A girl dinner is essentially a snack plate that is meant to be a full meal. It looks like a charcuterie board and consists of cheeses, deli meats, crackers, and some chopped fruits and vegetables.
On the surface, it looks harmless, but some online examples seem more extreme than others. This article examines the dinner trend and what it means for your health.
The Pros and Cons of Eating a Typical Girl Dinner
Bari Stricoff, a registered dietitian at WellEasy, believes that girl dinners are popular because they are low in effort and affordable.
However, she also said their health factor depends on what they put on their plate. Bari said you can create a well-balanced and nutritious meal with hummus, rye crisps, pickles, tinned fish, hard-boiled eggs, and chopped crudite vegetables. She also said you can create a dinner with zero nutritional benefits using a hamburger bun and a can of Coke.
Most of the Girl Dinners only feature packaged processed foods, like candy, chips, and soda. Unfortunately, research shows a diet high in processed foods contributes to worse health outcomes.
A Girl Dinner Doesn’t Have To Be Unhealthy
However, it is not all bad news. Jenna Hope, a registered nutritionist, said eating charcuterie-style dinner can be a nutrient-dense way to have nice meals. That said, having a wide selection of healthy foods is crucial.
For example, olives that feature heavily in Girl Dinners are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Chopped-up fruits and vegetables are also packed with minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber.
How the Girl Dinner Trend Could Increase Disordered Eating Risks
Some health experts have raised concerns that Girl Dinners could lead to disordered eating. Hope said the trend encourages girls to pick at their dinners rather than enjoying well-balanced meals. She also said this could make individuals feel more pressured about their eating.
How To Make A Healthy Girl Dinner
Stricoff said the ideal dinner would be dinner based on cultures and ethnicities. However, she said you can focus on protein and foods such as tuna and nuts to keep you full for longer periods. You should also include fruits and vegetables.
The Girl Dinner trend sees individuals sharing their low-maintenance meals, including everything from charcuterie-style dinners to extreme examples like hamburger buns and plain pasta.
Experts believe that some of these meals cannot provide adequate nutrition or calories and can be high in saturated fat and low in fiber. That said, you can make healthier Girl Dinners by including more protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.