Anyway. The latest helpful thing is the suggestion that new (and especially newly breastfeeding) mamas stock up on foods that can easily be eaten with one hand. And it makes perfect sense. Who wants to hold a wiggly baby and try to negotiate a giant bowl of chili?
Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing foods, I'm usually in the giant-bowl-of-chili camp. I really, really like "dinner in a bowl." You've got your grain, veggie, and protein all in one convenient chili, or soup, or stir-fry; all of the flavors get to play together; and clean-up is usually a breeze. And when I think of foods to cook and freeze for reheating after the baby arrives, I think of hearty bean-and-seitan stews and big glass casserole dishes of spinach lasagna and tofu-ricotta-stuffed shells.
But these are not one-handed foods. Not really. Yes, in theory, one could set a bowl of soup down on a TV tray next to one's rocking chair and attempt to eat it while nursing the baby, but the whole process sounds a little like that exercise where you try to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. After a minute, you just end up patting both your head and your tummy, and you drop hot soup on the baby. So one-handed food it is.
Unfortunately, when I first picture one-handed food, it's never anything that I might actually want to eat on a regular basis. I think of Luna bars (which are fine, but not great), and then my mind goes immediately to the preservative-laden world of pre-packaged and often non-vegan food: toaster pastries, pizza rolls, drinkable soup in a microwavable sippy cup (because spoons are for suckers!), and tubes of neon-colored yogurt and pudding designed to be squeezed directly into the mouth (down with tool-use!).
(Yes, the part of my brain that comes up with ideas for one-handed food is also the part that wants to stay up all night playing video games with the other 7th-grade boys. Why do you ask?)
I'm wildly disturbed by the idea that, despite the fact that I will never purchase any of the above food items, their advertisers have been successful in that I remember the existence of the these products and strongly associate them with the whole grab-'n'-go food concept. So I'm racking my brain for ideas, trying to beat out the advertisers and my penchant for bowl-based dinners with a list of tasty, reasonably nutritious, single-hand-friendly vegan (or easily veganizable) options:
- Fruit and vegetable slices
- Whole grain toast
- Bagels with peanut butter
- Pitas with hummus
- Wrap sandwiches (I have trouble eating "traditional" sandwiches one-handed. I feel like my sandwich contents are precariously balanced between the two slices of bread, and I have to rearrange things before every bite. Same goes for veggie burgers.)
- Vegetable maki
- Fruit and non-dairy milk smoothies
- Nuts and seeds
- "Bar-based cuisine," as my husband likes to say (Luna bars, Clif bars, Lara bars, etc.)
It's a measly little list so far, and I'm sure there are awesome things that I'm forgetting. It occurs to me, however, that the above list contains a lot of the foods that I ate when I was first pregnant and felt like ass and absolutely nothing sounded good to eat. Coincidence? I wonder...