Postpartum Meals Series: “Kelvin’s Chili”

written by: Lo Mansfield, RN, MSN, CLC

postpartum chili for new mama meal prep

My mama showed me that food is a love language – and a postpartum meal? That is SERIOUS love. I love taking food to postpartum mamas, and I love prepping it for myself before my own postpartums too. And it’s even better to me when I can make something that is basically “comfort soup.” This soup, some cheddar cheese and some Fritos? It’s one of my favorite ways to bless a new mama AND a fav to eat in my own postpartums (lactation cookies for dessert included).

I do love chili most in the darker, winter months when the days feel so short and those nights can feel so thick and deep. But I prepped this before my May baby and we loved eating in then too (an easy meal is just happiness, always). But, if you want something for those sunnier, warmer days and seasons, my chop-chop salad is my go to for new mamas, so take a peek at that recipe too. 


Did you know that some cultures believe certain types of foods are better than others during the postpartum period? For the Chinese, there is an emphasis on balancing the yin and the yang. In the postpartum period, the body is consider to be in the yin state – or a “cooling” state. To bring balance back to the body, they believe one should be eating yang – or warming – foods. Soups and stews are a great way to fulfill that “warming” need, they are usually easily digestible, and they are often stacked with the veggies and proteins that are so needed for healing and breastfeeding.

This book is amazing related to all of these ideas – recipes included.

Overall, you want to focus on packing in proteins and anti-inflammation foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains – and I think this soup does all of this so, so well!

But first – Who is The Labor Mama and Why Am I Here?

Hey friend! I’m Lo – also known around here and social media as The Labor Mama. I’ve spent my nursing career in labor, delivery, and postpartum, have birthed 4 of my own babies, have labored thousands of mamas at the bedside, have taught hundreds of students online, and have even delivered a few speedy little babies with my bare hands (oops). 

Here at TLM, I offer online birth classes to empower you the way everyone should be. The education + support I offer gives you experience, evidence, and empathy; you’re getting all of my years of “clinical” RN knowledge, beautifully combined with my real experiences as a mama and a nurse. These are not your hospital birth classes (those won’t do it, I promise), and honestly, birth doesn’t follow a textbook or protocol anyway – you need to know so much more than that.

If you want to connect with me further, head to Instagram. There are hundreds of thousands of us over there learning together daily. 

A note: This post may include affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission (thank you)! Rest assured, this comes at no additional cost to you. You can read TLM’s full disclosure here.

Now, let’s get you to the postpartum recipe ⬇️


Source: My mama’s kitchen


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 2 28 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cayenne (do less if you don’t like spice!)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. On the stovetop, brown ground beef in pan. When cooked through, ad the beef to crockpot, then saute the peppers, onions, and minced garlic together as well.
  2. Add veggie mixture into the crock pot.
  3. Add drained beans, corn, tomato sauce, and spices to crockpot as well.
  4. Stir all together well and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. When ready to serve, you can add some water if it seems to thick.
  6. Portion out soup into your bowls.
  7. Add the desired amount of soup to each bowl. Top with shredded cheddar, jalapeños, sourcream, greek yogurt – whatever you’d like!

Recipe Notes

  • Freezing: This soup freezes really well! You can freeze the leftovers after you’ve enjoyed it fresh, or prepare the soup, let it cool, and then portion it into freezer containers. I like to use ziplock bags and then lay them flat to freeze. Defrost, reheat, and enjoy when you’re ready!

If you are taking this to a postpartum mama, feel free to bring it fresh or frozen for later – just ask her what she’d prefer! If you are bringing it fresh, I love to bring along the toppings (cheese, sourcream, etc), as well as some fresh bread, corn bread, or tortilla chips.

Try this, let me know what you think, and/or any modifications you’d make in the comments! I’m a spicy girl, so I’m always looking for ways to spice things up! xx – Lo

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About the Author

Lo Mansfield RN, MSN, CLC, is a specialty-certified registered nurse + certified lactation consultant in obstetrics, postpartum, and fetal monitoring who is passionate about families understanding their integral role in their own stories. She is the owner of The Labor Mama and creator of the The Labor Mama online courses. She is also a mama of four a University of Washington graduate (Go Dawgs), and is recently back in the US after 2 years abroad in Haarlem, NL.


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