Tag Archive for: postnatal

Those early days with a newborn are a whirlwind of sleep deprivation, endless cuddles, and a constant hunger that seems to come from nowhere. But amidst the chaos, taking care of yourself and your growing bub through nutritious food remains paramount.

This is where a well-stocked and organised kitchen cupboard becomes your secret weapon.

Let’s face it, elaborate meals might be a distant memory for a while. But fear not, we have some great tips to reduce your mental (and physical) load in those early weeks and months.

Here’s how to undertake a cupboard makeover that supports good nutrition without demanding hours in the kitchen.

Planning is Key: Assess Your Needs

Before diving into a pantry revamp, take a moment to assess your current situation and needs.

  • Dietary Requirements: Do you have any allergies or follow a specific diet (vegetarian, vegan etc.)?
  • Cooking Time: How much realistic cooking time do you have with a newborn? Be honest!
  • Baby’s Age: As your baby progresses through weaning, their dietary needs will evolve.

The Larder Makeover Essentials:

Now, let’s get organised! Here are the key components for your new mum-friendly larder:

Shelf-Stable Staples:

  • Grains & pasta: Stock up on pasta, wholegrains, quinoa, and low GI brown and white rice as a quick and nutritious base for many meals.
  • Canned goods: Canned chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans are protein powerhouses, perfect for quick stews and salads. Diced tomatoes, tinned corn, tuna, and salmon are pantry lifesavers for easy meals.
  • Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, cashews, macadamias, walnuts, sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds add protein, healthy fats, and fibre to smoothies, yoghurt, salads, and even baked goods.
  • Dried fruits: Raisins, cranberries, and chopped dates are natural sweeteners and add a chewy texture to oatmeal, trail mix, or yoghurt parfaits.

Essential Pantry Items:

  • Oils & vinegars: Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are all you need for basic dressings, marinades, and finishing touches.
  • Dried herbs & spices: A well-stocked spice rack adds flavour and variety to even the simplest dishes. Start with basics like garlic powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and chili flakes.
  • Pasta sauces and extras: Opt for reduced-salt versions of pesto, marinara, or Alfredo sauce to turn cooked pasta into a quick meal. Keep some jar pesto, semi-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and pitted olives (black or Kalamata) to stir through pasta for a quick and delicious meal.
  • Soups & broths: Reduced-salt canned soups or broths are a lifesaver for whipping up quick, nourishing meals or adding flavour to dishes.

The Healthy Snack Station:

  • Fresh fruit: Keep a fruit bowl stocked with easy-to-grab options like apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, capsicum and cucumber slices are perfect for snacking on their own or with hummus. Do a bulk chop a few times a week and keep them in a sealed container in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go.
  • Whole-wheat crackers: Choose reduced-salt crackers for pairing with cheese, hummus, or nut butter.
  • Trail mix: Make your own with rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for a healthy on-the-go snack. Throw in a handful of choc-buds for that extra yum.

Beyond Basics: Building a Well-Rounded Pantry

The above are just the building blocks. Here’s how to personalise your pantry for even better results:

  • Frozen Favourites: Frozen vegetables are a lifesaver for busy mums (and dads!). They’re pre-washed, chopped, and snap-frozen to retain their nutrients.
  • Breakfast Boosters: Stock up on healthy cereals, whole-wheat bread, nut butter, and yoghurt for quick breakfasts.
  • Homemade Staples: Batch cook and freeze some homemade items like healthy muffin batter, lentil soup, or Bolognese sauce.
  • Treat Yourself: Don’t forget a small stash of healthy treats like dark chocolate or homemade nut bars for those cravings. Remember there are no good or bad foods; however, when you do choose a ‘sometimes’ food take the time to decide what you really want – and savour and enjoy.

Tips for Organisation and Efficiency:

  • Declutter and Deep Clean: Start with a clean slate by removing expired items and anything you no longer use. (“Hello, herbs from the early 2000s!”)
  • Categorise and Label: Group similar items together (grains, canned goods, snacks) and label shelves for easy identification. Utilise clear storage containers to keep things organised.
  • Utilize Vertical Space: Install shelves or utilise shelf risers to maximize storage space.
  • Keep High-Use Items Within Reach: Place frequently used items like snacks, grains, and canned goods at eye level for easy access.
  • Rotate Stock: Implement a “first-in, first-out” system to avoid expired items lurking in the back of the cupboard.

Remember, this is YOUR larder! Tailor it to your family’s preferences, dietary needs, and budget.


We offer individual consultations and postnatal cookbooks as we know you all have different learning styles and budgets.

Attending an individual session with a Lifestyle Maternity dietitian will allow you to assess your diet against recommended guidelines and identify changes that can be tailored to your lifestyle and dietary preferences. If you would like further information book an appointment  now.

Our postnatal cookbook has been developed in collaboration with Dietitian Christine Stone (PeNut).This collaboration is for all time-poor, nutrition-conscious, food-loving new mums. When we’ve talked with new mums about what worked for them to feel nourished, health, and strong they’ve told us they’ve needed to adapt routines and habits that used to be their go-to’s for nutrition. This cookbook has been designed to support new mums in meeting these important goals.



IMAGE CREDIT: Annie Spratt/Unsplash

IMAGE DESCRIPTIONS: first – an open food cupboard with fiver shelves full of jars and bottles with a door that’s hung with a spice rack with 6 shelves in it; second – front cover of PeNut + Lifestyle Maternity cookbook collaboration. Tomato based soup with spinach mixed through in a white bowl with a silver spoon resting in the soup. It is on a grey blue background with next to a white tea towel with a red stripe.