A Physician Tells Us Why The 'Girl Dinner' TikTok Trend Could Actually Be Dangerous

If you could never really relate to those food influencers who make whipping up a 24-ingredient recipe look easy, "girl dinner" is likely right up your alley. The "girl dinner" trend originated on TikTok when creator Olivia Maher showed off her lazy dinner spread in a viral clip. "This is my dinner," she says before the camera cuts to a haphazard charcuterie board featuring a couple of pieces of bread, cheese, grapes, pickles, and a glass of wine. "I call this 'girl dinner' or 'medieval peasant.'"


The concept caught on, and videos with the "girl dinner" keyword have since racked up over 2 million views. Girl dinners are embraced mostly by women, though anyone can partake. The only rule is that there are no rules — girl dinners are an opportunity to nibble on whatever snacks and leftovers you have without needing to pull out the cutting board or turn on the stove.

While girl dinners certainly are fun, are they healthy? We turned to Dr. Jason Singh, a physician and the founder of the Virgina-based One Oak Medical, for an exclusive explanation of the potential dangers of the TikTok trend. Spoiler alert: Girl dinners likely aren't providing all of the nutrients our bodies need.

Girl dinners could encourage unhealthy eating habits

Unfortunately, girl dinners often aren't complete, balanced meals. Skipping full meals and undereating is never a good idea, and girl dinners that take grazing too far could trigger dangerous eating habits. In fact, Dr. Jason Singh, who shares concerns about this trend due to being a father to a girl, exclusively tells Glam that "normalizing heavy alcohol use and prioritizing aesthetics over nutrition glamorizes unhealthy behaviors, especially among [young women]." 


Seeing everyone partake in the trend can make us want to hop in on it, too, but there are ways to do so without compromising your health. "One suggestion is to promote moderation and balance. Consider girl dinners to focus more on nutrition and showcasing healthy recipes," Dr. Singh adds. "I would also limit alcohol to one to two drinks or consider providing alcohol-free mocktail options."

Even if your idea of a girl dinner is noshing on your favorite junk food — not restricting how much you eat — there can still be negative consequences due to not receiving the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These healthy recipes could help counteract this, especially if you make nutrient-packed versions of your favorite foods. That's a win-win!


If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who does, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Are girl dinners ever okay to eat?

In general, it's a bad idea to copy the not-meal meals depicted in TikTok's "girl dinner" videos. However, the OG version done by Olivia Maher is an example of a girl dinner done right. "[Olivia's video] had positive aspects to it, and it was a pretty big spread. There were multiple food groups represented," Dr. Jessica Saunders, an assistant professor of psychology who specializes in body image, eating disorders, and gender, told Women's Health. There's also nothing wrong with prioritizing low-prep sustenance over aesthetics, particularly if cooking is a challenge.


The key to making girl dinners healthy is to stock your fridge and pantry with convenient ingredients that pack in some nutrition. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are five food groups that should generally be included in each meal: protein, grains (opt for whole grains when possible), vegetables, fruits, and dairy (or dairy alternatives).

But perhaps the most important part, especially to Dr. Jason Singh, is the community and mental health boosts that can come from girl dinners. He exclusively tells Glam that "it promotes social connection and self-expression, which is important to have in this post-pandemic era where mental health issues are on the rise, adding that he sees "value in the trend shift[ing] to being about women coming together for genuine bonding time over healthy DIY meals that nourish the mind and body..." Frankly, we love to see it.