Need an ADHD meal plan PDF to make your meal decisions easier?
What are the steps to making an ADHD meal plan?
An ADHD meal planner can guide you to healthier food choices!
In this article, we will discuss all about ADHD meal planning, benefits, and guidelines of meal planning, and provide you with a sample ADHD meal plan PDF. We will also discuss what to do when nothing sounds good to eat!
Read on for more info.
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This information is for educational purposes only. As with any medical advice, always check with your doctor or health care professional for personal and age-appropriate recommendations.
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Table of Contents
What is Meal Planning?
Do you get home and wonder what to make for meals? Sometimes, the last thing you want to do after a long day is plan a meal, shop, prep, and cook.
Meal planning involves some simple steps to make your meal healthier and easier to prepare.
A good meal plan is one you can follow to prevent getting “hangry” and eating unhealthy, processed foods. People with ADHD tend to have poor eating behaviors as shown in a 2022 study (1). Healthy nutrition can reduce the risk of ADHD symptoms as presented in a couple systematic reviews and meta-analysis of children (2, 3).
What is the Benefit of an ADHD meal plan?
Some of the benefits of ADHD meal planning include:
- Creates a personalized meal plan with your food preferences
- Less decision making and reduces being overwhelmed with food choices
- Reduces the stress of what to buy and eat
- Saves times as shopping and prep can be done ahead
- Optimizes your time and structures your meals
- Saves money as you can plan meals ahead and reduce food waste
What are the Guidelines for Meal Planning?
Find your favorite easy recipes. You can look online, through cookbooks, or ask friends and family. Whatever you choose, keep a list/copy of several of your favorite recipes so they are easy to access.
Create a Grocery Inventory List
Look in your fridge and pantry and make a list of food items needed for your recipes.
You can create this list on your phone, computer, or on a piece of paper. Whatever is easiest and repeatable for you.
Write down the food items you need for the recipes for a few days of meals.
Depending on your schedule, plan, and prep on the weekend so you are ready for the work week (plan on Saturday, prep and refrigerate or freeze on Sunday).
Remember to check:
- Vegetables and fresh herbs
- Meat and Seafood
- Pantry items (beans, canned foods, flours, snack foods, condiments)
- Frozen items
Shop for Groceries
There are many ways to shop for groceries these days.
If you enjoy browsing the aisles, go to the store. The perimeter of the store will have your fresh foods and the inner aisles will have most of your staples/pantry items.
You can also have groceries delivered from many stores.
Online Shopping- Thrive Market
There are several options for online food shopping. One of my favorites is Thrive Market for staples as many organic, gluten free, paleo, keto options are offered. Get up to 40% discount off your first order and free gifts with Thrive Market.
ADHD Meal Tips
- Eat breakfast with adequate protein.
- Have protein at each meal.
- Eat from the rainbow (lots of vegetables and some fruit).
- Eat throughout the day.
- Try intermittent fasting if that plan works for your body.
- Make extra so you can freeze or keep leftovers in the fridge for a couple days.
- Plan ahead!
Prep and Cook Your Meals
After you have made your grocery list and completed shopping, it is time to prep and cook.
It is best to prepare food for a couple days to save time.
A few recommendations are:
- Get all your recipes and ingredients ready.
- Clean and cut your vegetables so they are ready to cook (you can also buy precut).
- Prep and season your protein source.
- Get cooking!
- Clean up as you cook to keep your kitchen counters organized.
Using an Instant pot, crockpot, and grilling are easy prep methods for protein.
Some easy meals include ground meat sauces, meat balls, baked chicken, stews, stir fry, chili, or curry dishes. You can add a starch (rice, quinoa, gluten free pasta, potatoes) and vegetables.
Store any leftovers in glass storage containers.
ADHD Meal Plan PDF
Here is a sample ADHD Meal Plan PDF. You can modify protein sources to your preference.
This plan can also be made dairy and gluten free.
Nothing Sounds Good to Eat?
You prepped meals but have eaten them all. Now, nothing sounds good to eat?
Here are some healthy items you can keep on hand in the fridge/freezer and pantry for quick meals and snacks.
- Roasted chicken from store
- Healthy frozen meals
- Canned tuna, chicken, sardines
- Canned beans
- Nuts or nut butter
- Hummus or guacamole and cut up vegetables
- Granola bars
- Cheese sticks
- Lunch meats
- Healthy snack bars (nuts, seeds)
Meal planning involves some simple steps to make your meals healthier and easier to prepare.
The benefits of meal planning include:
- Personalized meal plans
- Reduces stress
- Saves time
- Structures your meals
- Reduces food waste
- Saves money
Research recipes, create a grocery list, shop, and prep for meals.
When nothing sounds good to eat, choose some of your premade or easy to access foods.
Test don’t guess.
Contact me to schedule an appointment to review your personalized nutritional health.
© Amy Archer RDN, CLT, CHWC