Simple Snack and Meal Ideas When Depressed

Date Posted

April 24, 2023


Arielle Cohen, LCSW

Simple Snack and Meal Man and Woman Cooking  scaled

This is a sample listing of simple snack and meal ideas you can share with a loved one if their depression is impacting their appetite and motivation to eat. Consider the foods they enjoy and work together to create a list that is realistic and to their preferences.

Make sure that the items on the list are readily available and affordable for your loved one. After you and your loved one have worked out a list of meals and snacks for them, encourage them to bring the list with them to the grocery store. It may be helpful to include all the ingredients for each food item (e.g., Salad bowl: bag of lettuce mix, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, tuna packet or feta cheese, and salad dressing)

Simple Snacks and Quick Bites

  • Nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, trail mix, etc.)
  • Cottage cheese and crackers or raw vegetables
  • Avocado with salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar if desired
  • Olives
  • Cheese sticks
  • Jerky
  • Simple Snack and Meal Couple Grocery ShoppingApplesauce
  • Fruit (fresh, canned, or dried)
  • Tortilla chips and salsa

No Cooking Needed Meals

  • Sandwiches or pita pockets (deli meat, tuna, cheese, lettuce, hummus, condiments, etc.)
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (add banana for extra nutrition)
  • Salad bowl (prepared bags are a quick option)
    • Add a packet of tuna, prepared chicken, or hard-boiled eggs for extra protein
  • Overnight oats with yogurt with fruit, nuts, or honey
  • Vegetables with hummus

Microwaveable or Toaster: Simple Snack and Meal Ideas

  • Instant rice or quinoa plus any combination of
    • Canned beans
    • Cheese
    • Steamed veggies
    • Rotisserie Chicken
    • Pre-baked tofu
    • Soy sauce/teriyaki sauce/barbecue/hot sauce
  • Toasted bread or bagel with nut butter, guacamole, cream cheese, or hummus
  • Sweet potato or potato with pre-baked chicken/tofu and steamed vegetables
  • Pre-packaged veggie burgers
  • Oatmeal with fruit, nuts, or honey
  • Popcorn
  • Edamame

Stovetop: Simple Snack and Meal Ideas

  • Pasta with sauce
  • Pierogis or dumplings
  • Scrambled eggs or omelets
  • Stir fry
  • Grilled cheese and soup
  • Hot dogs
  • Pancakes

If appetite continues to be an issue, consider contacting a mental health professional or registered dietitian for additional support and guidance.