The 5 Foods I Think New Moms Desperately Crave

The 5 Foods I Think New Moms Desperately Crave

(Image credit: Carmen Chavarri)

I thought once I'd finally had my baby, once pregnancy was over and I was no longer building a human being from scratch, I would perhaps stop eating like it was an Olympic event.

It's cute when people think those things pre-kid, right?

Between the lack of sleep, fluctuating hormones, and learning to take care of this tiny being who needed me for survival, I was a beast — constantly ravenous, yet also very picky. Plus, I wanted to eat a variety of foods so the baby could taste it through my breastmilk and I could hopefully introduce flavors ASAP. I was a difficult diner for my poor husband and family who were also all sleep-deprived and riding the incredible emotional roller coaster that is "OMG, we have a baby."

Although we lived it up big time ordering in, after a week I was positively craving homemade food. Here are some foods that would really have satisfied so many of my cravings (or at least one at a time), while sustaining me through 17 million nighttime wakings.

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

1. Dan Dan Noodles

Our third day home from the hospital, my husband ordered South Indian food for lunch. I don't remember what I ate, but I remember it was an incredibly spicy, sour, savory meal — vibrant flavors firing on all cylinders. After so many months of heartburn if I so much as looked at a tomato, eating such intense flavors was wonderful. I wish I had these mouth-tingling, saucy noodles in the fridge. They are good hot, room temperature, or the next day.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Appropriate to eat at any time of day, a little punch of healthy fat and protein from peanut butter and that sweet-and-salty thing is just perfect. These can also be eaten with one hand or quietly while a baby sleeps on you, which is clutch.

Read more: 10 One-Handed Snacks for New Moms

(Image credit: Kathryn Hill)

3. Spicy Tuna Bowl

When I was pregnant, I didn't miss alcohol and I didn't miss fitting into my own pants. I really, really, really missed sushi and raw fish. If someone brought me spicy tuna (in moderation, while breastfeeding), I would have cried salty tears and named my new baby after them. The pure joy of spicy tuna would have made my rather frightening postpartum acne fade into the abyss.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

4. Meatloaf

I have made my meatloaf for quite a few of my pregnant friends. In fact, I call it maternity meatloaf. Meatloaf freezes well; has a kajillion variations; can include a myriad of meats, veggies, and grains; and tastes so, so good standing at the fridge when your shirt is soaked with milk stains, your hair is a rat's nest, and your laundry smells entirely like spit-up. Oh, and it tastes incredible sliced and served cold on white bread with a generous dollop of mayonnaise.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

5. Blue Cheese Dressing

Slather it on hot wings, dollop it on iceberg wedges, layer it on burgers, or just serve it in a mug with some raw carrots. Blue cheese dressing is one of the things for which there is no substitute during pregnancy. Additionally, it provides a lot of the fat, salt, and punchy flavor I craved during those first sleepless weeks. A jar of blue cheese dressing will be a huge hit for any blue-cheese-loving family with a new baby.

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