement if breastfeeding women aged 19-50 years old (amount per day)  
Protein65 g 
Calcium1,000 mg  
Iodine270 mcg
Vitamin B122.8 mcg
Iron16 mg
Magnesium210-320 mg
Zinc12 mg
Vitamin A4,290 IU
Vitamin C120 mg
Vitamin D600 IU
Vitamin E28.5 IU (19 mg)
Vitamin K90 mcg
Thiamin1.4 mg
Riboflavin1.6 mg
Niacin17 mg
Water (from Fluid)Up to 3.8 L fluids 

Table 1: Postpartum Nutrient Requirements for breastfeeding mothers and non-breastfeeding mothers. Source: Becoming Vegan

vegan postpartum meals

How To Prepare Healthy Postpartum Meals

Women may have sub-optimal dietary patterns during pregnancy, making the postpartum period more critical to address. During this time, meal prepping and having pre-planned meals can be a great way to support a well-balanced diet.

By preparing nutritious meals in advance, new mothers can make sure they have access to wholesome foods even during busy and exhausting times. Meal prepping can help meet the increased nutritional demands of postpartum recovery and breastfeeding while also allowing you to focus on caring for their newborns.

How many vegan postpartum meals should you make?

The number of vegan postpartum meals you should make depends on your energy and time availability after childbirth. It’s recommended to prepare 2-4 weeks’ worth of freezer food as both parents may be sleep-deprived during the initial adjustment period. You can scale up your favorite recipes, like our top 10 vegan freezer meals, to make around 30 meals effortlessly.

Best Vegan Freezer Meals For New Moms

Discover our selection of the best vegan freezer meals for new moms, filled with mouthwatering flavors and packed with essential nutrients. With the help of a vegan registered dietitian, these meals can be effortlessly combined to design a personalized and nourishing postpartum vegan meal plan just for you.

Breakfast:

  1. Freezer-Friendly Steel-Cut Oats

Start your morning off right with this easy high protein breakfast dish that will keep you fuller longer. We recommend adding blueberries for added antioxidants, but you can customize it with any of your favorite fruits.

  1. Tofu Scramble 

Kickstart your day with our high-protein breakfast bowl – a nutritious and creamy plant-based alternative to scrambled eggs. This meal is filled with tofu and vegetables that will fuel your body, keep you energized and keeps you satisfied all morning long.

  1. Hash Brown Vegan Breakfast Casserole

This casserole is loved by EVERYONE! This is a heart-healthy meal with no oil or dairy! Rich in whole plant-based nutrients like potatoes, onions and red bell peppers, this meal improves overall well-being and tastes good too! 

Lunch and Dinner:

  1. Vegan Enchilada Casserole

This meal is the definition of a feel good, hearty comfort food that’s easy to make and takes less than an hour! This meal provides a balanced vegan meal with nutrient-rich vegetables and plant-based protein and fiber. 

  1. Vegan Moroccan Lentil Soup

This vegan Moroccan lentil soup is a nourishing, flavourful and quick meal with red lentils. Not only are red lentils protein-rich, they’re also a high source of iron. It also has turmeric and ginger to the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. 

  1. Vegan Mac n Cheese

Indulge in the ultimate comfort with our creamy, homemade macaroni and cheese. This meal is more than just comfort food; it’s also a nutritious delight! Each serving boasts significant nutrients, including 15g of protein, 6g of fiber!

  1. Quinoa Fried “Rice

This is the perfect veggie-packed, high-fiber dish. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals from quinoa, cabbage and other vegetables. Also has low-sodium options available with tamari and coconut aminos. Ready in 30 minutes for a quick and delicious meal.

  1. Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This flavorful stuffed bell pepper dish combines rice, mushrooms, carrots, onion, and spices for a satisfying and nutrient-rich meal. Can’t forget about the pepper that holds all these nutrients! Bell peppers are a great source of Vitamin C.

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Easy Vegan postpartum snacks

Vegan postpartum snacks are a great option for those moments when you feel hungry between meals or during nursing sessions. The key is to pick snacks that are nutrient-rich, containing both protein and carbohydrates, to provide the extra energy needed for post-childbirth recovery.

Here are some examples of nutrient-dense vegan postpartum snacks that offer healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals for a balanced vegan diet:

Continue your vegan prenatal supplement

For mothers who are breastfeeding their child postpartum, it is advisable to maintain the use of their vegan prenatal supplement. This will help ensure an ample supply of essential vitamins and minerals for optimal recovery.

What we suggest:

Ways to Stay Hydrated

Staying well-hydrated while breastfeeding is crucial. It is advisable to aim for a daily intake of 3 liters of water. Different tricks to staying hydrated include:

  • Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up
  • Get into the habit of carrying a water bottle around you
  • Always have water within reach, for example on your nightstand
  • Alternate your drinks or add flavoring (ex: lemon, tea leaves etc.)
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Postpartum Pregnancy Nutrition 101 – Final Thoughts

Consuming a well-balanced vegan diet can supply the essential nutrients required for the body to heal and recover after childbirth. Additionally, vegan postpartum meal planning should be tailored to individual needs, as there is no universal approach. It is crucial to seek guidance from a vegan dietitian for personalized recommendations and meal plans.

While incorporating nutritious frozen meals saves preparation time, it’s also important to seek assistance from family and friends for healthy food support and help with food preparation!  

Additionally, suggest convenient and wholesome on-the-go snacks, particularly while breastfeeding, such as nuts, seeds, fruits, whole grain sandwiches, and raw vegetables. Lastly, stay hydrated by drinking water during or after each breastfeeding session.

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