HEALTH

Eat Right

How to build a balanced girl dinner

The clock just hit 7 p.m. after a long day of work, school or even just running errands—you're exhausted, your room is a mess and you're hungrier than ever. Don't fear, girl dinner is here! 

If you are unclear what "girl dinner" is, let us fill you in. Basically, it's a combination of a bunch of random snacks, bites or appetizers that come together to form a full meal.

However, the concept needs to be reframed a little bit. Some content creators have been advertising girl dinner as water, cucumbers and seven goldfish (we know, not great).

But even though it's technically a bunch of snacks, there is still a way to make it nourishing and balanced. Consider this your ultimate guide to creating a balanced girl dinner. Plus, stick around till the end for some inspo! 

Choose an item from each food group


@dished_sogood

We're talking a carb or gain, fat, protein, fiber and fruit or vegetable. In order to create the most balanced girl dinner, try to hit most of (or all of) the major food groups. This will ensure you get the most nutrients out of your meal, while still being able to throw it together in a pinch. For example, grab some left-over pasta, sliced deli meat, that last bit of watermelon and boom: a balanced girl dinner. 

Listen to your hunger cues


@juniesiees

After its initial popularity, the concept of girl dinner kind of took a turn for the worst. Rather than showing the fun and silly food combos that girls were throwing together, the trend showcased restrictive and negative eating habits. We're here to promote healthy eating habits by encouraging listening to your body and hunger cues. For example, was the charcuterie girl dinner not cutting it? Try making a quick sandwich to meet your hunger level. 

Add a healthy twist to your cravings


@abbeyskitchen

Rather than ignoring your cravings for the sake of eating healthy, try combining the two! Fun fact: Balancing your plate and eating everything in moderation is actually healthier than restricting. Craving that delicious Annie's white cheddar macaroni and cheese? Add some colorful veggies on the side to hit all those key nutrients. Maybe cereal is on your mind—drizzle some peanut butter and blueberries to make it that much more nourishing.

Stay hydrated


@mishxcindy

While water isn't a real aspect of girl dinner, it's important to remember. Sometimes, we're too tired to remember to grab a glass of water with our meal. To remind yourself to stay hydrated all day, try carrying a refillable water bottle around. (Your skin will thank you later!) 

3 easy girl dinner combos to try 


@spinmeaneatclean

1. Mediterranean mezze: Pita chips or bread, hummus dip, cucumbers, carrots and frozen falafel (the Trader Joe's brand is delish)
2. Charcuterie board: Crackers, your favorite cheese, sliced turkey, strawberries and avocado
3. Breakfast for dinner: Greek yogurt, berries, granola/protein bar and hard-boiled eggs

Inspired to make a balanced girl dinner? Tag us with your creation @girlslifemag on Insta!

Want more healthy food inspo? Check out these posts!
๐Ÿ‰ 5 easy and delicious protein ball recipes
๐Ÿ‰ Why you should add more plant-based foods into your life (plus 4 easy recipes to get you started)
๐Ÿ‰ Sip, glow, conquer: the ultimate smoothie power-up guide

Slider image: @healthymoodsf
Top image: @justfeedme

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by Frankie Smith | 9/20/2023
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