A year into motherhood, wellness entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman, like many moms, knows the value of time more than ever — and just how little there is available to do a lot of things, including eat.
“You have no time for yourself. It’s just unbelievable,” she tells ESSENCE. “I found that throughout my pregnancy, also being pregnant through a pandemic, I just didn’t have the access. And even then after the baby came, I had no time to cook for myself. And I never had anything fresh and prepped in the refrigerator, because who has time for that when you have a newborn?”
Motivated by those needs, as well hearing that women want food and food ordering gift cards, not fluffy or strictly-for-the-babies gifts from loved ones postpartum, she partnered with food delivery service Territory Foods to be of support. Working with registered dietician nutritionist Lizzy Swick and Bronfman, the company launched their Meals for Mama on Tuesday, April 19. The menu of foods is meant to focus on healing from within, offering moms nutrient-rich offerings, as well as meals that promote milk production and boost energy.
“When you are in this moment of pre, during, and postnatal, nutrition is the absolute number one thing in order to keep your energy up to sustain just everything,” she says. “The nourishment that you need, these nutrient-dense meals, restaurants aren’t just making food with that in mind.”
There is also an important emphasis on providing the nutrients needed for expectant mothers. It can be hard to find sustenance, whether because of food aversions or because of the many ingredients in meals that have to be avoided while pregnant.
“The idea of food as medicine is really at the core of what this offering is. Because specifically during pregnancy, there can be so many complications that arise through diet and nutrition that we don’t even talk about,” she says, mentioning gestational diabetes as an example.
“You might have cravings for things and feel completely nauseated by other things. So, what I love so much about Territory is that the technology they use really allows you to fully filter all of your preferences,” she adds. “And that can change week to week, as it does change week to week during pregnancy. You can really customize what you want your meal options to look like.”
Local chefs are also utilized, so every menu for mamas is different depending on where you live. For example, while Bronfman is obsessed with offerings like paleo carrot muffins, Swedish meatballs with mushroom gravy, shrimp basil curry with brown rice and green beans and ginger peanut chickpea with braised sesame cabbage and garlic broccoli, the menu in my zip code has completely different offerings. There’s lemongrass BBQ chicken with jasmine rice and sesame broccoli, chicken pad thai with sautéed vegetables, a breakfast burrito bowl with cilantro lime rice, and much, much more. The options change each week and take only 90 seconds to warm up to eat.
And as mentioned, Bronfman values that quick-and-easy option because she doesn’t have the time as a mom of a toddler to sit around figuring out what she will eat. But she also doesn’t have the desire to allow her nutrition to fall by the wayside.
“Everything’s made with the right amount of carbs, the right amount of protein, the right amount of fat,” Bronfman says. “But at the end of the day, this food is actually just delicious. I like delicious meals.”