How to Make a Girl Dinner for the Wellness Girlie

Graphics by: Kirra Wallace
Graphics by: Kirra Wallace

Whether it’s because you’re working late, beyond tired, or out of culinary inspo, sometimes you just can’t be bothered to whip up dinner. And (let’s be honest) you’re way over your Postmate budget for the month. So what’s a girl to do? Enter “girl dinner” FTW. While nothing new, the concept of grazing on snacky foods and calling it supper is blowing up on TikTok. Iterations vary from childhood-favorite mac and cheese and dino nuggets to an aesthetically-pleasing plate of tomatoes, olives, prosciutto, and burrata. TikTok is your oyster when it comes to girl dinner ideas, but just how do you turn the food trend into a form of self-care and a balanced meal? Girl dinner is not just reserved for girlies who don’t want to cook. You can turn a convenient snack plate into a well-balanced meal that’s adding to your self-care routine and nutrition. Ahead, we dish out all the details on how to make the girl dinner trend fit in with your wellness routine. 


Why Girl Dinner is a Great Self-Care Practice

While TikTokers are raving about girl dinners for their convenience, some have critiqued the trend as “anti-wellness” because it may consist of processed or less nutritious foods. But we disagree. Yes, there are less nutritious ways to go about the trend (read: mac n’ cheese and Dino nuggets), but girl dinner is actually part of a larger conversation about what “wellness” really means. For one, you actually can turn a snack plate into a well-balanced meal (more on how below), but the benefits of girl dinners go deeper than convenience. They can be an important tool to get rid of pressure, boost happiness, and take care of yourself.

“Girl dinner can look like many things,” explained Olivia Maher, the TikToker who coined the term, to Today. “But what matters is the feeling it evokes. Giddiness often goes along with it, because it’s what you want. It satisfies you.” Noshing on a combination of foods you love or whatever your body is craving (hi, intuitive eating) allows you to romanticize mundane weeknights. The movement for girl dinners is not just a convenient answer to taking the guesswork out of dinner, but it also encourages us to eat foods that make us happy, without the pressure of making it elaborate or fancy. Moreover, if a random combo of whatever you can find in your fridge and pantry is all you can muster after a long day, that’s OK. We all have those days. The point of girl dinner is not necessarily about what’s on your plate, but rather taking pleasure in your food and enjoying the freedom of eating what you want, how you want it. 



#girldinner #medievaltiktok

♬ original sound – Olivia Maher


How to Make a Nutritious Girl Dinner

While some versions that are made up of a few bites worth of food or loaded with sugar or processed ingredients don’t qualify as a well-rounded meal, there’s nothing wrong with having a hodgepodge of eats for dinner every now and then as long as you’re filling your plate with whole, nutrient-rich foods the majority of the time.

If you’re going to make girl dinner a part of your weekly rotation, be mindful of meeting your body’s needs and hunger cues (consuming sufficient calories and nutrients for you) and incorporating the elements of a well-balanced meal: protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. The good news is you can easily include all the macronutrients you need since a girl dinner is simply adding different elements to a plate; as you’re putting it together, make sure you’re checking all the boxes for every macronutrient.

A recipe for success? Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist shared with Shape that you should aim for ¼ plate of protein, ½ plate of color (usually fruits or veggies), ¼ plate of high-fiber carbohydrate, and add a spoonful or serving of fat. To DIY a balanced girl dinner, we’ve rounded up easy foods that require zero to little cooking or effort–simply grab at least one item of your choosing from each category below. Cue the girl dinner anthem: girl dinner, girl dinner, girl dinner.



  • organic beef jerky
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • grilled chicken
  • greek yogurt
  • lentils
  • tempeh
  • chickpeas
  • edamame
  • cottage cheese
  • canned sardines or tuna (look for organic or wild-caught when available)
  • turkey or chicken breast deli meat (look for as unprocessed as possible)


Fruits and Veggies

  • cherry tomatoes
  • celery
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • snap peas
  • green beans
  • cucumbers
  • bell peppers
  • dates
  • berries
  • kiwi
  • pineapple
  • apples
  • mango
  • peaches



  • nuts
  • guacamole
  • hummus
  • olives
  • organic cheese
  • peanut butter
  • almond butter
  • sunflower butter


High-Fiber Carbohydrates

  • flaxseed crackers
  • whole wheat crackers
  • plantain chips
  • popcorn
  • quinoa
  • brown rice
  • roasted or steamed sweet potatoes
  • sourdough bread