However, that doesn’t mean cooking healthy, delicious meals at home is off the table just because you have ADHD. Instead, you just need to find recipes and cooking methods that work for you. Use this guide to get inspiration for mealtimes at home.
Grocery shopping can be the first barrier to making meals when you have ADHD. It can be tricky to figure out what to make and then remember all the ingredients you need to prepare it.
To make the process easier, come up with five to ten meals you’ve found to be relatively easy to prepare. Write down all the ingredients for each one on an index card or in a note on your phone. That way, you can easily access the list of what to buy when you’re shopping.
This process can also help with the indecisiveness that often accompanies ADHD in adults. Rather than feeling paralyzed by endless options, you can turn to your tried-and-true recipes for a quick solution.
Minimize Your Kitchen Time
There are several strategies you can employ in the kitchen to make cooking easier when you have ADHD. When it comes to cooking methods, the simpler the better. The more time you spend making a meal, the more opportunities there are to become distracted, overwhelmed, or disorganized. Some of the strategies that tend to work well for ADHD adults include:
- Easy ingredients: Using frozen or canned ingredients can minimize time spent washing and chopping. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about food waste that could occur if you forget to use fresh ingredients before they go bad.
- Meal helpers: Keep an eye out for products which can make the cooking process a little easier. Using options like instant mashed potatoes or taco seasoning packets to minimize your work in the kitchen is better than being so overwhelmed that you end up just ordering takeout again.
- Helpful kitchen tools: The right tools can make kitchen tasks a lot easier. A food processor can cut down on time chopping, for example. Automated options, like rice cookers and egg cookers, are great for people who have trouble remembering to keep an eye on food while it cooks.
- Slow cooker meals: A slow cooker allows you to dump in all the ingredients and come back later when the food is ready. Best of all, you don’t need to babysit your meal while it cooks because the slow cooker does all the work for you.
- Sheet pan meals: These meals involve only one cooking vessel—the versatile sheet pan—and all the ingredients being cooked together in the oven. This also makes for less cleanup afterward.
- Batch cooking: Leftovers are your friend when you have ADHD. It means you still get a home-cooked meal, but you don’t have to figure out a new dish every night. Just make double or triple batches when you do cook and save the leftovers for later.
Ideas for Easy Meals with ADHD
Now that you have some helpful tips in your back pocket when it comes to grocery shopping and meal prep, it’s time to get cooking. The following recipes are great for people with ADHD because they’re easy to make while still being healthy and delicious.
Breakfast egg muffins
This breakfast muffin recipe is perfect for batch cooking to have healthy breakfasts all week long. Plus, you can customize your egg muffins with your choice of toppings, like spinach and tomato or bacon and cheddar. After cooling, extras can be stored in the fridge or freezer then reheated later.
Start with a boxed mix to make this breakfast easy and fast. Using a waffle maker helps to automate the process for you. Plus, you can make extras and freeze them—they’re super easy to reheat in the toaster for quick breakfasts on busy mornings.
Rotisserie chicken salad
Chicken salad is a great go-to lunch, and it’s even easier to prepare when you use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Just shred the pre-cooked chicken, mix with a few ingredients, then enjoy in a croissant, pita, or lettuce wrap. Enjoy the leftovers for lunch throughout the week.
White chicken chili
Another option for a rotisserie chicken is white chicken chili. This recipe has just five ingredients, so it’s super easy to make either on the stove or in a slow cooker. Making a big batch also provides plenty of leftovers for lunches or dinners.
Slow cooker pot roast
Simply chop up a few vegetables, open a packet of seasoning, and dump all the ingredients (including the whole roast) in your slow cooker to make this hearty pot roast. Start it in the morning before work and dinner will be ready by the time you get home.
Slow cooker baked ziti
Watching a pot of pasta on the stove can be a challenge when you have ADHD. But with this baked ziti recipe, you actually just put dry pasta straight into the pot along with marinara sauce and cheese and let the slow cooker transform it into a tasty dish.
One-pan salmon and veggies
Place salmon fillets, asparagus, and sliced red pepper on a sheet pan. Then, combine some oil, vinegar, and seasonings and add it to everything on the pan. After just 15 minutes in the oven, this healthy salmon dinner is ready to enjoy.
Sheet pan pizza
Press pizza dough into a sheet pan, then load it up with your toppings of choice before popping it in the oven. It’s healthier than delivery or frozen pizza, but you still get to enjoy the cheesy deliciousness of classic pizza. Plus, you can use store-bought pizza dough and tomato sauce to make it quick and easy.
If you’ve gotten into the habit of relying on frozen dinners and delivery food due to your ADHD, you’re not alone. But with these cooking tips and easy recipes, you can start taking steps to eat healthier by making more meals at home.