Diets to help the grieving?
October 22, 2012 5:21 AM   Subscribe

Diets for the post-partum individual? Post-funerary diets to get one's strength to carry on?
posted by parmanparman to Grab Bag (15 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's request. -- goodnewsfortheinsane

Aw sweet Jesus I'm hoping this is not what I think it is but fear my hope is in vain.

Are people bringing lots of things by? Do your wider support group know? and know what you like?

A lot of the sympathy cook stuff is carb heavy which can make you feel bloated and sleepy, especially when you may already be feeling low. Concentrate on protein and maybe even a multivitamin supplement especially for the post-parturient.

You may lack appetite, juice some fruit and veg if so and sip.

I'm so sorry.
posted by Wilder at 5:55 AM on October 22, 2012 [6 favorites]

Oh, parmanparman, I am so sorry.

Chicken noodle soup, or avgolemono if you like lemons. My vote is for eating, period, which can be so hard at this time. Something hot and fragrant. I hope you have folks looking after you.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:08 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

High-protein comfort food will keep you going and feeling better than endless starchy casseroles. Soups can be broken down into managable portions, and eaten all day. Healthy, soothing fats like olive oil and avocado, to make sure you're full and getting enough calories even if you can't eat much.
posted by availablelight at 6:15 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

My vote is for eating, period, which can be so hard at this time.

Seconding this - Raymod Carver's story "A Small Good Thing" deals with a family coping with a tragic loss, and towards the end they are comforted by a baker --
“You probably need to eat something,” the baker said. “I hope
you’ll eat some of my hot rolls. You have to eat and keep going. Eating
is a small, good thing in a time like this,” he said.

He served them warm cinnamon rolls just out of the oven,
the icing still runny. He put butter on the table and knives to spread
the butter. Then the baker sat down at the table with them. He waited.
He waited until they each took a roll from the platter and began to
eat. “It’s good to eat something,” he said, watching them. “There’s
more. Eat up. Eat all you want. There’s all the rolls in the world in
Anything you have the stomach for, at first, will be good. With such a shock, you are probably going to have a hard enough time making sure that you are eating than you should be thinking about what you are eating. Also, there's a reason why they call "comfort food" by that particular name.

Be gentle with yourself - if you feel like eating nothing but toast and jam for a whole day, at least you're eating, so that's good.

So sorry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 AM on October 22, 2012 [6 favorites]

Oh, no. I am so sorry. While I am not a vegetarian, I do know that my body feels noticeably "happier" when I eat a lot of vegan-y food... whole grains, kale/collards/greens, etc. Honestly, a very simple and satisfying dish that you can make a ton of at one time is to braise a lot of greens in a big pot with some vegetable broth, then toss some quinoa on top, cover, steam until it's done, then toss with sundried tomatoes.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:19 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Man, this is a shitty question to have to ask. I'm really sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage recently (I realize that this is likely not the exact situation you're talking about) and found stuffed shells (brought over by a friend) easy to eat in small portions and full of enough protein from the cheese to keep me moving. I also ate a lot of cookies.
posted by SeedStitch at 6:20 AM on October 22, 2012

I am so, so sorry. What a horrible thing. my heart goes out to you.

I was in that position not too long ago. For awhile eating anything was an accomplishment. So I just ate whatever sounded even remotely edible. Mostly that was comfort food people brought by; pot pie, mashed potatoes, and casseroles. Then, when I exhausted that very short list of foods that tasted good, I just forced myself to eat something even when it tasted like dust.
Specifically though, protein is good, especially for the post-partum part.

As an aside, I found a lot of comfort from connecting with others who had experienced this. I specifically found a home during the worst of it at
Please memail me if you would like to talk or would like some other resources.
posted by teamnap at 6:24 AM on October 22, 2012

Simple food may take you the farthest for now. Try eating from a fruit and cheese board, or eat an apple with peanut butter. Bake a sweet potato in the microwave and top it with cinnamon. Hummus and veges. Keep hard boiled eggs on hand. Yogurt with frozen fruit and granola cereal. Snacking may be easier for you than eating meals, so you might try to make the most of your snacking. Your diet really should resemble your pregnancy diet as your body will need strength to heal for several weeks.

