1. Lunch shortcut: Just add beans
To turn pasta, soup, or greens into a hefty meal, toss in garbanzo, black, or kidney beans. Besides containing fill-you-up fiber and protein, they also pack iron, zinc, and folic acid into each bite. Try this flavorful dish: Mix black beans with cooked brown rice, a little chili powder, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
2. Snack shortcut: Empty your crisper
Take apples, oranges, and bananas out of the fridge and keep them in a bowl on your kitchen counter for easy-to-see (and eat!) treats.
3. Salad shortcut: Ditch the tossing
Yes, salads are a great low-calorie meal option, but all that chopping and arranging is hardly doable with a newborn. Instead, keep plastic baggies full of pre-cut baby carrots, celery, bell peppers, and grape tomatoes in your fridge for salad snacks you can grab with zero hassle.
4. On-the-go shortcut: Realize that diaper bags aren't just for diapers
They're for snacks for you, too! Don't leave home without small bags of trail mix, mini boxes of raisins, dried apricots, and high-fiber, protein-rich nutrition bars, such as Kashi GoLean Crunchy!
5. Dinner shortcut: Use your freezer
Stock it with protein-rich meal starters, such as frozen veggie burgers, shrimp, and chicken strips, that are a cinch to build a meal around, says Bridget Swinney, RD, author of Eating Expectantly. Veggie burgers can be tucked into a whole wheat sandwich roll or crumbled on top of greens. Shrimp can make a bowl of pasta feel special. And chicken strips can be stir-fried with frozen vegetables.