Check out these tips for what to eat when you don’t know what to eat1
We’ve all been there. You’re standing in front of the fridge, staring blankly at the contents, wondering what to eat.
You’re hungry, but nothing sounds good.
It’s a common dilemma that often leads to decision fatigue and, ultimately, ordering takeout for the umpteenth time.
These tips aim to rescue you from the mealtime monotony and indecision!
Tips for What to Eat When You Don’t Know What to Eat
An obvious solution for knowing what to eat would be to plan, right?
Meal planning is a great tool, however, it can be a daunting task.
This is especially true when you have multiple schedules to consider.
Below are some tips to bust mealtime indecision!
1. Embrace Simplicity with Go-To Options
When you’re unsure about what to eat, simplicity can be your best friend.
Consider some staple options that are easy to prepare and customizable.
Below are a few examples:
- Grain Bowls: Use grains like quinoa or rice as a base and top them with your favorite veggies, proteins, and sauces.
- Omelets or Scrambles: Eggs are versatile and can be transformed into a delightful meal with whatever ingredients you have on hand.
- Stir-fries: Quick, easy, and a fantastic way to incorporate a variety of vegetables and proteins.
2. Opt for Familiar Comfort Foods
Sometimes, the best solution to mealtime indecision is to opt for familiar comfort foods.
These might include:
- Grilled Cheese and Soup: A classic combo that’s easy to make and incredibly satisfying.
- Pasta with Marinara: An old favorite that’s both simple and comforting.
- Baked Potatoes: Load them up with your favorite toppings for a satisfying and customizable meal.
I find it helpful to keep a running list of meals in the notes section on my phone.
I regularly add meals that most of the family enjoyed, were relatively simple to make, and left me feeling good after eating.
3. Get Creative with “Mix and Match” Meals
Consider creating your own “mix and match” meals where you combine various components to craft a personalized dish.
Check out some examples below.
- Taco Bar: Set up a spread with tortillas, proteins, veggies, and various toppings for a fun and customizable dinner.
- Buddha Bowls: Mix different components like roasted vegetables, proteins, grains, and sauces for a colorful and nutritious meal.
- DIY Pizza Night: Utilize pre-made crusts or pitas and set up an array of toppings for a fun and interactive dinner option.
4. Seek Out Mealtime Inspiration
We have an array of recipes and meal ideas at our fingertips.
When you’re feeling stuck, seek out some inspiration.
- Browse food blogs and websites. There are endless resources available online for meal inspiration.
- Ask your friends and family for recommendations. They might have some great ideas for meals and snacks that you haven’t tried before.
- Keep a food journal. This can help you track what you’re eating and identify any patterns. For example, if you find that you’re always getting stuck in a rut, try challenging yourself to try a new food each week.
You can find some inspiration in this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “Anti-Aging 7 Day Meal Plan“.
15 Convenient Meal Options
These meals are perfect for those times when you’re short on time or just don’t feel like spending too long in the kitchen.
Enjoy the convenience without compromising on taste!
- Stir-Fry: Combine your choice of protein (chicken, tofu, shrimp) with mixed vegetables and a flavorful sauce. Serve over rice or noodles.
- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: A classic combo that’s quick to make and immensely satisfying. Pair with a side salad for a more substantial meal.
- Pasta Aglio e Olio: Cook spaghetti, and toss it with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley for a simple yet flavorful pasta dish.
- Egg Fried Rice: Stir fry cooked rice with veggies, scrambled eggs, and a splash of soy sauce for a fast and tasty meal.
- Quesadillas: Fill tortillas with cheese, cooked chicken, beans, and veggies. Cook until the cheese is melted, and the tortilla is crisp.
- Salad with Rotisserie Chicken: Toss mixed greens, veggies, and your favorite salad toppings with pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for a quick, healthy meal.
- One-Pot Pasta: Cook pasta in a single pot with your preferred sauce, protein, and vegetables, saving time and cleanup.
- Tuna Salad Sandwiches: Mix canned tuna with mayonnaise, chopped veggies, and seasonings. Serve on bread or over a bed of greens.
- Stir-Fried Noodles: Quickly stir-fry cooked noodles with vegetables, protein, and a savory sauce for a delightful noodle dish.
- Taco Salad: Combine seasoned ground meat or beans with lettuce, salsa, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips for a quick and flavorful salad.
- Sheet Pan Dinners: Roast a variety of vegetables and your choice of protein on a sheet pan for a fuss-free, delicious meal.
- Burrito Bowls: Layer rice, beans, grilled chicken or beef, salsa, and your favorite toppings in a bowl for a customizable meal.
- Caprese Sandwich: Layer fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze between bread slices for a quick, light meal.
- Veggie Omelet: Whip up a quick omelet using eggs and various vegetables for a healthy and satisfying dinner.
- Homemade Pizza: Utilize pre-made pizza dough or pitas and add your favorite toppings for a customized, quick pizza dinner.
Takeaways: What to Eat When You Don’t Know What to Eat
The next time you’re struck by the notorious “I don’t know what to eat” dilemma, remember these tips.
Embrace simplicity, indulge in comfort foods, get creative with mix-and-match meals, and seek out inspiration to break the cycle of mealtime indecision.
What will you eat tonight? The possibilities are endless—embrace them!
Hungry for More?
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management. She has 20+ years of nutrition experience working in a variety of healthcare settings. Her passion is to provide evidence-based nutrition information that supports vitality and longevity!