I also am sorry for your loss.
posted by lynnshaze at 6:24 AM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am so sorry. You probably won't feel like eating large meals so do a run to the grocery shop for snacky things you enjoy. For one thing, it is good to be out, as hard as it feels right now, and you can load up on all the ready-made/easy to eat items you might not normally have on hand.
posted by saucysault at 6:26 AM on October 22, 2012

Spreads, such as hummus, on a slice of bread can make for a decent meal, for now. Be sure those snacky foods include fiber, and drink plenty of water or tea. I'm so sorry.
posted by Fichereader at 6:39 AM on October 22, 2012

Oh. I am so sorry.

Foods with minimal dishes. Hummus in a package, dip pita chunks or veggies right into it. Pizza right out of the box, cold the next day. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Crackers and cheese. Pudding. Bananas and other fruits to eat out of hand. Dried fruits and nuts.

If there is a food you especially love, ymmv on eating it now. Some I know report that grief has destroyed their memories of favorite foods. Others say an old standby really saved them.
posted by bilabial at 7:03 AM on October 22, 2012

Ack, I'm so sorry.

Everyone is talking about all this food, but I'm going to recommend shakes and smoothies. I often forgot to eat when I was post-partum (both post lost-baby-partum and post-partum-breastfeeding), especially in the morning, and my husband would bring me special K protein shakes in bed in the morning to help me remember. It was easier just to down the shakes than to actually chew.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:14 AM on October 22, 2012

I'm so so so sorry.

At first, anything you can get down. Just getting calories in your body helps. If you can't get anything down, buy some Ensures. Chug them, ice cold. They taste like cr*p but hey, calories and vitamins and protein. When I was really sick, I lived off of them for 4 months. If you chug them fast enough you can't taste them. :-)

Stock the house with:
- hummus, guac & chips
- beef jerky
- frozen meals
- yoghurts

Once you feel like eating:
- Collard greens cooked with a little bacon, hot pepper flakes, and a splash of vinegar served over rice.
- Chili with beans, sausage, butternut squash (you can buy this cubed in the freezer section), and kale (also frozen). Cook in slow cooker. Serve over rice or polenta.
If you have a dutch over, put a chicken in the dutch oven and add some quartered apples and a couple of inches of cider and some mulling spices and let cook for hours.
- Smoothies using yoghurt, ice cream, and frozen berries.
- sweet potato, red lentil soup
posted by LittleMy at 7:45 AM on October 22, 2012

Written by Emily Post, 1922. It seems many of the above suggestions have been around for a long time.

At no time does solemnity so possess our souls as when we stand deserted at the brink of darkness into which our loved one has gone....First of all, the ones in sorrow should be urged if possible to sit in a sunny room and where there is an open fire. If they feel unequal to going to the table, a very little food should be taken to them on a tray. A cup of tea or coffee or bouillon, a little thin toast, a poached egg, milk if they like it hot, or milk toast. Cold milk is bad for one who is already over-chilled. The cook may suggest something that appeals usually to their taste - but very little should be offered at a time, for although the stomach may be empty, the palate rejects the thought of food, and digestion is never in best order.

She also suggests small plates of fruit, cheeses, little sandwiches prepared in bite sized pieces so that the bereaved do not have to fuss or think about eating and can simply reach for the food and nibble.

To this I might also add Ensure (I do believe the taste and mouthfeel has improved considerably) or Odwalla protein shakes as dpx.mfx has suggested. Tetra packed carrot or butternut squash soups (with added cream for more calories) are also good - nothing too salty, spicy or sharply flavored if you're not up for it. Avocado is high in calories, good fat, goes down easy and stays on the stomach longer than fruit. If going out seems unbearable or overwhelming or exhausting, perhaps a grocery delivery service or friend can help you.

I am so sorry.
posted by space_cookie at 7:59 AM on October 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Are you looking to bring food to a grieving friend or do you want suggestions for food for yourself during a difficult time? Those are very different matters.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:12 AM on October 22, 2012

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